The other day, a fellow writer asked her readers if they avoided buying e-books that were priced less than five dollars. Apparently, she'd heard that it was a bad idea to price a book below this amount as it gave readers the impression it was poorly written.
I just about fell out of my chair when I read that. I remember a time not too long ago when the advice of the moment was for writers to price their books at ninety-nine cents to attract more readers. It was suggested that if they didn't want to set all of their books with such a low price point that they make the first in a series this price and the subsequent books a higher price.
If you've bought any of my e-books, you know that I've priced them all at ninety-nine cents. I do that because I want readers to feel like they have gotten the most for their money. Yes, it means I make less money, but that's never been the driving force behind my writing. Sure, I'd love to make a ton of money as a writer, but if I don't, I'm still happy being a writer.
As a reader, I can tell you that price doesn't determine whether or not a book is good quality. I've bought some six dollar books that were less than fifty pages of poorly written prose. I've also bought some ninety-nine cent books that ran circles around other, higher priced books. I never let the cost of a book dictate whether or not I'll purchase the book. Instead, I download a free sample of the book before I buy. If I like what I initially read then I'll buy the book.
I've known a few readers who won't pay a dime for a book. If it's not free, they aren't going to download it. I've also known readers who won't pay more than a dollar for a book. I had a friend who was given a twenty-five dollar gift card for her birthday and used it to buy twenty-five e-books.
Truthfully, I guess there's no hard and fast rule about buying books. Some will only download the free or ninety-nine cent books. Some won't go near those. Either philosophy is a shame. Instead of judging the merit of a book on its price, why not give it a try first? Who knows? You might be happy you did.