Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The agonies of book covers and pricing

One of the steepest learning curves I have had while e-publishing is in the field of covers. I have tried a number of approaches. My favourite is to use Picasa software which enables me to manipulate pictures in a relatively simple way.

I have also tried Microsoft's Publisher although I have yet to upload any of these covers.

Following Dean Wesley Smith's advice I have even used Powerpoint although I found this rather blocky and I was not able to get the look I wanted.

I have learned a couple of things which make a difference.

Keep the image simple. Keep the text large and try to place it in the same part of the image wherever possible in order to give a coherent look to all of your books. Use a tag line.

You can see my covers on this blog.

When it came to pricing I adopted Amanda Hocking and Stephen Leather's practice. I started at the minimum price of $1.00 (70p) as a loss leader, knowing that this would be a limited offer and that these and later books would be priced more realistically.

Amazon pay royalties of 35% at books between $1.00 and $2.99. So it soon became clear that a book priced at $1.00 gave far less rewards than one priced at $2.99. Here are the figures in dollars and sterling.

I sold 80 books at $1.00. This earned me $25.60 or £16.80. If I had sold them at $2.99 I would have earned $164.80 or £101.60. A big difference, I think you'll agree.

The higher price also enables me to give discounts and take part in sales such as the one offered by Smashwords.

Tomorrow - a short post on my progress in publishing Wasteland, book 2 of The Lost King series.

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