I am publishing a collection of short stories as an e-book. Continuing a series from last week, I’m trying to work through the relevant pricing issues and set a price for that content.
Assume for the moment you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that at least one person will buy your book no matter what the price is. What price would you set?
Unfortunately, history suggests a shifting relationship between price and demand (sales), meaning you may not always be able to employ this pricing strategy. As a fallback, it can help to imagine how the relationship between price and sales might play out for your product, given multiple variables. Unfortunately, doing so usually involves a great deal of market research, lots of wild guessing, and facility with a spreadsheet that I don’t have.
One thing I can say about the relationship between the price of my short story collection and sales of my short story collection is that my ability to maximize profit is not a pressing concern. To whatever extent I might be able to squeeze a few more dollars out of the market by endlessly worrying about price, I’m confident the variance between that maximum profit and the average profit is going to be fairly small, simply because the total number of people interested in the product will be small.
Thus liberated by my own limited appeal, it still seems valid to assume that setting a lower price will move more copies, while pricing the content at higher levels will decrease the number of people who buy the e-book. This is obviously why people advocate for the free/freemium pricing model: it promises that the price of your product will not negatively affect demand. [ Read more ]