Episode # 56 – Exploring Book Pricing: From $0.99 to $199

In Uncategorized by Julius S7 Comments

Robert and Gabrielle cover

Book pricing is an often talked about subject amount self-published authors. Usually it involves a discussion about where the book should be priced on a scale from free to $10. Today I talk to Robert and Gabrielle Scanlon, a husband and wife writing team, who take a very different action. They have priced their non-fiction from 99cents to nearly $200, and have been highly profitable at both price points. In this interview I dive into their pricing strategy and see just how they did it. Shows notes @ rspcast.com/yoga.

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Links:

Hot Yoga Doctor

Amazon Profile

Website

Mentions:

Predictably Irrational

Jay Abraham

Show notes:

Starting Out

Gabrielle started out teaching hot yoga (yoga performed at body temperature) and from that started a website and forum about hot yoga. From there she created a forum where people were asking her a lot of questions that she thought would work much better in a book form, and save her time from having to jump into the forums and answer the same questions over and over.

At the same time she (and Robert, who runs the business side) were building a mailing list.

This is important, they started building their mailing list in 2005. They are writing non-fiction and made sure there was a demand for their book before they even began. The building of the mailing list also would be a very important marketing tool, so start building this early.

Robert who has previously been involved in internet marketing thought that now was the time for a $97 ebook. Something popular, but perhaps less so today with the rise of ebook readers.

Email List

It is important to write emails that you list will enjoy and find interesting. They don’t just want to hear from you when you are ready to sell to them. Building a list is not enough, you also have to “keep them warm” and you do that by sending out regular interesting content.

Even when you sell something you should still give them some value in the email. Never just sell.

Don’t just think this should be for non-fiction authors, get anyone you can on your list as early as possible.

Expensive Products

At nearly $200 for their book, there is no doubt it was expensive and Robert mentions that if you are going to charge that much for a book it better be worth it. They intended to delivery far more than the cost of the book, not exactly a small feat, especially when you can pick up great non-fiction at a fraction of the price.

With the book they also included DVDs and a quick start guide. The quick start guide was to get people using the guide immediately, so they feel good about what they bought.

The Effect of Amazon

The ebook reader revolution didn’t really affect their sales, but they did find sales stated to dwindle due to Google changing the search rankings. They remained with their head in the sand for some time but eventually decided that it was time to investigate and the realised that there was a large market waiting to be tapped.

The did place the expensive book on Amazon but not as a Kindle book (it just wouldn’t work in that format). They did make major changes to the price with a black and white version being £30 and color being $80.  They still sell the book direct on their website for $100 with lots of extras.

The book sells well on Amazon so whie

Gabrielle started writing a recipe book of green smoothies which she put up as an ebook. This book is just a few dollars and so a significant shift away from the very expensive book they were marketing previously. What they found that was they could rank this ebook very easily at a low price, but people still wanted the paper back copy, which was more expensive (something common in the recipe book genre, where people want something they are comfortable using in the kitchen).

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Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Julius SEpisode # 56 – Exploring Book Pricing: From $0.99 to $199
  • robertscanlon

    Thanks for the interview, Simon!

    I found it strange that you have to make a disclaimer to a section of the audience who would prefer us not to talk about higher-priced products 🙂 Hopefully those who enjoy the idea that there is no such thing as a correct ‘price’, but only an exchange of value (and that this is 100% determined by the customer), will get something from this episode.

    If anyone has any questions, pop them in these comments and I’ll chime in where appropriate!

    Thanks again for such a brilliant job on the podcast, I am a dedicated listener 😉

    • Bryan

      Fantastic interview, Robert, Gabrielle and Simon! It was quite informative to hear about your experiences with physical products. I’ve always considered putting my writing prompts into a non-book physical format and this interview might help nudge me in that direction :).

      I’m also glad to hear that the BookBub primer tactic worked for Green Smoothie Magic. Congratulations on the success you’ve had so far and here’s to much, much more going forward!

      • SimonRSP

        Nice Bryan, glad you found some good takeaways 🙂

        • Bryan

          I always do, Simon :).

      • robertscanlon

        Hey Bryan – I’m glad you got something from it! Your tips for the BookBub primer worked a treat and will make us more planned for these things in the future.

        If you want to chat anytime about putting things into a non-physical book format, or want help, hit me up on Facebook (we’re friends there).

        Thanks!

        • Bryan

          Sounds like a plan! I’ll definitely drop you a line.

    • SimonRSP

      Hey Robert. You’re welcome it was great to have you on the show!

      Yep, I’m with you on the exchange of value, I just know that really high priced books can be a controversial topic, and just wanted to let people know that I don’t come down on one side of the fence or the other :).

      Thanks for offering to answer any questions!