First self-published author to sell a million copies credits 99-cent pricing, 6/20/11

Crime novelist John Locke has become the first independent author to sell more than 1 million ebooks through Kindle's Direct Publishing program, Amazon announced Monday.  The author, a self-described "niche marketer" who attributes much of his success to his $0.99 pricing model, has self-published nine novels through the Kindle Store, including New York Times bestselling ebook Saving Rachel, as well as his first non-fiction title, How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months.  Locke pockets approximately 35 cents of every ebook he sells through Amazon. He has never had a traditional agent or publisher. He joins seven other authors, including Stieg Larsson and Nora Roberts, in the "Kindle Million Club." 


Commentary: You pay $5.99 for a mocha.  Why not for a book?

Author Catherynne M. Valente, 3/20/11

Ultimately, I'm a little tired of people telling me my work isn't worth very much. That we should accept [very low] price points without hesitation or consideration, that all units are the same units, all art is the same art. Obviously, sculpture, paintings, murals, and jewelry should also all cost 99 cents each. Actors should only get paid 99 cents per performance. Dancers should only get 99 cents per dance. Architects should get 99 cents per building. Concerts should also charge 99 cents admission. It's all art -- the units are all interchangeable, and should all be tied to iTunes pricing.  This is madness, to me.  Because of the 99 cents model on iTunes (and piracy), most musicians who are not the Black Eyed Peas or some such have moved to a donations model to support themselves and continue to make albums. Writers do this too -- we all have tip jars, but far fewer people throw in because writing in general gets a bit shat upon as an art form.   Do I think ebooks are priced too high?  Probably. I think the price should be more like a mass market paperback -- which is not 99 cents, you'll notice.   You pay 5.99 for a mocha, dude. Why would you not pay it for a book?


Commentary: Is Lady Gaga's new CD worth more than 99 cents?

Steve Knopper, Rolling Stone magazine, 6/15/11

Every time [] stamps a ridiculous price on an MP3 album, like Lady Gaga's 99-cent Born This Way a couple weeks ago, or albums by Yeasayer and Vampire Weekend last year, sales push the album into Billboard's Top 10. This week's example: the Book of Mormon soundtrack.  Amazon's four-day, $1.99 sale and corresponding Twitter marketing ultimately boosted it to 61,000 sales and #3 [chart position].  You can't really do more to market an album than Lady Gaga did for Born This Way.  But her album sold just 100,000 copies in Week 3. This is the world's biggest pop superstar? Yes, she sold more than one million in her first week, but she needed Amazon's dirt-cheap promotion to do it. The Wall Street Journal asked Gaga if she thought Born This Way was worth more than 99 cents, and she responded: "No! I absolutely do not. Especially for MP3s and digital music. It's invisible - it's in space. If anything I applaud a company like Amazon for equating the value of digital versus the physical copy, and giving the opportunity to everyone to buy music." Now that was a smart answer. No doubt Gaga understands that cheap or free music leads to greater connections with fans, whose loyalty leads them to buy more stuff later. (That said, Amazon took the loss on the 99-cent promotion - Gaga, and her record label, still got the royalties they would have received if Amazon had sold the album at full price.)


Commentary: For tickets, I use the same approach I bring to a 99-Cent store

John Schaefer, WNYC [Public Radio] blog Soundcheck, 6/15/11

With tickets, whether to concerts or sports events, I now use the same approach that I bring to, say, a 99 Cent store.  You don't really expect to get anything for 99 cents.  Usually, you have to expect about a 20% surcharge when all's said and done.  Unless you're buying on StubHub or one of those other resellers, in which case you prepare to pay what in the old days you would've paid a scalper standing outside the venue.  A scalper who is the only one left with tickets and who can name his price.   So what's the solution, if this is just the "cost of doing business"?  Well, you're not gonna like this, but the solution is -- stop doing business. I'm a lifelong Yankee fan but I have refused to buy tickets to their games since the early 90s, when the prices first started achieving escape velocity, at least from my financial atmosphere.  Want to see Lady Gaga's latest musical show but don't want to pay a week's salary to do it?  Then go see a moderately priced singer/songwriter at Joe's Pub, or some similar place where the next Lady Gaga may be emerging.  You can support a deserving artist, have that great live music experience, and maybe have enough money left over to pay [your] phone bill. 


Cinemark offers $1 kids' tix, while AMC cancels its cheap tix due to low attendance, 6/7/11

Cinemark Theatres has an awesome promotion going on through the Summer. Each week they will be showing kids' movies for $1.00 a ticket if purchased at the box office!  The deal gets even better; you can pre-order 10 Shows for $5.00 by purchasing a punch card, but act fast as this deal doesn't last long. Go here to find a location near you and click on your specific location to see a list of the shows & showtimes.  AMC Theaters offered cheap movies last year as well, but sadly this year they have cancelled the program due to lack of attendance in the recent years

FROM TC: Select Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres are also offering selected G or PG rated movies for only a dollar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am.




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