A question on book prices and reader expectations

I need some help on some research from all my members in Mitchell’s Militia!

So, I just got a 4-star review on my book “Little Man,” and here is what the reviewer said:

“Didn’t expect much from this when I picked it up but it was very entertaining and the ending had a little twist to it to boot.”

Now, my question is, “What made them not expect much?”

Does the fact that the Kindle version is only $2.99 make you not expect much?

And if you buy Kindle books, how much do you typically pay?

And do you think I should consider moving the price up to $3.99 or $4.99? (Many of the self-published Westerns are $2.99, so it’s a softer field, as far as prices go…)

Love some input from you all. I’m WAY too close to it!

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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 If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after finding himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

11 thoughts on “A question on book prices and reader expectations

  1. I usually only buy a book that I don’t know or haven’t heard of the author if it below 3.99 if it’s more I won’t buy unless I have read the author before! I think maybe it was the cover that cover dosent give much away I read it and was blown away but if I hadn’t read your work before I don’t think I would have purchased if because of the cover.


    1. Awesome feedback, Ash!!!

      And we’re planning on redoing the cover in a couple of weeks after Mexican Heat is put to bed. Any suggestions on what you think it should be, since you’ve actually read it?


  2. Marketing, salesmanship and anything to do with business are all above my pay grade, man. It’s hard to say what gets a person to buy a book. But I will tell you that “Little Man” was worth more than 2.99 to me.

    You write quality. Glad I stumbled into you.


    1. Yeah, it makes my head hurt trying to figure it all out. (And thanks for the kind words. You know how much your support means to me, and how you helped keep me going when I was about ready to throw in the towel!)

      Tell me. What are you putting yours back on the market for?


  3. Awww. g’wan. Stan. Raise your price. Double maybe.

    I’m reminded of a Donald Duck cartoon from the1940s – Donald is standing in front of his store, with a pile of cannon balls stacked in a pyramid. He tries pricing them with a sign for $1.00 each, nothing happens. Then he tries 50 cents, same thing. Down to 25 cents. Then FREE. Still nothing happens.
    Goofy comes along and whispers a suggestion to Donald. Next panel, Donald has a sign for $50.00 each. Final panel, they’re all sold.
    Think about it…..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nancy’s comment reminds me of Tom Sawyer and getting Aunt Polly’s picket fence white-washed. Good stuff.
        I guess the price point depends on your intent. At this point in your development, my guess would be that you’re trying to increase your exposure, versus making big bucks. Raising the price will – probably – not increase your exposure.
        You might consider raising the price on one, lowering another, and leaving the third the same.
        Evaluate the results for 60-90 days and make a decision/do more testing.
        Another thought is that you forget everything except getting “Mexican Heat” published and then start doing other stuff. 😉


          1. Oh, and I have a blog already scheduled for after 5, but I copy and pasted it earlier. (Which is just further proof of why your comment is absolutely dead on.)

            The power of focus can never be underestimated.


  4. I’d actually stick with your current price. As you noted, the Western market tends to be pretty low-priced when it comes to ebooks, and as a relative newcomer to the genre, folks who buy Western ebooks will first and foremost judge whether or not it is worth spending that $2.99 on your book, or another Frank Roderus or Ben Bridges title.

    Now, with Kindle Unlimited coming along, that might change things somewhat. Once price is taken out of the equation for KU subscribers, they’re going to be reading based on whether the book looks to be worth their TIME, not their money. That’s where an eye-catching cover, engaging product description, and rock-solid customer reviews will be most important.

    Hope this provides some good food for thought. If nothing else, it never gets dull around here!


    1. Great feedback, Jack! And I appreciate you weighing in! It’s always a battle trying not to get consumed by the marketing and research aspects of being a publisher, but at the same time, we can’t totally ignore and not keep up with the trends either!

      Hope you’re doing well!


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