Today I'm going to bring novellas and novels into the equation with my series of Marketing 101, as well as a few other items. All my price suggestions below are for ebooks. Bear in mind that as I explained before, sales equate with an author's notoriety and makes marketing easier. Your book sales will market your personal author brand.
In part two of my series, I mentioned how I was going to report back on what I found about other authors and how they price. One author with an enormous number of publications says he won't charge less than $2.99 for anything, regardless of the length. No freebies as enticements either. You want the book, you ante up. He is self-pub all the way and wants his time and effort to pay off.
Another author, a friend of mine, is starting to up the price of her books as well. Some of her rather short tales are $2.99. I feel her tales are well worth every penny. Now, many of you would not want to pay that amount for a short story, but if you like the author, you will. Like the male author above, she now self-publishes all her new tales.
There are many more out there now doing the same thing. While my pricing schedule might not be the same as theirs now, it doesn't mean that will always be the case.
So, I am jumping into novellas now. We have a wide range of word counts here. Anywhere from 15,000 to 40,000, with average consensus being 17,500 words and up. My suggestion would be to charge $2.99 at the lower end and $3.99 at the higher end. What happens if sales fail to come? You can always have a price reduction for a short time to increase sales. Then go back to the original price. If you are priced too low to begin with, you can't do this. A novella at .99 is ridiculous. Start higher and adjust if you have to.
Novels are easier. Any novel of around 300 pages should be priced at $4.99 or more. That's rock bottom. If you don't think you're good enough to charge that much, get out of the business. No one can write your story better than you. Nobody.
This is what I am going to do for my personal books coming out from now on. Short stories below 10,000 words will be .99. Above 10,000 and they will be $2.99. My collections will run the same. Until the collections become larger. 30,000 to 50,000 words will be at least $3.99. Above that, $4.99 or more if they are really long.
Novellas between 15,000 words and 30,000 words will be at least $2.99. 30,000 to 40,000 words will be at least $3.99. Novellas between 40,000 and 50,000 words could go as high as $4.99.
Any novel above novella length of mine will be at least $5.99. Makes sense to me. I put a lot of work into these and they are well worth the money. Not bragging, mind you, just mentioning that I am a professional and don't skimp on quality. Remember what I said above about an author's attitude.
Now I get into a rather interesting thing happening around the publishing world at the moment: boxed sets at .99. Usually 8 to 14 authors add a book to the set and they share the profits. Sell a thousand books and for 8 authors each one gets $44.00. 14 authors and it's about $30.00. Woop-de-doo. Kind of sucks. And, all the authors involved better share the marketing load or folks will get pissed off at each other. Not cool.
One good thing about this is that this is great for an author's rankings. Go to http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/Horror/digital-text/157060011#10 and see what I mean. Plenty of boxed sets in the top 100 most popular horror authors. And yes, it appears that an author's sales for her/his other books will increase, so maybe it's worth it.
That being said, I'm not going to do it. This is my personal feeling and I don't begrudge anyone else from doing it. There are plenty of horror authors in the top 100 who don't do them. I plan on getting on that list. I have plenty of novels, novellas, shorts, collections and such to get out. Last year I got as low as 101 without any single stand-alones. My novels will boost me up.
Again, my friends, I am not bragging. I spin a pretty good tale and make certain I employ editors. Usually three for each book. Adjust your attitude cap and say, "If Blaze can do it, I can."
See you in the top 100!