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Thursday, April 14, 2016

What to Charge for Anthologies or Boxed Sets? by Marianne Stephens

Boxed Sets/Anthologies seem to be popular with readers. X number of stories in one book. It's a chance to sample different writing styles, genres, and find new authors. much should authors charge for it?

While $.99 has been a hit with readers, are authors devaluing their works/talent? Difficult decision to make.

Yes, readers love this price. It's great for new/little\known authors to find buyers. But what about authors with followers? Authors who've been on best selling lists? 

I'm torn trying to figure this out. I've been in two anthology groups. One pubs 4 times a year. The other, so far, only once a year. This group received 3rd place in the P&E anthology poll rating. Both groups charged $.99.

I'll soon be in another group with a new boxed set. We're looking at pricing. Lots of best selling authors. What should we do?

As an author, what do you think about selling a boxed set/anthology for $.99?
As a reader, is that the limit you set for yourself in buying a boxed set/anthology? Does it matter what authors have stories?

I'm like to hear your comments!



Liz Crowe said...

Having been part of several boxed sets with truly mixed results I think the day of the .99 boxed set should end. Maybe to start, for a day or 2 but $1.99 or even more is a more fair price to pay. Happy Birthday Marianne!!!!!

Renee Vincent said...

It seems that readers have become accustomed to that $0.99 price, and it's difficult to get them to purchase books above it. I feel your pain, Marianne, because with that sale price, authors make very little from it in royalties, especially when in a multi-author boxed set.

What we've done at times has been to offer the 99¢ price at a pre-order, with the price going up after release day. This gives reader the incentive to buy now at a discount, and authors a chance to hit a list with a influx of sales before release day.

Perhaps that would help your dilemma?

BTW, happy birthday to you!!! ♥♥♥

Tamara Hughes said...

I don't think I'm going to be much help here. I don't really buy box sets and I've never participated in one. As a writer, I understand the pricing and the purpose, but the 99 cent price also bothers me. I feel it lowers expectations of readers as to how much they should pay for books, but as I said, I get why it's done.

Cara Marsi said...

I share your concern, Marianne. I think readers love the 99 cent boxed sets, but I think it will ultimately hurt us authors by taking away sales of our individual books and setting up expectations to readers that all books should be 99 cents. I'm participating in several boxed sets and I'm torn. I'm making money with some but I worry about what so many sets at 99 cents will do overall.

Tina Donahue said...

We're in a lousy economy no matter what the MSM says. Sure, it's great for the 1%. For the 99% not so much. Layoffs every week. Stagnant wages. Rising healthcare costs. With that staring at people, discretionary income is pretty weak and the first thing to go is nonessential entertainment - ie: books. I believe pricing the sets above 99¢ may bring a little more into the group, but the reach won't be as far. Boxsets aren't to get rich. They're to cast the net widely to snag new readers who may buy your higher priced books. They're also to keep your name out there so the readers don't forget about you.

M. S. Spencer said...

I agree with Liz. 99 cents is just too low--if someone isn't willing to spend $2 for 20 stories, then they won't spend $1. If the anthology/set has at least one author familiar to them (another aspect to think about), then the reader may be more willing to take a chance. I have been in two holiday anthologies that did very well and sold for $3 and $16 (paper). Renee's idea is good too--my new publisher offers new releases at 50% off for the first day or so to get things rolling. Don't know yet how that worked.
By the way, I hope you won't spend YOUR BIRTHDAY reading comments! Meredith

vicki batman said...

Hi, Marianne! As a writer who writes a lot of short stories, anthologies are good for me. I've actually made money by anthologies too. The 99cent price point is more about quantity. And hitting a huge number makes lists. And hopefully, finds readers. It's a tough business.

Melissa Keir said...

Happy Birthday Marianne. I've been doing pretty well in the box sets and the price is always one draw. People are more willing to take a chance on a set that includes authors that they don't know.

I do agree that people don't value books and authors' works. They want it for nothing and that can only keep the prices low for everyone.

Michele Zurlo said...

I'm in a 99 cent anthology, and we had this discussion not long ago. I think 99cents is a great pre-order price for an anthology, but I think we're devaluing months of work when we sell a box set so cheaply. It's like most industries dominated by women--undervalued.

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