US thriller author C.J. Lyons topped the Kindle charts at the weekend with an offer that put her Hart & Drake and Shadow Ops titles down to just 99 cents. The success of the promotion goes some way towards proving that the 99 cent price point can still be effective, provided it’s handled properly.
Lyons was already succesful, though not a household name, when the promotion went live. The key point now will be to see whether the success of the promotion carries through to an increased profile and, crucially, more sales over the long-term now that her books are back up to their usual price (usually around $5). At the time of writing, it looks like the Hart & Drake series has received a particular boost.
The key point is that 99 cents was touted as a special offer price, so even readers who would normally avoid such low-priced books were probably tempted. As the debate over pricing rages, it’s tempting to see this as proof that many readers see 99 cents as too low for a regular price but acceptable for a temporary discount.