I was in the middle of Tom Harper’s Zodiac Station, a thriller set at a research station in the Arctic, when The Blizzard of 2016 hit Chester County, Pennsylvania. What better time to be reading a book with scenes like this?
The wind roared like it was sucking the life off of the planet. Damn near carried us away before we got down the steps. Ice crystals peppered my goggles. I thought I’d covered up pretty good, but the wind cut through cracks I didn’t know I’d left. Fine snow filled the inside of my goggles and froze my eyeballs.
I thought I’d post a recommendation for Zodiac Station and went to Amazon to get a link.
I was shocked to see that the Kindle version was $10.99, not much less than the paperback at $13.59. (I had gotten it for $1.99 through some now-expired promotion.) I couldn’t in good conscience recommend it at that price.
I thought about dropping a note to Mr. Harper letting him know that I would be happy to recommend his book (as I have other books on my Matty Recommends page) if he dropped the price to be more in line with the competition. Even Dan Brown and Michael Crichton’s ebooks, to which Amazon compares Zodiac Station, don’t cost that much.
Then I saw this note next to the price: “This price was set by the publisher” (HarperCollins).
What could be more frustrating than knowing that you're likely losing potential readers because your publisher chose to price your book way above market norms?
One of the benefits of independent publishing is the ability to determine what price you want to charge for your book. For example, I’m thinking of pricing my ebooks in India at 99 rupees (about $1.50 USD). That’s significantly lower than a straight currency conversion, but some industry experts recommend setting a low price in India as a means of getting known in a country where ebook sales are expected to rise dramatically.
The ability to set your own price for your books is a key to the principle Maximize Your Reach, one of the five guiding principles of independent publishing that I am developing as part of The Indy Author platform. To see the full list of guiding principles, sign up for my monthly email newletter here!
Matty Dalrymple is the author of the Ann Kinnear Suspense Novels and is the principal at William Kingsfield Publishers.