May 18, 2014

Deciding on pricing for BROKEN

Price-Tag icon designed by Atelier Iceberg from The Noun Project collection

How to price a product is so open, yet demands a finite number. Once editing my book was finished, I went back and forth about how to price BROKEN: Navigating the ups and downs of the circus called work. Before arriving at the final price, these were my initial approaches:

Price the book high, because a lot of hard work went into it. This encompasses all of the energy and time put into writing, revising, and producing a book. But this price-it-high approach may alienate prospective buyers.

Price the book low, because this will encourage the path of least resistance to potentially purchasing the book. It may stimulate sales. But this price-it-low approach also feels cheap.

Provide an array of prices, from low to high, because different prices may suit different people, who may only perceive a book’s true value at $4, while others prefer $7, or for the higher-price minded, a price of $12. But more than one price, offered to get the same book, is convoluted (by complicating people’s minds in the process) .

What galvanized my thinking about pricing BROKEN was a talk (by way of Skype) with Ryan Evans, who founded Bitesize PR, Source Sleuth, and Lift Marketing. His tenacity, when it comes to launching a business, compelled me to interview him as part of my series about people who love making things. A past conversation we had about pricing turned into a side project, resulting in a one-sheet about factors to consider in pricing something. He gave two thoughtful pieces of advice that I applied to pricing BROKEN:

Price all formats the same. I once thought that I would price the PDF differently from the eBook, then have a different price for the combined PDF-and-eBook bundle. Keeping the price the same, no matter what version, simplifies impressions.

Price the book in respect to its peers. By envisioning what books BROKEN would be adjacent to in its category, then finding out how those books were priced, helps inform, even validate, what the price should be. Browsing kindred book titles on Amazon was essential here.

These approaches proved very practical in ending my back-and-forth decision-making on the price. I gladly—and confidently—decided to sell BROKEN at $9.99.

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