Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amazon's payment scale for self-pub authors

It's getting close to the time when Xmas Carol will be released to the public. Since I plan to make the book available on Amazon, I went there the other day to check things out. It wasn't what I'd imagined.

If you sell your book for $2.99 or more, you get 70% of the purchase price. But if you sell it for less (I was thinking 99 cents for Xmas Carol) you only get 35% of the purchase price. In other words, Amazon is pushing authors toward the higher price range.

I think books should be as cheap as possible. Authors want people to read them, right? So I like the 99-cent price. It's easy to click "buy" when something is under a buck. The only thing that worries me is that people sometimes view lower-priced items as junk, and treasure expensive things simply because they're expensive. This prejudice is rampant.

I sometimes visit a web site run by an established author who is publishing all his new books digitally (after being published many times in the brick and mortar world). He rails against the terrible deal publishers give authors, and I must say he extinguished any idea I had of going the traditional-publisher route. His take on Amazon's pricing is that it's better to publish at 99 cents because you'll sell many more books and in the end, you'll make more money.

I'm not sure what to do. Should I let Amazon force me into the $2.99 price (and tell myself it fluffs the book up in potential buyers' eyes because they'll see it as having greater quality than the "99-cent junk")? Or should I go with the 99-cent price and the lower remuneration? I'd like reader input on this. Which way do you think I should I go?