Simple Money Talks
Avery’s Battlefield and Avery’ Crossroad are each priced at $10. This is lovely for me at events. Many times a family purchasing Book One hands me a $20 and then decides, “Oh, just give us both books.”
Selling books at a dog event, I sold the two Avery & Gunner books and Just for the Moment, the therapy dog book, bundled as Three Dog Books for $30. Customers love a bargain. It sold a bunch! I decided to continue with $10 for the therapy dog book after that, which encouraged multi-book sales, without making change.
Bread Upon the Water joined us at $12.95. With what I’d learned by observing my customers’ money habits, I called it $13. I needed to bring single bills for change, but no coins.
When Cracks in the Ice joined the table at $14.99, I saw a new trend in the money handling. It’s easy for parents to hand over $10 for a book for a kid. Fifteen? A little more hesitancy. Knowing that families would like to buy multiple books ................
I shared what I’d learned from this experience with the publisher who published Rock and a Hard Place, A Lithuanian Love Story. She released the book at $15.00.
The last book to join our table was Beth’s Birds, the first in a series of PreK-1 backyard nature series. It came out at $11.95. After seeing the skepticism of several buyers at nature centers who felt they couldn’t sell it at that price, I consulted with the publisher who agreed to market it at $9.99. I returned to those stores with the new price. It made all the difference. Nature centers, toy stores, botanical gardens gift shops, all know they can sell it for “under $10.” I sell them hand to hand at $10 also. $12 would give customers pause. $10 makes it easier to say yes.
Make it as easy as possible for your customers to say yes. I’m often selling out of doors, or dealing with customers who have their hands full of other purchases. I offer plastic bags, with handles, the size of my books. Yes, I pay for them, but if customers don’t have to wonder how they’ll carry them around the rest of the day, or what to do if it rains, it makes it easier for them to say yes to my books.
If I could offer any advice from what I’ve learned on the purchase end of selling books, it would be keep the pricing simple. I’ve never understood the purpose of the .95 or .99. Folks love it when you say, $10, $13, $15. But, alas, unless you are self-published, as an author you don’t have much to say about the price. But you can offer your input to your publisher; some may take advice from the field. I’m glad mine did. For the seller and the buyer, it’s so nice not to deal with coins. At my table Simple translates into Sales.