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Words per Price?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Devor, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Simple question. I'm trying to design kind of a short story / novella series, and I'm wondering how many words readers would expect for it to be priced at the $2.99 mark without feeling disappointed. Would 25k be enough? Or should I be aiming closer to 50k at that price point?

    What's your experience?

    Just for the sake of discussion, just assume that it's a good quality story.
  2. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    In my limited experience 2.99 is fine for 25k words.

    My reasoning here is that at 25k you're in the novella range (yes, I know that's subjective), and you're getting the reader a slightly more chunky reading experience than with a short story. It's the kind of story you'd read in an evening instead of watching a movie, or maybe two evenings if you're a slow reader like me.

    With my upcoming series, the stories will likely be in the 20k to 40k range, and I'll be charging 2.99 for them - first week and pre-orders will be 0.99 though.

    That said, my experience on this is very limited as I really only have the one story out on sale so far (37k words, 2.99 price).
    Devor likes this.
  3. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

    I think, for me, disappointed has more to do with how well I liked the tale and less about its length. $2.99 is not enough for me to complain or get the torches and pitchforks out. But, if you are charging me anything above a dollar, I suppose I am expecting you are worth it. So give me something good, and your golden.
  4. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team


    In my experience, readers prefer longer works and will complain/leave bad reviews because they got a short instead of a novel. However, I price my novellas at $2.99 and my novels at $3.99 (because they are 50-60k in length). There are some projects I have on queue that are going to be longer, over 60k, and those I will price at $4.99. I have one short story, well, technically it's a novelette priced at free because it's a series intro.

    That being said, pricing shorts depends on several factors:
    -your genre
    -your subgenre/audience
    -how other authors are pricing in your genre/sub-genre
    -whether you have trained readers to expect cheaper priced works from you or more expensive.

    I do know that shorts don't tend to sell as much. For a 50k work, IF you want to make $$, pricing at 2.99 would be too low. Anything 25-40k I price at $2.99. Honestly, taking a look at how other authors in your genre price would be a good starting point.

    Also, just to touch on Svrt's point, I personally price my pre-orders at full price (right now I have one at $3.99). I'm running a business and if trad pub can price their works at full price then so can I. But really, it depends on your level of comfort and audience.
    Devor and pmmg like this.
  5. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Personally... I'm not going to spend $2.99 on a short 25k work because... I don't tend to like short works. Unless I get word of mouth from someone I trust, which is almost no one, LOL. The world is a funny place these days, with lots of room to be picky. I'm doing $2.99 through release week and then bumping to $5.99 for 140k. All about the first reviews and gettin traction. Then further promos down the road with a particular strategy.

    Now 50k, sure, if your sample hooks me REAL GOOD. 25k takes less time than a good nap, and naps are free, heh heh. 25k x 4 = 100k, 2.99 x 4 = $11.96, and there are a lot of 100k books out there to take a shot at for much less. The competition is stacked high and costs less.
    C. L. Larson, Chessie2 and Devor like this.
  6. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Oh, I should also kick in... If I'm one of your readers already and following you faithfully, then $2.99 wouldn't be a big put off, so long as you deliver. So, it's a matter of persepective.
  7. C. L. Larson

    C. L. Larson Dreamer

    I would feel cheated at 2.99 for 25k. Like it was said by others that would take me less time to read than watch a movie. However if the story and writing was outstanding, I would forgive you.

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