I was asked recently by a reader: “Will your new book be available on Kindle Unlimited?”
To which I responded: “No. The Winston Brothers series will never be placed in KU. ‘Truth or Beard’ will likely be the only one I ever put on sale (but I have no immediate plans to do so). ‘Grin and Beard It’ (as well as the rest of the WB books and KitC books) will be released at $4.99 and then the price will be increased to $5.99 where it will stay forever (unless it’s raised again to account for inflation).”
Book pricing (for me) is a strategic decision, as follows:
- Length of the book -v- average length of “similar” books.
- Average price of “similar” books.
- Price necessary based on historical sales (i.e. assuming I sell X copies in 12 months, how much do I need to charge for this book in order to keep writing books?)
- Setting the expectations of readers appropriately (i.e. setting high expectations, challenging the reader, you get what you pay for, expect big words, expect an “expensive” book).
- Consistency and (therefore) trust.
You can expect:
- First book in any given series will cost less than the rest of the books in that series. This is what is called a “loss-leader”. Neanderthal Seeks Human is $4.99 where the rest of the books are $5.99; Truth or Beard is $4.99 and the rest of the books will be $5.99; The Hooker and the Hermit is $3.99 and the rest of the books will be $4.99.
- First book in any given series will go on sale but only after it’s been out for a full year (or longer); as well, the rest of the books in that series will likely never go on sale. Neanderthal Seeks Human was free for a good part of last year; The Hooker and the Hermit was reduced to $.99 for a short period of time leading up to the release of The Player and the Pixie.
- Books will be generally cheaper upon release than they will be 1-month after release (or likely ever again). The Player and the Pixie was $3.99 upon release and is now $4.99 (where it will stay). Happily Ever Ninja was $4.99 upon release and is now $5.99 (where it will stay).
- As above in #2, subsequent books in any given series will rarely (if ever) go on sale. I have never reduced the price of the Knitting in the City books (1.5 – 3) and only recently reduced Beauty and the Mustache for the first time since release (and only for 1-week).
- My full length books range from 110k to 130k words. They are double the average length (60k) of most contemporary romantic comedies and are priced accordingly ($4.99 – $5.99). Maybe long books aren’t in your wheelhouse. That’s cool.
- My “serials” (The Hypothesis series trilogies) and novellas (e.g. Ninja at First Sight) are 45k – 60k words and are priced accordingly ($2.99), but the bundles will be the price of a full length book.
- I will rarely release a book at full price. It will generally always be released at a discount.
- I will never discount a book (further) shortly after release day/within a year after release. Nope. I won’t do it.
A note about Kindle Unlimited (or any other subscription which requires Independent authors to be “exclusive”)
I will can’t see a situation where I would put The Knitting in the City series in Kindle Unlimited. But I will likely put The Rugby series and the Hypothesis series in Kindle Unlimited from time to time. This is because of the Kindle Unlimited reader. The typical KU reader (I am convinced) will not like the KITC series. These books aren’t the droids they’re looking for.
I hope this helps someone.