I'm breaking my usual absence of posts at the weekend to comment on the Amazon Kindle spring sale. They have a range of new books on sale at ridiculously cheap prices. I'm most interest because my latest book (which hasn't been mentioned here because it technically doesn't come out until 5 April, though it has been spotted in Waterstones) The Universe Inside You is one of these books, just 99p in the UK and $1.57 in the US.
Some have questioned whether it makes good business sense to sell a book that costs £12.99 (admittedly often quite heavily discounted from this) for just 99p in ebook form. I think as long as it is a limited duration offer, as this is, it makes a very good way of drawing a new book to people's attention. After all, for 99p it is surely worth taking a punt - and with awareness enhanced, it will hopefully then be more obvious as a print book.
The process started yesterday and so far it seems to be going pretty well. At the time of writing, The Universe Inside You is the #54 bestselling paid Kindle book in the UK, second only to The Selfish Gene (also currently 99p) in science.
I'll be posting some more detail about The Universe Inside You in a few days time... for the moment, it is an interesting reflection of the benefits ebooks bring. You can't do this sort of promotional pricing on real books, but ebooks give the flexibility to use a short-term discount to draw attention to both the electronic and paper versions.