There's one detail about today's news that I find most interesting. Stephenie Meyer joined today, and that's interesting because I would have expected her to hit this milestone a long time ago. She wrote the Twilight series, and given how immensely popular those books are I'm surprised that she hasn't sold more copies in the Kindle Store.
But then I checked the prices of her books, and they're all $8 and up. I think what we have here is a valid example of how high ebook prices hamper sales.
We could probably take any of the authors as a counter point, but let's contrast John Locke with Stephenie Meyer. He's someone who came out of nowhere and hit a million copies sold simply on his own efforts. And he did it long before Stephenie Meyer. Admittedly, his success is because he's a good businessman, but one of his business decisions was to price his ebooks lower than Little, Brown were willing to price the Twilight series.
John Locke's highest price ebook costs $3, and Stephenie Meyer's lowest priced ebook costs $8. I don't think that's a coincidence.
I've thought for the longest time that there was a sweet spot for ebooks, and I would have put it in the $3 to $6 range. While this is really only anecdata, my rule of thumb is to never pay more than $6 for a (fiction) ebook (unless I desperately want it), and I rarely risk more than $3 on someone I don't know.
But I am willing to buy just about any ebook priced under $3, and I would bet that the same applies to a lot of readers. When an ebook gets cheap enough it becomes an impulse purchase, and we don't mind spending the money.
I know I'm not the first to say this, but good books can succeed at low prices. And as we saw today, high prices inhibit sales. The Price Fix 6 might be doing okay with ebook sales, but clearly the lower price point is also a valid option.
What do you think?