Yes, we know we’re late to the party, but we just discovered Mr. Wolff while doing our websurfing thing. He seems to really know his stuff, so if you need marketing advice, hey, take a look.
E-books: what’s selling, for how much, and which writers will win? – by Jurden Wolff (Time to Write Blogs)
There are now a lot of ebooks selling for $2.99 (or £2.99) and even less. Are they the ones in the top 25? Only a couple.
On the most recent chart from Digital Book World, the top ten range in price from $7.59 (Life of Pi, at number 8) to $14.99 (The Last Man, number 2, Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, number 4, and The Forgotten, number 5. Number one isNotorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plumm novel, for $13.99.
The low-price exceptions are The Cowboy Takes a Bride at number 12 for 99 cents, Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child, number 15, also 99 cents, and Only Time Will Tell, $2.99.
Sometimes publishers will offer a very low price as a promotional ploy, to get the book noticed, and then the price will change to a much higher one.
Digital Book World also runs a list of the best-selling books in the $0 to $2.99 category. How different are these from the overall top-selling books? Here are the top ten:
- The Cowboy Takes a Bride, Lori Wilde – 99 cents
- Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child, Cathy Glass – 99 cents
- Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles), Jeffrey Archer – $2.99
- The Safe Man: A Ghost Story, Michael Connelly – $1.99
- My Kind of Christmas (Virgin River Series 19), Robyn Carr – $1.99
- Forced to Kill (The Nathan McBride Series), Andrew Peterson – $1.99
- Stop the Wedding (A romantic comedy), Stephanie Bond – 99 cents
- Berin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 – William L. Shirer – $1.99
- First to Kill (The Nathan McBride Series), Andrew Peterson – $2.99
- Checkmate (A Neighbor from Hell), R. L. Mathewson – $2.99
What stands out is how many of the books are part of a series. A strategy that has been successful is to offer one book at a very low price in order to hook readers, and then up the price of the next one. Maybe that’s what accounts for the dollar difference in the price of the two books in the Nathan McBride series.
This underlines what a publishing consultant told me at the Alaska Writers Guild Conference earlier this year:
The future belongs to the prolific writers who are good at marketing and who don’t mind sticking to the genre that brought them success.
That’s why I always suggest to writers that they write the kind of thing they can imaging continuing to write for a long time. When something is a success, your readers will want more of the same.