Anthology Update: PRICING: Free, $0.99, or something else? What do YOU do as a shopper?

your humble anthology editor

Whether you plan to send a story for the anthology or not, I need your help.


We are all consumers. What strikes you as the best strategy here?

Free or $0.99, or something else?

What has YOUR buying experience been in the past?


The idea for an anthology was hatched after or during my second Word Weaver Writing Contest when we received so many good stories, I thought – hey, somebody needs to publish these…


Then I thought, hey – maybe I should publish these!


I’ve never participated in an anthology before, let alone produced and edited one, so I’m learning as I go. (But I have 18 published titles, a string of bestsellers, and I’ve been translated into 12 different languages and am read all over the word –  so I figured, how hard could it be?) So far, not very hard.

THE PLAN: A bunch of us will write scary stories in August, get them edited and compiled in September, and put the book out to market all through Halloween month, October.


20 or so authors all helping market each other. That ought to get a few new eyeballs onto each of our respective websites and blogs!


Most of the stories have been submitted. I’ve reviewed 99% of them and sent back my suggestions; the stories are either resubmitted by now or are in process. (The deadline for an initial submission Sept 1.)


The Box Under The Bed

Right now, our working title is The Box Under The Bed and the main image for the cover is a scary eyeball. If you check the links for those items on my blog, you’ll see I pretty much ask stuff openly and let the input flow, because I can “poison the well” by admitting I like something; then a lot of my blog readers tend to agree. Here, I suggested titles and images, and the readers chose the ones they liked from my suggestions, while adding their own. We got the most interest for The Box Under The Bed and the scary eyeball image for the cover.


To be honest, it may have been somebody else who initially suggested The Box Under The Bed.

(If it was you, come forward and be recognized. Great title!)

I anticipate there will be no cost for contributing authors, and probably the book will be priced at $0, but that has yet to be decided. The theory, “what I pay for, I read” may apply here, and we want readers. I see anthologies for $4.99 with 2 reviews after almost a year and think that’s the wrong decision, but I’m not locked in either way.

My thinking is:

  • Price it free and then market the heck out of it, so we all get tons of exposure, OR

  • List it at $0.99 and market the heck out of it so we all get tons of exposure.

I think exposure is the goal.

Getting 20 people to all pull the marketing cart is the huge.

20 Twitter storms.

20 blog announcements.

20 Facebook shouts of pride.

20 happy, enthusiastic authors all beaming about how their little anthology is climbing the charts.

It’ll be a marketing course you’ll ALL be participating in.

Yeah, ALL of you. Because whether you enter a story in the anthology or not, you’ll be seeing and hearing about how it goes – and helping, I hope.

Most new authors will need help in marketing anyway, and exposing our stories to 19 other audiences should result in a few new fans for each of us. Pricing higher than $0.99 for a bunch of basically unknown authors probably will result in very few sales and therefore very little exposure, and I think exposure is the goal.

The only reason I can see to even price it at $0.99 is so people are more committed and actually read it, as opposed to a zillion downloads to free book hoarders who grab free books and don’t read them. That said, a free book can be out there working all the time as a free sample, getting try something new from each of us at no risk to the reader, and a free book pushed hard by a lot of people will almost certainly land us on a few #1 lists – which never hurts for marketing purposes.

It’s a question to still be answered, obviously.


If we charge, I have no idea how to split up any revenues, but I anticipate minimal costs, which, free or $0.99, I’d probably pay for and tell everyone the costs and ask them to pay a share. (I doubt it’ll be over $100, so everybody ought to be able to kick in $5, you know? But right now I’m not asking anyone to do that; I might pay all the costs and then collect royalties to cover, THEN split up any profits equally.)

Help me out:

  • If you’ve ever participated in an anthology, what’s your experience been?

  • If you’ve bought books from an author who was other than your known favorite, from someone new and unknown to you, WHY did you – and does free get you to read, or does $0.99 – or something else?

  • Free or $0.99? What do YOU do as a shopper?

Give me your thoughts.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.

7 thoughts on “Anthology Update: PRICING: Free, $0.99, or something else? What do YOU do as a shopper?

  1. My experience … I’ve stopped downloading free books, I can’t think of one I’ve read and I’ve started deleting them from my Kindle. I buy book every week at about 0.99/1.99 (sterling or dollars) and I do read them; finish is another thing! Free KIndle samples are the key for me; you’ve got to peak my interest in the first chapter or I move on. And then there are the increasing number of folk who are ditching e-books and going back to paper. Perhaps it would be an idea to charge for the e-book and build up a fund for putting out a paperback. I’ve had a story published in an anthology which was free (via Lulu) and you wouldn’t know its out there … promotion and publicity of any kind is vital – anthologies are a hard sell. But we’ll change that won’t we!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The key to selling anything is having proper marketing. There are lots of ways to spend money and do bad marketing. There are many fewer ways to market properly. Hopefully, we can figure out how to market the anthology probably. I think so.


  2. As an author I’m averse to perma-free although I don’t mind doing free promotions. Am I correct in thinking the zon does not permit prema-free. I think 0.99 ($, £, €) and what ever the equivalent is fur rupees, yen etc.). By all means do a free promotion but for a limited period only. In the expectation that royalties will not amount to a huge amount once divided between 20 of us, I’d be happy to see them donated to a charity of your choice. (Or we could each nominate a charity and then vote on it!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going back and forth between the free vs. the 99 cent option. Sometimes when I see free, I think…ugh, why is it free, but then I’ve gotten some excellent free books.
      If we do decide on donating to a charity, Houston needs every bit of help we can give. Every bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What we want to do is figure out what is the best way to get us to our ultimate goal.

        We want people to learn about all these different authors and buy books from these authors.

        So ultimately we want paying customers.

        But it’s not too hard to give stuff away for free and realize maybe 80% of them aren’t going to be read but the 20% that do get read might result in good stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The only problem with donating the money to a charity is then people start saying the proceeds go to charity and people start buying the books so they can donate to the charity instead of marketing the book to people who want to find out about these authors and read more of those stories.


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