A while back, I wrote a post about the KU Conundrum & KU Conundrum Cont’d and how this is impacting author earnings. Yesterday, I wrote a RANT about why I will no longer be selling novel-length books for $0.99. (My serialized stories will still have parts that are available for $0.99 since their typically below 20K words)
I reached out to my Newsletter list of 5000+ readers (hoping to get 1000 responses) and got 700+responses to the following questions:
- Are you a member of Kindle Unlimited?
- How much do you spend each month on eBooks & Paperback Books? (not including your KU monthly subscription, if you have one)
- Do you prefer eBooks or Paperbacks?
- Where do you primarily buy eBooks?
- What’s the most $$$ you’ll spend on an eBook?
First, I wanted to know what % of my readers were members of the KU (Kindle Unlimited) program.
This informed me that less than half of my readers are in KU. As an author who has been adversely effected by the pages-read reporting flaws via KU, which Amazon is currently denying, I can still capture SALES instead of BORROWS from 58.2% of my readers.
Then, I wanted to know how much my readers are willing to spend on purchasing books each month.
I wanted to get an idea of what reader’s monthly budgets are which also helps me figure out their annual budgets for reading purchases. Thankfully, more than 65% are willing to spend $11 or more.
Next, I wanted to know what they preferred to read. eBooks, Paperbacks or both.
This was a pleasant surprise. I had anticipated about 70% to prefer eBooks. Turns out, it’s a nice balanced 53% that enjoy both. Which makes me wonder how many readers have purchased BOTH eBook and Paperback versions of books they loved.
Then, I wanted to know – where are you buying your books. This one was surprising. Overall market numbers dictate that Amazon dominates the market by 60-70%. Instead, a whopping 91% of my readers are purchasing/borrowing from Amazon. Yowsers!
And then we come to the final question, which is perhaps the most important one for me. What’s the most a reader will pay for an individual eBook?
I was glad to see that 72% are willing to pay $2.99+ for an eBook with a whopping 20% even willing to pay $6.99-$9.99. Since I’m not earning what I once used to by including eBooks in the KU program, I’ve had no choice but to pull them out and increase the prices for upcoming new releases.
Typically, more established writers can charge more. When you’re starting out as an INDIE author, to reach readers, authors will often keep their eBooks at $0.99 to entice readers new to their work. I’ve been publishing since 2012 and am established with over 5 years in publishing stories. I no longer care if I lose the business of those who only buy $0.99 eBooks. I’d rather lose sales that don’t really add up to much of a profit and instead entice NEW readers with copies of older stories that I provide for FREE. Something that I’ve always done over the years since I myself have sampled a lot of other authors’ books for FREE and then gone on to purchase other titles written by them. Yes, for more than $0.99.
Ruby / Emerald / Amber / Maddy / Cherry
p.s. Authors, if you would like your readers to participate in the study, please send them HERE. They do *not* have to provide an email address and can remain anonymous. Those who do, will get a FREE story.