...I kind of got the feeling when I called the publisher a few days ago to lower the price of the ebook version of Last of the Grapefruit Wars from $5.99 to $2.99 that I was pulling teeth from a very upset lion.
I think the conflict came from the fact that the publisher is one of those mainstream Print-on-Demand services. Cutting the price in half seems like cutting half the money they'd be getting from selling that book.
Problem is, no one has been buying that many copies of my book (I'd say about two ebook purchases in the last year...) anyway. And I think the price of it at over 5 bucks was part of the problem.
The book itself is pretty small in terms of page count (in ebook version it's under 100 pages): calling it slim is being polite. But nobody is going to be buying a thin volume at over 5 bucks... when there are thicker-page-count novels going for less.
With the advent of direct publishing in ebook format, there is now a glut of self-published authors selling directly to the market. And as they don't have to share (much) with a mainstream publisher with the profits, those authors can set their price any way they see fit. And a lot of them are selling at 2.99 per ebook. So I might as well drop the price of Grapefruit Wars to that level as well.
It makes basic sense. If the demand is low, lower the value on what you have on supply to encourage people shopping for bargains. You just can't go too low to hamper the costs of producing said supply (this is where you get that economics chart of the supply-and-demand X crossing). Considering I paid Xlibris good money to have the short story anthology made available to direct-retail purchases, I think the costs of supply have been covered. Now it's just selling the damn thing (and marketing with Xlibris is another issue altogether)...
Still, I NEED to deal with advertising that ebook and let people know it is for 2.99 now...