Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kindle: The Results

I recently posted about an experiment I did with my books listed on Kindle. You may recall that I lowered my Kindle books to .99 cents each for one month. Well that month is over now and I have some interesting conclusions regarding the whole experiment.

In that previous post, I told you I had my books regularly listed at up to $4.99 and was selling about 20 books a month (some of my titles were actually only listed at $2.99). The experiment was to see if it would be better to list the books at .99 and sell more copies than at the higher price and sell less. So here’s what happened…

One noticeable conclusion came immediately when I saw the sales count for the month-long experiment. I sold 90 copies at .99; again, the previous month was only 20.

At $4.99 a book (actually, any price over $2.99), Kindle offers the author/publisher a 70 percent royalty. But if you lower your list price to under $2.99, they only give you a 30 percent royalty. So whereas I previously made an average of 2.44 a copy in royalties (all my titles with combined pricing), at the .99 listing price I was only making .30 per copy. So my profit before the experiment selling 20 books was $48.80, and during the month-long experiment I sold 90 copies at .99 each and profited only $27.00. But hold on, there’s more to know…

During the experimental period, I did not actively promote my books. So I sold 90 Kindle copies without effort. And… more than 40 of those were sold in the very last week of the experiment—why? I believe that happened because with more sales on record, my books ratings went up. The more you sell, the more popular the book becomes in “Amazons” eyes.

Even more interesting to this experiment was that my paperback copy sales increased as well and made up for the difference in profits for the Kindle version. Why did this happen? Likely because of the increased ratings. The more sales you have with Amazon, the higher they list your book in its category. So there just might be a real benefit to selling cheaper Kindle books, particularly if you have another format listed with them, i.e., paperback.

The conclusion:
Here’s my conclusion. I’m satisfied that a lower list price may generate more sales. But more so, I believe the lower price attracted a few additional readers, who may not have otherwise purchased the Kindle book at the previously listed price of $4.99, and because they did, the books ratings went up, and because they went up, more people saw the book and purchased it. Therefore, I fully intend to continue this experiment for at least one more full month to see if sales continue to climb at a faster rate. What do I think I’ll confirm with extending the experiment? Higher ratings sell more books with This might be old news, but the question may have always been, “How do I get my book listed higher in search results with if I haven’t sold any copies?” The answer may be Kindle bargains. I will keep you updated!

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