Prices are set based on a couple of different variables. First the Print price is dictated in large part by CreateSpace - my Print on Demand printer. My costs for a print book are quite high, and I add on a very small profit then set the price of the book. Traditionally published books pay the author between 8% and 12% of the wholesale price of a print book. I'm making roughly the same when you buy my print book, so no, I will not be retiring on the sale of print books any time soon.

The Watcher's Keep print edition came in at $22.99. The Dragon Rises came in at $16.99, and Prophecy's Queen is likely to come in at around $9. Based on the profit of these books, have to sell more than 500 print copies just to pay for the cover art. I'm not getting rich selling books, that's for sure.

For pricing on eBooks, similar books in the genre are what I'm using to set the price. The Watcher's Keep is 270,000 words. Many shorter Epic Fantasy books have 70,000 to 100,000 words and are selling for $4.99 to $13.99 depending on how well known the author might be.  I have priced The Watcher's Keep at $7.99, however in most eBook stores you will find it for $4.99, at least for now. Whether or not the price will go back up to $7.99 in the future will depend on how well it sells at $4.99. If sales are no better at the lower price, I might as well charge more and make more money for the same sales volume, though I would hope that the lower price attracts more readers, so far this has not been the case.

The Dragon Rises is a more manageable length for an Epic Fantasy at 150,000 words, but it too is longer than many works on the market by well known authors selling for much higher prices. I've set the price of The Dragon Rises at $4.99, and hope that you find it a value.  I think it's a steal at this price - less than a cup of coffee from your favorite barista - yet I am not likely to start writing 80,000 word books any time soon. I like this length as a story I can sink my teeth into. I hope that you do as well.

Prophecy's Queen, while still in the works, is intended to be a lead-in book to The Triadine Saga as a prequel, and will introduce people to my writing.  When it comes out, it will be released for $0.99 for the first three months. After that it will go up to $1.99 - though I've been warned by some of my author friends that this is a death-zone price.  I think it's more than a fair price for a Novella length Fantasy, and though I don't have a word count yet for this work in progress, I suspect it's going to come in between 35,000 and 45,000 words. That should be around 150 pages in the print edition, which will likely come in around $7.

I use a program called KindleSpy to help me find other books in the same genre on Amazon so I can see their sales numbers and their prices.  Though it is not perfect, it does help narrow down the selections of books which I believe are related and priced reasonably.

What about all the FREE or $0.99 books on the market today?

That's a great question and I'm glad you asked.  The self-publishing wave has broken on the sand and many, many first time authors are jumping into the waters.  You can count me among them, and there is no real magic to the PermaFree or $0.99 eBook strategy. Here is it.  The theory is that these authors, all either unknown like myself, or with a small loyal following, need to increase their exposure. They decide to do that by giving away thousand of eBooks on Amazon. They are counting on sell-through to the next book in a series for making enough money that they can continue to write. For some authors, this strategy has worked. For others, they have given away tens of thousands of books only to have no sell-through to the next book in their series.  Why?  It's possible that their writing is simply not good enough that the reader wants to pay for their next book, and it's possible that the reader downloaded 50 FREE books this week and won't even get to their book until 2017!

Will I make any of my books PermaFree?  I have no plans to do so.

Writing, editing, reviewing, rewriting and publishing is hard work. Lots of hard work.  I am hoping that the quality of my work is at least worthy of a buck.... and that you will consider that I need to make a living as well.  Yes, I could try the strategy of giving away 10,000 books in the hopes of selling 100 books and getting new people interested, but frankly I think that strategy has played itself out.  Every book includes real expenses as well as hard work. Cover artists, editors, audio book readers and advertising all needs to be paid before I can even buy a beer.

 How do you plan to be successful with your writing?

I plan to grow my following organically, though word of mouth, decent reviews by credible readers, and by putting out books that you enjoy reading and that you will tell your friends about.

I've posted before about reviews, and how good reviews are so important to drive sales. I cannot emphasize this enough, and hope that you will take a few minutes to review my books on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or wherever you might be shopping for works by your favorite authors.  We live and die by your reviews, and I read every one with an open mind and willing heart.

I hope this helps you to understand some of the thoughts behind how I price my books.

If you are in a country that charges VAT for eBooks, your price in the online eBook stores will be higher and will reflect your VAT tax rates on eBooks. It's a shame that eBooks are taxed at the same rate as Digital Services and not at the much lower Book rate. If you have a problem with this, please contact your local legislators and tell them to reduce the tax on eBooks. your social media marketing partner