Monday, February 27, 2012

eBook Pricing is Driving Kindle Readers to Indie Authors!

If you think that indie authors are just driving down the price of ebooks, think again.

What's really happening is that 99¢ and $2.99 ebooks are driving readers to INDIE AUTHORS.

I recently read a newsletter from Steve Windwalker, the founder of Kindle Nation Daily where he listed the results from their annual survey. If you're an indie author or a reader, you'll want to listen up because Steve discovered that ebook pricing is changing the habits of kindle readers… in a good way. 

If you love facts and figures, you'll love this article, especially the full report. But if numbers make you cringe, I'll try to give you a few of the highlights, although I just can't do the report justice with a short post. 

In a nut shell, Steve sent out his Kindle Nation Citizen Survey to his many followers and 2,360 readers responed. I don't know how much you know about statistics but 2,360 is an impressive response by any scientific standard. So please do not shrug off these results; they could be very important to you. 

Below are a few of the results of this survey. These results show the current trends in ebook pricing and reader preferences regarding what they are reading. And just so you know, I'm a huge proponent of the 99¢-$3.99 price point strategy and I tell you why in my book, The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe. I also tell you how to use a pricing strategy I call, Floatation Pricing. This method is very helpful in not only getting you a higher ranking, but could get you closer to Amazon's Top 100. 

I'm also a huge believer in the Amazon KDP Select program. I believe authors have a unique opportunity to reach the Top 100 thanks to the Select "free promotion", so this report is also valuable in understanding where you should spend your marketing time and resources.

After reading this report, you'll want to find out what I think about ebook marketing. I've written a clear, and so far, effective marketing plan in The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe, so I am glad to report that my ideas about promoting books are in line with the results of this survey.

Here are a few snippets that might interest you…. 

Survey Results: 
(taken directly from the newsletter)

Statement #1:
"Higher prices for new releases from big publishers have driven me to try more and more indie authors, and I like what I have found.

61% agreed with that statement, and only 14% disagreed. Just to make sure, we also flipped the statement.

Statement #2:
Higher prices for new releases from big publishers have driven me to try some indie authors but I haven't found much quality there so I have gone back to paying higher prices.

Only 7% agreed with that statement, and a whopping 65% disagreed."

That's good news for indie authors! We are making a difference. But don't stop working hard; we still have 35% more to go!

Here are some other results…

"Among our survey respondents, sources such as newspaper, magazine book reviews, and mentions on the electronic media are less and less influencial. Just 8% of our respondents are driven to buy ebooks once a month or more from these influences. How about brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries? You see a book on display and download the ebook, right? Not so much. Only 9% of our respondants are driven to buy ebooks once a month or more by these influences."

~ 11% of the respondents buy ebooks once a month or more based on the influences of friends, colleagues and relatives.

~ 17% say they buy ebooks after noticing them on the best-seller list! 

WOW! That is important news for indie authors; not only in how readers view us, but also in helping us plan our attack. There are more stats, but these really stuck out in my mind. 

I highly recommend you read this article

But before you do, I suggest grabbing a copy of my newly released book, The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe so you'll know how to apply these statistics and what they mean to you as an author. The survey is the "what" and the book is the "what now?"

Jeff Bennington is the author of Twisted Vengeance, Reunion, and Creepy
The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe is only $3.99 on Amazon for a limited time for my readers!



  1. I have the greatest respect for the indie authors I know who write quality work, but unfortunately I'd be in the 7% who agreed with Statement #2. I only read indie now if it's a) an author I know writes quality work or b) someone recommended to me by someone I trust.

    Of course, I'm in Australia, so that may be a contributing factor. $10 for an ebook from a big publisher is still a good deal compared to the $22 I'd pay for a paperback in store.

  2. Fascinating survey! It's great to see that the pricing of ebooks from big publishers (which, really, is ridiculous -- but that's another post) is driving readers toward indie authors. This is more motivation for indies to keep improving and producing quality work!

  3. Kudo's to the thousands of indie authors being discovered by e-readers, many of whom would languish in total obscurity without this format. Is it the wave of the future, I think so. As an indie author I can appreciate the opportunity ebooks provide, especially to first time authors, who, relistically, have a zero chance of attracting the interest of a "traditional" publisher, or an agent.

  4. Interesting and encouraging statistics! Although I am an Indie author myself, I am also a voracious reader and I can say that price plays a big part in what I download on my Kindle! If I happen to buy a book that isn't up to my personal standards, I don't feel "ripped off" and I take note on that author (so, Indies need to keep in mind that first impressions are often lasting ones!). But, I have found some wonderful books published by Indies and that encourages me to keep on buying them! My Kindle's "TBR" list is growing by leaps and bounds but that's fine, I'll get to them all eventually. Your book, The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe" is on my Kindle and it's not in the "TBR" pile. No. I'm reading it and taking careful notes! Thanks for a great post and for a great book!

  5. Great post. There seem to be a lot of analysis of the indie/self publishing phenomenon lately; I guess enough time has passed for the trend to be properly broken down.

    My own experience is that, yes, the prices have allowed me to try more indie authors. The satisfaction has been mixed: I've read some awful stuff and some absolutely great stuff. The saddest are those great stories that are marred by sub-par editing; although I have read terrible stuff from traditional publishers, editing is, if not perfect, at least not frustratingly distracting.

    When I do read a poorly-written and/or edited book, I certainly feel better about it if I paid under $3 for it.

  6. You know, indie authors had a terrible reputation a couple of years ago, so most of your comments is very encouraging. Even if you are in the 7%, 65% of kindle readers shows a huge increase in the number people who are changing perceptions. So that definitely says something about the continued improvement in quality. Way to go indies!

  7. I tried a Kindle Select free promo last week. I moved up in the rankings during the promo and it all ended once the promo was over. My next trick will be trying a review service. BlueInk and Kirkus are to expensive for me, but someone told me about a new one that just started and is much cheaper:

  8. I have come to love the KDP promotion and have had very positive results! Its great to hear that readers are taking chances on Indie authors; we too have something great to offer! Wonderful article, checking out the book!

    Thank you Jeff!



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