Case study: Does $1 make a difference to sales?

I had a great response to my previous post on how to optimise your Amazon book page, mostly on Reddit. A quick note on Reddit, though – there are some MEAN people out there, particularly on the indie writer subreddits! I’ve only been using it for a month or so and I’ve had to ban myself because I had sleepless nights over some of the horrible comments people made (yes, I’m a wuss!).

Anyway, of the good comments that came from my article, a couple of people told me that on top of optimising their sales pages, they were increasing the prices of their books and still seeing an increase in sales. I’ve been considering raising the price of some of my better-selling books for some time, but this gave me the push I needed to try it.

Spoiler alert: this tale does not have a happy ending.

I put the price of 5 of my books (which had at least 3 sales a day, and varied from $2.99 – $4.99) up by $1, and left them for a week. (By left, I mean I checked it every few hours and felt my heart break as sales went down to zero.)

I couldn’t handle it anymore and after a week, I put the price back to what they were. Out of the 5 books, none of them maintained the same number of downloads as previously. Of course, if there were slightly less sales but the overall profit was higher, that would have been fine – but it wasn’t the case.

So $1 clearly is a deal breaker for many purchasers. Perhaps with people pricing books so low these days, they’ve forgotten that traditional books can cost upwards of $15?

Now, I’m wondering if I were to drop my books by $1, what impact would that have? But considering that books below $2.99 can’t take advantage of 70% revenue, sales would have to be sky high for it to be worthwhile. I might give it a go on some of my $4.99 books though, and get back to you all!

Has anyone else experimented with their book prices? What results did you see?

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