Monday, April 4, 2011

Pricing experiment sales rank update: after 5 weeks

Five weeks after dropping the price of my novel Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance from $2.99 to $0.99, my overall Amazon sales rank has dropped to a low of #1121.

I’ve also got into the top 20 in some categories:

#17 Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Genre Fiction > Science Fiction > High Tech
#18 Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > High Tech
#25 Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Genre Fiction > Science Fiction > Adventure
#34 Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Genre Fiction > Science Fiction

Over the past two days, I’ve also seen Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance start appearing on the first page of other books’ Customers Who Bought This Also Bought lists. For example, 47 Echo by Shawn Kupfer, Under an Amoral Bridge by Gary A. Ballard, and Looking Glass by James R. Strickland.

I think this presence on such Also Bought lists has done a lot to increase my sales. I’m not sure how many such purchases are required to get on such lists, but it must be helping.

A special case of this Also Bought situation is John G. Hartness’ novel Hard Day’s Knight. We recently traded excerpts to put in each other’s books. The result has been very nice for both of us. I show up on his Also Bought list and he shows up on mine. We’re definitely getting extra sales from our excerpt trading. How many? No way to know. Oh, and by the way, if you like detective vampires that don’t sparkle, but do solve mysteries, fight demons and other nasties, and otherwise are pretty darn cool, you better go check out Hard Day’s Knight! John and I will be trading posts on our blogs soon, so watch out for them.

What does this mean for me?

I’m slowly getting closer and closer to the top 1000 Amazon ranks. It’s a battle of inches, slow and agonizing. I can’t estimate when or even if I’ll get there, but even #1121 is much better than the #6000s that I was loitering around previously.

I’m keeping my novel at 99 cents for another month at least. I see no reason to stop the experiment until the sales plateau or decline.

What does this mean for you?

I’ll just keep repeating it. A pricing decrease experiment might be worth your while if your goal is more readers. You might lose some revenue for a while, but the benefits of lower sales rank and Also Bought lists can’t be ignored.


  1. Update: hit #1055 Amazon sales rank this morning. Getting closer.

  2. great news for you!!!! How do you guys trade exerpts? Do you load these into your books? (My books through my publisher Samhain have or used to have exerpts from other authors as a promotional tool and my stuff appeared in other books as well, which definately drove sales.) I'm wondering as I'm close to putting up my next book.

  3. I think trading excerpts is a brilliant idea. I had thought about doing that for Bloated Goat, but never followed through with it. Probably lost a bunch of sales.

    Thanks for reminding me again, Derek!

  4. Congrats!! I posted the March sales of Belvoir on my blog yesterday. Nowhere near yours of course, but it's always nice to have inspiration.

    I've read about other authors who dropped their price from $2.99 to $.99 and saw an increase in sales. My novel is already priced at 0.99. So I guess I'll just have to see how that goes for awhile.

    I think you're right about the "Also Bought" lists too.

  5. Interesting post. I am toying with taking some previously published and unpublished tales and selling them in bundles on kindle. Or maybe some as singles. I'm still trying to gather useful information. Your post gave me food for thought Thanks.