We recently wrote about Paulo Coelho
convincing his publisher, Harper Collins, to run an experiment, in which they offered up nearly all of his ebooks for just $0.99
(the one exception being his most famous book, The Alchemist
). In the comments, we had an interesting discussion, in which someone suggested that even dropping the price by 90% would mean it was unlikely that he got 10x more sales to make up the difference. Others pointed to similar experiments -- such as those by Valve
, in which dropping prices by large amounts increased sales by much, much larger percentages.
Paulo himself contacted us to share some of the initial results -- pointing out that, according to Amazon, the sales of a bunch of his books increased between about 4,000% and 6,500%. Yes, that's multi-thousands
of percent increases. I would think that more than made up for the difference in price...
While the screenshot just shows the top books, he noted that a similar pattern was seen on basically all of his books.
One hopes that this will send book publishers running to their nearest economics text or professor, so that they can be taught about price elasticity, and why lowering prices can often make you more money.