Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ruth Francisco's Kindle Primer: Part II

Following are some more excerpts on pricing, making changes to your e-book and publishing backlist titles from Ruth Francisco's The Kindle Option thread that originally appeared on


A lot of writers first post their books for .99 cents because a number of Kindle readers routinely buy only .99 books. It is a way to get a following. Think of it as an introductory price. The minimum for which you can get at 70% royalty is $2.99, which is why many indie Kindle books are $2.99. The DTB publishers often list their books at $9.99 or higher because they can. Many writers think it's the DTB publishers’ way to suppress the ebook market, and to maintain a demand for DTBs. But readers have made it clear on the forums that they think it is unfair to post an ebook for more than a paperback.

In other words $9.99 is probably too much for an indie ebook. Keep it under $5.00.

At some point you might want to change your price. If, for instance, you post at .99 cents and it sells like crazy, getting you to the top 100 Kindle Best Sellers list, you might want to keep it at .99 cents until you drop off. (The big deal about the top 100 is that it is a visible list that is promoted by Amazon. A major goal is to get on this list.) But if you are not making a lot of sales at .99 cents, you might as well go to $2.99 for awhile. I've had books that began to sell more when I raised the price.

There is no stigma for .99 books on Amazon. DTB Publishers sometimes run very cheap specials (or free) for their best sellers. Everyone, in other words, is trying to find a good price point.

You'll simply have to test it out.

CHANGES. At any point after you have published, you CAN make changes. You can change the price. You can make editorial changes and upload again. You can change your cover and synopsis. Amazon may take your book offline for up to 48 hours, so you don’t want to do this excessively, but it is hugely comforting to know that once “it’s gone to print”, it’s not “carved in stone”.

BACKLIST TITLES. Many authors are uploading to Kindle previously published books when they get their rights back. You need a letter from your publisher confirming Reversion of Rights. Upload your book. Within a few days, Amazon will contact you and ask you to scan in your letter and send it to them. Within four or five days, your book will be approved.

-Smashwords does not require such a letter.

Don't forget to check out the previous post on publishing to Kindle and to find a list of Ruth's books!

[Up next, where to promote your book and get it reviewed.]

Happy publishing,

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