What is more important than knowing how to price an e-book? Word-of-mouth.

Word of Mouth Marketing

If you’re like most authors, you’ve found yourself wondering how to price an e-book as you prepare to launch yours to the world. Over the last six months, there has been substantial debate regarding whether $0.99 was the right price for an e-book or not.  One thing that most successful authors and publishing professionals can agree upon is that word-of-mouth is a crucial part of a successful platform. And, when it comes to a reader recommending a book to a friend, the price of the book is rarely an issue. 

Think about the last book that you really loved reading.  Did you hand a physical copy to a friend or family member and say, “You’ve got to read this!” with exuberance?  How does that work with an e-book? It doesn’t seem practical to hand over your iPad or Kobo and say, “Take this home with you and give it back to me when you’re done with it.”

Here are ways to make your e-book tangible in a virtual world in order to promote recommendations of your book. 

  1. Get your book on Goodreads – This online community recently announced that they have surpassed 10 million book lovers.  This is a great place to introduce your book to people who love reading.  And, within the community, you’ll have the chance to focus in on your target audience. Best of all, like Booktango, it’s free. 
  2. Participate in a blog tour or get blog reviews – Offer book bloggers a free copy of your book in exchange for a review. Prepare yourself for criticism, but don’t let it be a reason for not asking people to review your book.  If you’re not sure where to start, check out these two services offered by Booktango: Blogger Review & Blog Tour.
  3. Give your e-book away at book signings and other events – Remember: The goal here is to get your book in the hands of prospective readers who will recommend it to their friends and family. Until now, e-book authors couldn’t participate in building a unique experience with a reader by handing him a physical copy.  BookStubs are a gift card that allows readers to download your e-book to the e-reading device of their choice.  We design the front of the card to look like your e-book’s cover and provide details on the back of the card on how to download your book through our website.

This month, Booktango authors, we’re offering 60X BookStubs for the price of 20X BookStubs. This offer is only available today through August 31, 2012. Simply enter the promo code BOOKSTUB0812 at the time of purchase.  

These are three simple steps you can take to use word-of-mouth to build your audience.  As you try each of these initiatives remember to build connections and relationships with your readers. This could be handy as they have the ability to leave a review where your e-book is sold. You could even ask them to recommend your e-book to others. The Booktango Bookstore provides an area for doing this online, as do most other online retail sites. 

Be fearless, and keep in mind that there will be people who love your work and people on the other end of the spectrum.

3 thoughts on “What is more important than knowing how to price an e-book? Word-of-mouth.

  1. Pingback: What is more important than knowing how to price an e-book? Word … « Media Point

  2. Thank you Chris. Plenty of food for thought here. I agree that when it comes to a reader recommending a book to a friend, the price of the book is rarely an issue. Do you this this point also applies to short stories. I think that a really unique feauture of eBooks is that you can publish a really good short story and generates interest based on word of mouth, people can buy it without having to buy a collection. However, would you feel that there would be an expectation that the price would be no more than one or two dollars because it’s a short story rather than a book?

  3. Great question Dermot and I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. Some data suggests that length of a book does play into the perceived value when it comes to pricing (i.e. the longer the book the higher the price.), however I do believe there are other factors more important to readers as well including the overall story, and the opportunity to share something new with a group of friends. Most of the recommendations for book that I get come in the form of phrases like: “I couldn’t put it down.”; “it’s compelling, I could really relate to the main character and it kept me wondering and reaching with every turn of the page.” My sense is $2.99 for a short story would be a good place to start a test. Although we talk very rationally about purchases the reality is buying is a very emotional process as well. When attempting to sell anything we must remember that people love a great story and hate a bad advertisement. Knowing what is important to your audience typically helps to increase their perceived value.

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