Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 year ago

Is it true that setting your book price low (without making it clear that it is a sales price) makes people assume it is of low quality?

I’ve heard from some authors that setting your book at a low price without making it clear that it is a sales/giveaway price tends to devalue your work and makes people assume that it is of low quality. Is that actually true?

I used to assume that most people had enough common sense to know (or guess) that many self-published authors would want to make their books cheap so as to encourage people to buy them and therefore build an audience. I thought most people naturally understood that a low price like 99 cents doesn’t necessarily mean the book is actually of that value.

But, based on the advice I’ve seen from some experienced authors, it seems I was wrong and that most people automatically assume, when they see 99 cents, that the book must be of that value and therefore of poor quality. Do people actually make that assumption?

5 Answers

  • 1 year ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, unless you make it clear it's a sale price or due to some other reason, then I believe many will assume it's low quality. Just like many will assume a book with a poor cover is low quality. What do you think would happen if Louis Vuitton suddenly lowered their prices? My guess is that after that initial buying frenzy, sales would plummet, because although the bags are exactly the same as before, they will have lost that air of being an exclusive, luxury product.

    It works in other areas as well. I read an interview with a guy (I forget who), who was a famous speaker and very sought after for his quality content. He talked about this mentality as a side-note and mentioned that he used to do just 2-3 events a year - until he put up his rates. Then he became fully booked. Apparently no one was taking him seriously because he was charging too little. It made them doubt his qualifications.

    Through my husband I'm somewhat in the sales business and you wouldn't believe all the subconscious stuff going on in people's mind. If you were to ask someone I'm sure most will say that "No, I'm just looking at the product. The packaging, the sales text, the layout of a website, the colours used, none of that matters." I'd say that myself if asked, and yet, studies have shown over and over again how small changes can affect sales. On that note, I read somewhere that a pricing of 1.99 on Amazon is somehow the kiss of death, that books at 0.99 and 2.99 both outsell the 1.99 price point. Our local grocer will sometimes do atypical pricing and sell something for 15.15 or 7.77 and it does make you look twice at a product you might otherwise just have passed by.

    And to be honest, there are many books I've picked up because of the cover. In the end, it's not the cover that determines whether I buy the book or not, but had it not been for the cover, I might never have paid attention to it in the first place.

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  • Yeah these are authors who aren't selling anything anyways.

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  • 1 year ago

    Yeah, but I tend to pass over self-published stuff anyway unless the author has a few things published with plenty of good reviews.

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  • Stella
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    As a reader (not a writer), if I notice a book from a new or unfamiliar author is priced very low, I usually pass on it. In my experience they are generally pretty bad.

    Perhaps I've missed out in a few cases. However, there are so many books available, and my reading time is limited.

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    You sell it at the going rate.

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