There should be a simple answer to what sounds like a simple question but the truth is that setting the price for your first book is somewhat challenging.
Amazon ‘encourage’ you to set it between £1.99 and £9.99. Once the VAT of 20% is taken off you then receive 70% royalties (straying outside this range lowers it to 35%)
So, having established it needs to be between two and ten quid where do you place it? There is no clear cut way of deciding this either. Clearly volume is important. You’re better off selling 21 books at £1.99 than only 2 at £9.99, not just because of how much you receive but also the effect it has on the sales rankings, which makes you more likely to be spotted by other potential readers.
But here’s the thing, people often judge the quality of goods (whether consciously or unconsciously) by its price. I guess I’m like that with eating out. If I see that a pub is advertising 2 meals for £5, rather than think it represents a nice cheap lunch for us, I wonder how rubbish the food must be if they can afford to sell it so cheaply. Apparently it’s the same with books; if the price seems low then people assume it’s because the story isn’t any good. In fact many authors talk about increased sales when they raise their prices.
Nevertheless, to stick it on at something like £6.99 puts you bang up there with the most famous and talented writers in your genre. It would be a bit like making my own supercar and deciding to charge exactly the same as Ferrari do for theirs. Are you really going to spend your hard-earned cash on the new Murphy Motor or the same amount on something with 70 years’ pedigree in excellence?
So £3.49 it is then. Not too cheap so as to undersell the quality of the work but also not so expensive it stops people taking the leap of faith required to try a new author.
Or so I hope!
Time will tell and with a sale price of £3.49 meaning I receive £2.02 from each sale (before Income Tax and National Insurance) I need to sell approximately 280 a week just to receive the equivalent of the Living Wage over an average working week.
Two Hundred and Eighty Copies. A week!
Therefore, if you buy my book and like it please can you tell your friends and your friends’ friends. Scratch that; don’t worry whether they are friends or not. Tell anyone and everyone!!