How much should I sell my book for?


I’m hoping to post a 20% demo in a couple months. And I think that although a great length doesn’t do it all, it definitely does a great deal of good. I prefer long books to short ones


So, from what I understand…

*if price = $0
    *set exposure "High"
    *set cheapo_disposition (cheapo_disposition > 9000)
    *set potential_for_following true
    *set profit (sale * 0)
*elseif price <= $3.99
    *set exposure "Okay"
    *set cheapo_disposition 0
    *set profit ((sale * 3.99) - taxes)
    *set exposure "Ehhh..."
    *set cheapo_disposition NOPE
    *set profit ((sale * price) - taxes)

Well, the code wouldn’t work anyway.


You can still gain a following with a decently low priced game ($0.99 - $3.99). You just have to be aggressive with spreading the word (and the higher the price, the more aggressive your marketing will probably have to be.)

I’m in favor with releasing your first work for free as well, just to establish yourself as a an author worth buying future games from. The only problem with that strategy is if your next work is a direct sequel, it might give the impression that you were trying to deceive the customers into thinking it’s free when they had to buy “the rest of the game”. That, by itself and regardless of quality, can lead to bad reviews down the line (as I believe @jimD has stated somewhere before).

Also, the higher the price, the higher people’s expectations for the game will be. That’s especially true if it’s sold right along side other games that a buyer can easily can compare it to (as is what tends to happen in Hosted/CoG reviews).


Precisely:P except the free book profit would be more like * 0.01

Truthfully, the matter is much more precarious than it should be. People shouldn’t expect the authors to give these away for free when we take years writing them.


Your first game is worth something. Don’t give it away for free. Value your game and all of the time you’ve put into creating it.

Simple maths. You have to sell four times as many books at $1 as $4, and twice as many at $2 as $4 to make the same amount of profit. At the same time the more people pay for a game the more likely they will complain if it’s not excellent, and the fewer people who purchase that game, the fewer reviews you’ll have so the bad ones will stick out and dissuade others from purchasing it.

So it’s a gamble. I’d be far more interesting in taking the gamble of selling my game for $4 than giving it away for free, or next to free.


Indeed. Unfortunately, you can’t force people to consider the effort behind something. It’s not particularly fair, but that sort of expectation seems to be the trend with digitally distributed media these days, especially when a precedent for releasing free products has already been set in the same market. :frowning:


I’ve actually been toying with the idea of writing up a small (5-10k word) story and releasing it for free, just to get people interested in my work. Maybe a smaller, self-contained “sample” like that would work better when it comes to getting people interested?


15 to 20% as a free demo is fair. Would be better if it could represent the goodness of the rest of the content, as in not to mislead, so that your “free” audience know what they’re going to buy should they choose so. As for the figure itself I think anything below 3 bucks shouldn’t be complained about; there’s something with certain people who are too cheap to pay for anything.

Otherwise you can always go the free route, provided you have a solid workaround to monetize your work - we all heard that in-game ads is no longer one of them. Chris Anderson kind of explained teh whole free psychology in less scientific jargons (ironically I bought his book, which wasn’t free on my end).


@DJ_CUTY i think four euros or 3’6 its rather expensive for the most of younger audience. Wizard choice series cost like 2’26€ in Europe i suppose like 3 $? they trick is pick a large story and sell it in chunks. you could do something similar you could go for your work more money.

But if game cost more than 4€ the double of the others choice games i want a big extra. Tin man have soundtrack and graphics and about twenty illustrations. And except two their prize is unjustified so i only buy two of their games the fact they don’t have demo make them lost a good client.

I if i were you sell the game around 3€ more than that could people only play the demo and say ah too expensive. Remember great part of your target audience are teens.


Yes if it to expensive teens like me carnt afford to buy it
Hope it helps


@Cataphrak I have thought of doing something like that myself for what will likely be my magnum opus idea, like a spin-off set in the same world, though I’ll probably have it cheap rather than free. But certainly with say Allen’s stuff, because I had seen Marine Raider I knew I wanted to check out Apex Patrol, and from that Tin Star


@JLBH2000 Do you know how much the authors get per sale? And how many sales they generally get? How much is generally made off these games? They’re not making large sums of money.

Admittedly, I’d have thought the numbers they are making are huge when I was a teen. Speaking of being a teen, when I was a teen I skipped lunch for a week, saving up my money every day, and walked home (an hour up-hill) instead of catching a bus, so I could afford a book. Yeah I really liked reading.

I’m not a teen now but I do know what it’s like to count every penny. I do generally think about every purchase I make. That £1-£3 for a choice game isn’t insignificant to me.

Surely if you really want a game it’s worth saving up to get it? And also be happy knowing that you’re paying so that more games that are similar can be made.

The hosted games sell in far smaller quantities than the official games. The authors need to purchase their own artwork, advertising and copy-editing, unless they’re talented enough to be able to do that themselves, or have someone do it for free for them.

With your money, hard-earned as it is, meaning as much as it does to you, you can make a difference.



out of curiosity is your 275k word count story alone or are you including code as well?


…and pay my tuition so I can finally finish my degree.

The problem with pricing games too low is the fact that most people who won’t buy an IF for $2.99 won’t buy one for $0.99. I remember what it was like to be a teen and have no money to spend on anything (Once I saved an entire summer to get one game) but the fact remains that if I put up “Sabres of Infinity” for $0.99, I’d get about 16 cents a sale, as opposed to the 50-ish cents a sale I actually do get.



I was just relaying the costs directly related to the game production, no living expenses or anything else. Which isn’t to disregard you and your degree. I didn’t even mention tax as one of the costs in there since that depends on where you live, if, and how much, you’re getting taxed on what you make.

I agree with you. If people won’t pay $2.99 they won’t pay $1. I find it hard to think that you’ll get 3x as many sales on a $1 as a $3 one. Gone are the days when ad revenue can possibly cover the cost of gamebooks, even if Choice of Games wasn’t banned from google adsense.


Well i will be rare but i don’t buy gamebooks only 0,99 and buy others who cost five or more. Its the quality what cach my attention. And demos. there are demos so bad done that i never download real game even if they give me money. And the real game could be great, but they cut game in bad places make it look like crap.


Hey everyone, thanks for the great feedback! I’ve taken it all into account and I’ve decided that I’ll aim for $3.99.

@Cataphrack and @FairyGodFeather
Yeah- like I said before, if I’m gonna put a price on it, I’m gonna make that price as high as possible because about the same amount of people will buy it regardless of whether it’s 1 or $4.

@Nocturnal Code
I haven’t finished writing the entire code or book, so 275K is just an estimate, but it includes the code. I’ll tell you guys how long it is exactly when it’s released. But it’ll probably be about 6 times the length of CotD.


My game is about 214k words (story + code) and I’m nearly finished. I think some people don’t realise just how much time and effort we put into our games. Good luck with this :slight_smile:


Exactly! But that’s awesome and I can’t wait to see it


Out of interest DJ.CUTY, since I don’t think it’s been mentioned anywhere… what sort of genre or game type is the book series you have in mind?