Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Hey, I'm not one to do all this talk and no action. I feel like I can't complain about ebooks or fully talk about the ins and outs of all of this without trying it out myself. So, here's what I want to do: I want to take one of my out-of-print books and turn it into an ebook using BN's Pubit.

Here's the question:
Do I:
1) give it away for free, as in list it for 0.00 dollars? (If I CAN do that)
2) sell it for .99 cents?
3) sell it for 9 dollars?

I'm right now leaning toward giving it away for free. Why give anyone any money for it? I'm already giving it away on my website for free so why not continue the gesture? Then again, perhaps that will ruin the experiment. Will it? Do I need to sell it for 99 cents like everyone else to see what will really happen?

I need your votes so vote now!

Thank you!

NOTE: I got the royalty rate backwards: (Thanks to Maryann for the correction.) You get 65% on books between 2.99 and 9.99. You get 40% on books over. For books at or below $2.98 you get 40 % off the list price. 1) I'm not sure why you get far less on books over. Kind of odd. 2) I'm not sure why most people price their books at 99 cents when they could get 65% instead of 40% when they price their book a few bucks higher.


  1. I posted this at BRG, but I'll post here as well.

    Here's my two cents as an author that's already been doing this.

    First, regardless of price, don't just go with PubIt. Not all books sell equally well for Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc. so your experiment could fail miserably at B&N but you could do very well at the iBookstore or Amazon. If you're going to do this, do it well.

    If you don't have the means to get in the iBookstore directly, consider using Smashwords - they can get you distribution into Apple/Sony/Diesel/Kobo/etc if you can't get direct access to those retailers.

    Second, if you're going to do this, ensure that your formatting is top notch before uploading. There's nothing worse than a horribly formatted ebook. And believe me, in the e-reader world, they notice these things and will mention it to others. There's a little microcosm of e-reader owners that gather at various sites. They talk amongst themselves. :) If you want to come across professionally, put the effort into it.

    Third, just putting a book out there is not enough to see if it will sell. You need to do some self-promotion and there are great sites out there that can help you with this without it being blatant. (Contact me if you want more information.)

    Now we're on to price. Since some of these retailers (ie. Amazon) do not allow you to go with a free option, I would suggest a minimum of 99 cents so that your price is the same across the board. Often the price for indie books is around $2.99, but ymmv. Not everyone sells well at this price and adjustments can be up or down.

    All this said, the children's ebook market (particularly picture books) is still in its infancy, unlike genres like paranormal romance, etc. But there is a market, and it's slowly growing.

    Good luck with your experiment!!

  2. Meghan,

    I'm curious to see how your experiment will turn out. I recommend using Dani Jones' new site to extend your experiment: There's support amongst a small community on Twitter already, and I think the enthusiasm will continue to grow.

    Also, I have to agree w/ David about formatting issues. I'm not sure what the answer is, but you'll need to consider audience vs. formatting.

    And although you have been giving away the book for free, why not sell it? .99 will probably draw in more people willing to experiment with titles. If the format allow you to maybe you can do a "limited time offer" of .99 and then move up to 9.99 after that and see the difference?

  3. Hey Meghan:

    I followed you over here from eisforbook. (I went over to your website; I love your artwork).

    I wouldn't give this book away. I'd experiment with an introductory price, as the above poster suggested. You can always move it up or down after a month or so and see what happens.

    My half a cent,


    PS. Best of luck with this!

  4. Hi Meghan- First off- Check those rates form Pubit. Books between 2.99 & 9.99 give the publisher (you) 65%.

    Regarding making your book into an ebook. Getting a picturebook formatted is not easy. (I've been researching) - You will need to hire someone (maybe you are more techie than me). If you hire someone it will cost you something...So you might want to charge something.
    I am working with They are just getting up and running with picturebooks. I'll let you know when my book is up.
    Keep us posted on -Maryann

  5. Maryann, you're right! I got it backwards! I think in my head it just didn't make any sense that it would be LESS if the book was priced more. I guess this is why everyone has their books priced below 9.99

    It says on PubIt that when you upload your book they will format your upload. I guess I'll find out. I'm not a techie.

  6. Hey Meghan,

    I vote for listing it for $.99. Listing your books for free gives the impression that they have no value, which we all know isn't true!