Is There A Stigma Attached To "Bargain Book" Prices?

When I recently did my sale, I looked around at various websites to find places where I could promote.  Imagine my surprise when I found a number of places insisted that the "bargain price" for a book had to be no more than $2.99.

At that moment I paused and thought to myself, "Wait a minute, that's the regular asking price for one of my e-books.  Are you telling me I've been offering my book at a 'bargain price' this whole time?"  Now, taking a step back for a moment, let me explain how I've priced my books.

Number 1 - I'm still a newbie in the book world.  I don't have a huge following.

Number 2 - I had gotten the impression that lower prices would help promote sales.

Number 3 - I've been down a path where finances are tight for the last seven years, so I'm rather sympathetic to people having a hard time.  So I try not to price my books out of people's reach.

Now both my books weigh in at over 100,000 words a piece.  Yet I am seeing more and more novels that are much shorter (down to under 10,000 words) being priced at $3.99, $4.99 and even $5.99.  Now many of these are being done by Indie Authors like myself and are hitting Amazon, Smashwords and other bestseller lists.

So then I checked to see if this phenomenon was due to what kind of genres the authors were working in, to see if that was a determining factor.  The results were that this was happening across the board, and not just an isolated genre.

At this point I started noticing articles talking about how lower priced books weren't really worth reading except as an 'impulse' buy.  "If they're so cheap, they can't be all that good..." being the usual argument.  The "You get what you paid for..." mentality seems to be in effect here as well, leading people to think they have to spend a lot of money to get a decent story to read.

So that brings me to my main question.  Is there a stigma attached to bargain-priced e-books?  Do they not sell as well or seem as attractive to prospective buyers because of a low price?

I have no clue on this one so I'm hoping to hear back from all of you for your comments and opinions.  Please leave them in the comment section below.  Remember, the purpose of this blog is to pool and share knowledge so everyone can learn from mistakes or successful ideas.  I know I for one will be reading the replies with great interest.

So until next time when I talk about "Genres and what defines them these days", take care and keep writing.


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