One. Step. At. A. Time.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see the following threads…


(1)   $2.99 or $0.99

(2)   Should (or How Do) I Make My Book Free?


Each time I see this, I shake my head a little.


We know that you make X amount more on the $2.99 versus the $0.99.  And I’m sure if you dug long enough on my blog you’d find me debating.  And that’s fine.  All authors will debate on price, because for us, we feel it’s a HUGE point to get customers.  Maybe six months ago it was, but I’m not so sure right now. 

I say this because $0.99 has been so over saturated, there’s no appeal to it.  And some people that $0.99 is an easy way to publish unedited books while some feel it’s a good entry point.  Some readers buy ONLY $0.99 books while others refuse it, thinking if it’s cheap, it’s no good.  And within that, there are thousand of arguments to be made.

$2.99 gets us that better royalty, but does it really harm our sales?  Some say yes, some say no.

What DOES hurt our sales is worrying about something like that instead of writing the next book.  Because the next book is the biggest marketing kick you could find…


As far making your book free… again, this is something so over saturated, I can’t really see if this works or not.  You may have 30,000 books downloaded, but does it translate into sales?  Some say yes, some say no.

I will say this… if you have one book out, RELAX.  I see SO many authors with one book out for a few months getting upset that aren’t rich yet.  I see them asking for advice to make their book free.  But honestly, what will that do if you don’t have another book to sell?  If someone reads your free book and likes you and clicks to your page and finds NOTHING ELSE, they will move on.  Trust me, they will.  They won’t remember you.  They won’t stalk you for your next book.  Sorry to break the bad news here, but they won’t.


FREE could only work in two cases…


(1)   if you have a series.  Making Book One free in a series can potentially help sales for Book Two, etc.

(2)   if you have a LARGE list of books for sale.  If someone reads the free book and comes to your page for more and you have it, you may have a chance at some sales.


But either way, come on, we’re here to sell books and make money.  It’s a business.  Treat it that way.  I’m not against marketing tools, but you have to take the right steps here. 


Bob Mayer suggests having three books out before marketing yourself.  John Locke had five books published before he started marketing. 


And for all those who are selling books this month versus those who aren’t, ask why?  Because they have more books for sale than you do. 


I’ve heard that Amazon may have tweaked their algorithms.  I can’t speak to it but if they did, they did.  We, as authors AND business owners, need to adapt. 


One thing I know for sure… those who have MORE books out sell MORE books.  Again, the rule of numbers play in here over and over.  If you sell 10 copies of 10 books, it’s 100 sales.  If you sell 10 copes of 1000 books, it’s 10,000 books.  Etc. Etc. Etc.


There are things in life we can control and things we can’t. 


We can’t force a person to buy our book.  We can’t force Amazon to make it easy for us to break in. 


What we can control is writing… so write.  Get the books published, seek reviewers, meet readers, meet writers, have fun.  And then repeat the process over and over.


Remember, it takes businesses 3-5 years to make a profit.  This is a business.  Some people hit it big quick.  Kudos to them.  Most don’t.  It’s like any other business out there… you have to work at it, you have to love it, and you have to believe in it.


I believe in myself.  I believe in the 550,000 words written I need to edit and publish.  And if you’re reading this, I believe in you.  I believe that when you’re done with the sentence on this post, you’ll open a document and type.  I believe that you believe you’ll do it.  So do it.  Go.  Write.  Now.


About Jim Bronyaur

Jim Bronyaur writes mystery, thriller, and horror books. Grab a book at Tweet him @JimBronyaur And for those who have Kindles and Prime, you may be able to get some of Jim's books for FREE!
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13 Responses to One. Step. At. A. Time.

  1. J.L. Murphey says:

    Jim, great blog! Patience is something which can be learned with difficulty. I posted on the same thing yesterday.

  2. Good advice, Jim.
    When you’re running a grocery store, you don’t sort out your special offers until the store is fully stocked.

  3. Ah, yes, patience. The virtue that all admit is a virtue and yet she remains locked in her tower, still virginal, for the most part.

    You’re so right! I’ve been stressing over edits for my upcoming debut, but have decided to just write the next book while I wait on the edits. At least I’ll be making progress!

    • Jim Bronyaur says:

      Thanks for commenting. I have the word PATIENCE on the inside of my wedding band, no lie. It was our wedding song (by Guns n’ Roses) but wow, does it apply to marriage, business, and life. 🙂

  4. timctaylor says:

    You’re spot on, Jim. I’m launching four books this week. Once I’ve done that, I’ll be ring-fencing my time by going to the public library for three days every week, to just write!

  5. Excellent blog post, Jim.
    I believe many indie novelists forget this is a business and all the can see are instant success and riches. It takes a while to build up a fan base and an even longer time to start seeing some real money. In the meantime, you should do the advice you have given: keep writing! 😉

    • Jim Bronyaur says:

      Thanks Danielle! I partially USA TOday, etc. for the reports they run. They take someone like Amanda Hocking and make it seem like she just woke up one morning, wrote a book, uploaded it, and sold millions. It annoys me.

      Every writer has their own journey. When the going gets tough, find a new path. Remember – the strongest survive!

  6. William King says:

    Excellent post, Jim. I will add my own bit to the confusion about pricing by saying this. Within the last month I dropped the price of the first book in my gunpowder military fantasy series from $2.99 to $0.99. Sales tripled. This was not enough to make up for the loss of royalty income on the first book the price drop created. On the other hand, sales of book 2 and book 3 in the series also tripled so the net result in my case has certainly been to increase both my readership and income. As ever, your mileage may vary :).

    • Jim Bronyaur says:

      Well that’s it William – it’s about figuring out what’s right for you. In your case, it worked because you had other books out too. Those who toy with the price with just one book may find short lived success… they key is always to have MORE books out.

      I’ve asked people I know – who are readers – and they all the same: The can’t tell it a book is traditional or not when buying from Amazon, they judge by how many books are out and the reviews.

      I think the same thing too… if I saw someone with just one book out versus someone with a HUGE list of books, I’d be inclined for the person with more books.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • William King says:

        Absolutely agree there, Jim. Often times the pricing debate is framed as if there is ONE TRUE WAY and there is not. There are different strategies, useful for different people and at different times. If I had only one book out, unless I knew I was about to release a series of books at very short and regular intervals, I would ask at least $2.99 for it (which is, in fact, what I did with my first couple of books).

        I also think that ego and self-image is sometimes involved in pricing decisions — “I don’t want to be seen as part of the 99 cent ghetto”– when really it is simply a matter of math and strategy and getting the best return for your labour. Sometimes, the lowest price route really is the best way to get more readers and more money. Sometimes it is not. I think it is important that people find out what works for them rather than simply taking at face value what is repeated across the net. And thank you for writing an interesting column.

  7. Rachel says:

    “Trick or Treat! Thanks for playing Red’s Trick or Treat Bash! I’m looking forward to reading your book on my new Kindle!, Red sent me!”

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