Thursday, July 30, 2015

The .99 boxed set: trends in e-book pricing

Several months ago, the prolific Laurel O'Donnell reached out via e-mail to invite me to join in a boxed set with her and two others, Elizabeth Rose and Kathryn Loch. The offer was quite flattering...they've all released many more books than I have (so far), and are bestsellers. I'm not...yet? Also, Laurel's The Angel and the Prince is on my keeper shelf, so I was honored that she wanted one of my books sold with hers.

The process of putting the set together was easier than I'd expected. Fortunately her talented husband did all of the formatting, so the only expense was the set's cover.

We needed to decide on the title, pricing and release date. And how much promotion we were willing to pay for. After tossing around some ideas, we agreed on Castles, Knights and Chivalry.

I struggled a bit with pricing. Many, many boxed sets are priced at .99 these days, and usually range from three to 10 full-length books. Amazon gives 35% royalties for .99 books, or approximately .09 per author per sale. Recently I saw a set with 11 books...for free!

I see both sides of the issue. On the one hand, it's easier for readers to give unfamiliar or newer authors a chance if they're part of a low priced boxed set. Then, perhaps, they'll go on to buy the author's other books. On the other, what's happening to the value of books? My contribution, At His Command, currently sells at $2.99, and has only been available since January. Would joining the box cannibalize individual book sales? The other three books have been available longer. Do e-books have limited shelf lives (pun intended) at a regular price (already significantly lower than their print counterparts) nowadays because so many new releases? As of this writing, Amazon show over 10,000 new romance the past 30 days, including just over 800 historical romances.

CKandC has been on preorder and officially releases August 1st. I'm thrilled to say it's been climbing the Amazon's Hot New Releases charts, currently #2 in Ancient World, #7 in Medieval, and #54 in all Historical Romance. Out of the top 100 Historical Romance Hot New Releases at the moment, only seven are boxed sets. In terms of sales, we're at
We'll be doing a small amount of promotion in addition to Facebook and Twitter. How will the set do? Many have become bestsellers, so there's that dream....Stay tuned!

No comments: