Susan Grossey

Pricing and promo problem

It’s an odd time, post-publication.  For authors with traditional publishing houses behind them, I daresay this is a period of frenzied promotional activity, with champagne-lubricated launches across the world and endless media interviews.  But for little old me, it means sitting here checking the UPS website every ten minutes to track the delivery of my books from CreateSpace in South Carolina, while occasionally looking at Amazon to see whether anyone has left a review.  I know that people are receiving their copies – thank you, Carol in West Row, for your wonderful photos of the grand unwrapping! – and here on my desk I have pre-prepared addressed envelopes ready to send out the review copies as soon as they arrive.

In the meantime, I wanted your opinion on the special price reduction I have done on the Kindle edition of “Fatal Forgery”.  I did it as a way to draw people into the series, just before the appearance of “Faith, Hope and Trickery”, and the initial uptake was encouraging.  I reduced the price to 99p (99¢ in the US; 0.99 euros in the EU) on 7 March.  Between 7 March and 9 March – when I suspect you were all kindly passing on the good news, and I had links on Facebook and Twitter – I sold twelve copies, but nothing since then (I suppose the promo links have fallen from view).  Should I return “FF” to its normal Kindle price, to fit in with the others – that’s about £3.62?  Or should I keep it at 99p permanently, as a sort of entry-level drug to get people to sample the series, and do more puffs about it?  Amazon does occasionally promote its 99p Kindle catalogue and there’s a chance “FF” could appear in such a promotion – but I suspect that’s for books with higher sales figures already.  (What I do know is that it definitely won’t appear in a 99p promo if it’s priced at £3.62!)  Complicating the issue is the fact that Amazon – of its own volition – has created a Kindle bundle of the first four Sam books, and that includes “FF” at 99p.  I don’t think anyone has bought the bundle – my current sales info shows no sales in recent weeks of any of the middle books in the series, which it would if the bundle had sold.

So, dear readers, what do you think?  Leave it at 99p, or put it back to the higher price?  (I suppose you need this info: if it sells at 99p I get 35p royalty, and if it sells at £3.62 I get £2.09.  But that’s only if it sells!  So lots of 35p is better than no £2.09…)


  1. All by myself | Susan Grossey

    […] the matter I raised the other day – about whether to keep “Fatal Forgery” as a bargain Kindle book – one friend has said this: “My instincts around your 99p question is that if you price […]

  2. Graham Thomas Avatar
    Graham Thomas

    Dear Susan

    I think this is one of those questions for which there isn’t a right answer. On the one hand, you put a lot of hard work into each and every book and it seems unfair to have to virtually give that work away to get people interested.

    On the other hand, and speaking as a regular buyer of books on Amazon, I have to say that the £0.99p offers do help with the attraction of trying out a new author for the first time and there have been a number of cases where that has then acted as a gateway to me paying full price for others by the same author.

    If I had to make a choice, and bearing in mind that “Fatal Forgery” has been on the market for a while now, I think I’d be tempted to try something different and leave it at the £0.99 entry level for now. If it doesn’t make that much of an impression on the sales figures for the latter books in the series, you can presumably return it to the £3.62 level in the future?

    Best wishes


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