My 99c E-book Extravaganza

Last week I lowered the price of Mousetrapped‘s e-book edition to 99c.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that Mousetrapped has never been less than $2.99 in e-book and I don’t think, personally, that e-books should cost that little unless they’re shorter than the average book. (Or you have loads of them to sell, so you can afford to sell them for that price.) However I do think lower prices for specified periods can be used as a promotional tool, and that’s exactly why I’m doing it.

Any excuse to pull this picture out. 

Backpacked is out next month, and Mousetrapped is the easiest way for me to sell copies of it. Right now, they are nearly 7,000 people in the world who have read it. That’s great and all, but some of those people really didn’t like it. Some of those people didn’t like it enough to buy another book of mine. Some of those people read Mousetrapped and liked it, but didn’t visit my blog, follow me on Twitter, “like” my Facebook page or sign up to any mailing list, and so unless Amazon’s mysterious “recommended for you” algorithms throw up Backpacked when they’re browsing the Kindle store, they’ll never find out about it. And then maybe some of those people have since dropped their Kindles in the bath and therefore are no longer in the market for e-books.

My point is: I need more people in the world who have read Mousetrapped. The easiest way to do that is to drop the price for a short time to 99c, thus encouraging more people to purchase it.

But it’s been carefully planned.

  • The Kindle edition has been updated with details of Backpacked
  • Backpacked‘s first chapter has been included as a preview
  • I’m only doing this for a limited time before Backpacked launches.

For what I’ve seen in the last few days, it does kick things up a notch – but maybe not as much as you think. And here’s the thing: Mousetrapped is a large part of how I make my living and there is a huge difference between selling a book for $2.99 and selling it for 99c, and it’s more than just a difference in price.

If you sell an e-book for $2.99, you earn around $2.09 (70%) on each sale. But if you sell an e-book for 99c, you can’t avail of the 70% royalty rate – to qualify for that, you have to charge between $2.99-$9.99. (Them’s the rules and before I hear anyone moaning about it, may I refer you to this.) Instead, you get 35%. So sell a book at 99c, make 34c. Therefore you have to:

sell one book at $2.99 OR sell six books at 99c

And that’s why I’m not going to do this for very long, and why I split it over two calender months. (Each month’s royalty cheque will have $2.99 sales in it too.) I’ll let you know how it goes.

In other news, my editor Sarah – as yet the only person in the known universe to read Backpacked – has given it the thumbs up and says my writing has clearly progressed since I wrote Mousetrapped. Considering I spent two full weeks having night sweats over how much poop I thought Backpacked was, that was quite the exciting news indeed. Phew! You guys can be the judge of it yourself next month… Yikes. Putting writing out into the world is terrifying at times.

Something funny happened to me last week, a sort of message from the Universe about what I should be doing with my time. Well, it was more like an elbow to the gut. Let’s just say I’m embarking on a bit of a new business (ad)venture, one that ties in quite nicely with Self-Printed if I do say so myself. Check back on Friday for details. For now, I shall leave you with a clue: migraine.

Figure that out.

Click here to find out more about Backpacked, out – GULP! – next month.

14 thoughts on “My 99c E-book Extravaganza

  1. Sarah Wright says:

    I have mentioned your book to several of my friends and told them that they needed to read it! I hope they’ve bought a copy! I’m going to plug it again since you’ve lowered the price!! Good luck on your new (ad)venture! 🙂

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Thanks so much Sarah – I really appreciate it! Yeah, my hope is that the 99c will sway the “fencers”, i.e. the people who thought it looked interesting or whatever but not enough to buy. Fingers crossed! 😀

  2. Tahir says:

    I think I know the secret but won’t give it away!
    Talking of eBook pricing, I have a question for you or your readers which has been bothering me for some time, and would like to be put out of my misery:
    Why would a publisher price a book at 14.99? The profit at 9.99 is higher by nearly 2 bucks and to make the same profit the publisher would have to price the book at 19.99. i.e. the profit at 9.99 and 19.99 is identical so why would a publisher set a price at anywhere in between the two (and they do)??

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      I presume it’s because publishers are not using Amazon KDP. That is just for self/direct publishers. They are publishing their e-books in the usual way and distributing them traditionally. The 35/70% rule doesn’t apply to them therefore.

      • Tahir says:

        Hi, I don’t think there is a two-tier system is there? – how would Amazon decide what kind of publisher you are? If you are a self-publisher that has gone through the proper registration process etc. then there is no difference. Perhaps some haven’t figured it out? Examples: Schaum’s outline of (all titles) – 9.99; they have figured it out. But: An Introduction to Computational Physics (Cambridge U. Press), 12.95. Maybe they haven’t figured it out? (the paperback is 23.55 and the hardcover is 89.00, crazy all over the place!)

        • catherineryanhoward says:

          What I’m saying is that people like Random House, Penguin, etc. don’t publish their e-books with KDP. That’s just the DIY conversion/distribution method.

          Of course there might be some small or independent presses (or self-publishers with company names) using KDP who are pricing this way.

  3. Lani Wendt Young says:

    I always learn something new from your blog, thank you.
    And just wanted to say that I love the cover of Self-Printed. Striking, clever and memorable. Your bk is my current ‘Bible’ as I prep to release my first bk of fiction on amazon and smashwords etc. And Im REALLY wishing that i had read and listened to your advice to save TWO copies of the #&^$%@ manuscript BEFORE i started formatting it for ebk kindle. Because now i have to go back and change everything for Create Space. (stewpid me)

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Well do you think *I* saved two copies the first time? Not a chance! The more times you do it the better you get at it.

      Thanks so much re: the cover – that’s all Andrew, my cover designer at designforwriters.com. He’s extremely reasonable if you’re looking for a cover! 🙂

  4. hibiscusmoon says:

    Uh oh! Does that migraine and elbow to the gut have anythign to do with me?! 😛 No kidding! I was going to post about this in my bloggie too. That OK with you Catherine?

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Haha! The clue is only migraine because of my e-book formatting post (see newer post) – you didn’t *actually* give me a migraine! ;-D

      You are client #2 so that was the Universe saying, “Remember that idea you had when client #1 got in touch to ask about formatting? Well this is a confirmation that you definitely should start doing it!”

      Please do blog about it – of course!

  5. Karina Halle says:

    I have a friend who wants to know how to go about doing self-publishing. I can’t be assed to explain the whole process to her, but since your blog helped me do my first novel, I’m just going to tell my friend to buy Self-Published. No effort on my behalf and you sell a copy 🙂

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