The perfect price for an ebook…is there such a thing?

ImageI’ve spent the last few months trying to polish up a novel that started off as a stress reliever for me. I needed to write something that would make me feel like my writing was worthwhile, especially since what I write everyday for a living is often ripped apart, watered down and then mistranslated to a point when I don’t even recognize it anymore. Well, that’s life. 

I think my novel may soon be ready to send out in the world. I am going to get some beta readers to give it a once-over again. I’ve also found someone to design my cover–Andrew Brown at Design for Writers. He was recommended to me by Kirsty Greenwood from Novelicious (one of my new favorite sites) and the author of Yours Truly

The book I’m planning on sending out into the world first is A Little Night Music, which I started for Nanowrimo 2009. I didn’t finish it on time. It took me another year to get a finished first draft. Then I tried to workshop it but it wasn’t always a very good experience. In the end, I decided to focus on revising it based on what jumped out at me. I think it’s pretty tight now. I like the story and the first beta reader liked it and gave me good feedback. 

So now as I contemplate how much I should charge for a novel as an ebook or as a POD edition, I can’t help thinking about an experiment I tried last week. I decided to try a free promotion for my Kindle-only short story, “Linger”. In three days, it was downloaded 200 times. Prior to that, I’d only sold around 20 copies.

Linger costs 99 cents, so now I wonder if the moral of the story is that people think it’s too much to pay for a short story. And if I publish a 75,000-word novel, will people pay $3.99 for it? Or will they expect me to charge 99 cents for it since so many other indie writers do this? 

I am always a little skeptical of books that are too cheap. If a novel is available for 99 cents the first week, then I think it’s a good promotion. If it’s always 99 cents, then I think it’s either not very good or the writer doesn’t value how much work went into their craft. But maybe that’s me being a book snob. 

So what do the rest of you think? How much would you be willing to pay for an ebook if it’s a full-length novel?