Monday, August 13, 2012

The Journey of Self-Publishing #11: Pricing, Sales, & Giveaways

Thoughts At One In The Morning is proud to present a blog post series for unpublished writers on the self-publishing world. I have asked four indie authors to share with you the different steps they have taken on their journey. They will discuss the writing process itself, the steps in between, and publishing itself. Please join us every week for a new topic on the journey to becoming an indie author!

Our Indie Author panel:
Marie Landry, author of Blue Sky Days
You can find her on her blog Ramblings Of A Daydreamer.

A.M. Hargrove, author of The Guardians Of The Vesteron series
You can find her on her blog A.M. Hargrove.

Avery Sawyer, author of Notes To Self
You can find her on her website The Teashop Girls.

Michelle Flick, author of The Owens Legacy: Revelations
You can find her on her blog Oh! For the LOVE of BOOKS!.


This week on The Journey of Self-Publishing:

~Pricing, Sales, & Giveaways~

How did you choose the price to set your novel at?

Michelle Flick:
  I am not going to assume I am going to be a millionaire - though I can dream - I set my price so people would be willing to take a chance on my book. I am sure they will love it, but a lower price is less than a risk.

Marie Landry: Originally, I thought I’d set the price at 99 cents, but a few people told me they thought that would be devaluing my work. I decided on $2.99, but then right before publication, I upped it to $3.99 because I saw several other indie authors doing the same. At the beginning of April, I set it at $2.99.

Avery Sawyer: I looked at other self-pubbed novels in my genre and matched them.

A.M. Hargrove: When I published Survival, I priced it at $0.99. I knew it was rough and I still want to go back and rewrite it. But that's another story--LOL! So when I released Resurrection, I decided to make Survival free on Smashwords, and eventually the others (Amazon, B&N, etc.) followed. I priced Resurrection at $2.99 because I felt that was a fair price since the first one was free.

Have you ever put your novel on sale?

Marie Landry: I did a Valentine’s promotion where I offered the book half price for four days. I also did a promotional sale on Smashwords where it was half price, along with several hundred other books across the site.

Avery Sawyer: I’ve had several free promotion days here and there, but that’s it. And I think I’m going to take a significant break from doing freebies now. I feel like the novel has enough reviews to stand on its own feet without the freebie nudges now.

A.M. Hargrove: I have since published a novella called Beginnings, which is a prequel to the series and I've priced that at free on Smashwords and $0.99 everywhere else. I would like for it be free everywhere since it is a novella and is really short.

Did that help you sell more?

Marie Landry: Honestly, not really. I think I sold a few more copies than usual, but it didn’t really make a difference in the end. From what I’ve seen, offering books for 99 cents is the most popular sale point, but I haven’t done that yet. But I’d like to add that that’s the beauty of independent publishing - you have the option to experiment with prices and sales whenever you want to see what works best for you.

Avery Sawyer: The freebies do help, yes.

How many copies of your book have you given away thus far? 

Michelle Flick:
I have given away countless copies and will continue. I believe it is a good way to spread the word. A free book? Why not. Those people will then review it and (hopefully) spread the word and rate me, I mean rate my book. It's part of networking.

Marie Landry: Probably over a hundred. Again, I kept track at first, but then lost count between giving away review copies, giveaway winners on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other people’s blogs.

Avery Sawyer: I think around 15,000.

A.M. Hargrove: I don't know how many copies of Survival I've given away but it's in the thousands. I think having a freebie out there has definitely helped my numbers. My rankings are pretty good but more importantly, it allows someone to read something you've written and if they like it, they can go on and buy the next book, knowing that in all likelihood, they'll enjoy it.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Avery Sawyer: No, I’m happy I did the free days.


Thank you for the great advice on pricing, sales, and giveaways!

Join us next week when our Indie Author panel will discuss in more detail Book Trailers and how you can make one for your novel.


  1. There is so much advice out there about free promotions and book giveaways. I've been thinking about KDP and how it allows you to set the price of books as free but in doing so you have to publish exclusively with Amazon for a number of months. Pricing is such a tricky thing to get right. As a reader I am much more inclined to buy a book for .99c and would invest in the rest of the series if I liked that book.

    1. I have mixed feelings about KDP, mostly because I don't like the idea of being bound to a contract with Amazon. Plus, I have a Nook, so I can't get any Kindle exclusives. However, there probably can be benefits as far as spreading the word about the novel quickly. I agree with you, I am so much more willing to spend 99 cents, unless the book sounds really good. ;)

  2. Well, I'm happy Avery did the free days too. I got Notes to Self on a free day I do believe and I loved it!

    1. Exactly! Plus you gave her an awesome review. :)


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