Lately, I’ve been reading about the pros and cons of eBooks, specifically pricing.
As entertaining as it’s been to read the thinly veiled panic in some bloggers tone, I have to say this is a topic that many authors worry about.
Since I’m an avid reader and author I always weighed the pros and cons of different pricing from both points-of-view (I’m a Libra- that’s how we roll)
As an avid reader, I buy eBooks on a whim. If its sounds good and I have the extra cash, I’m buying it. There’s no rhyme or reason to my book buying process. I could download a ton of non-fiction books today and go on a YA Vampire fix tomorrow. But unless it was written by someone like George R.R. Martin, I refuse to spend more than $9.99 for an eBook. In my mind, how can an eBooks cost nearly the same as the printed version of the book?! It’s doesn’t make sense to me and it’s a complete turnoff. (Another turnoff: Authors who don’t have an eBooks version of their book available. I mean really!)
But as an author I understand and appreciate the effort put forth in creating your book. Book publishing is a business and you invested time and money into bringing your book to life. So of course you want to recoup your expenses and hopefully make a nice profit.
So, taking into account both POVs, here’s my <drum roll…trumpets blare>
Completely Unscientific, Un-Researched, Totally Bias Opinion on How to Price your eBook
Free: If you offer your book for free, I’m assuming it because it’s part of your sales funnel. Meaning, you’re using the eBook as a lead generator and as a way to generate interest for your other books or services. So, if you’re giving away your book for free and it’s not a part of your marketing strategy, why bother.
99 cents: Oh the dreaded 99 cents! Amazon (I’m guessing, since again this was un-researched) made this price point popular but how can you become a successful author by selling your book for less than a buck? Well, John Locke and Amanda Hocking did just that. They sold over a million copies of their books at this price tag. But one of the secrets to their success was having a book series. When a buyer read and love one book, they were eager to purchase another. So this pricing is especially great for new, self published authors who has a series of books.
$1.99: For some reason I rarely see this price so… no comment… moving on
$2.99: As a reader, this is the price tag that makes me buy a book on a whim. The low cost is right up my alley while the $2.99 price tag tells me the eBook potentially has some substance and value to it.
$3.99: Again I rarely see this price point. It’s as if $1.99 and $3.99 were sucked into a price-point vortex where few authors dare to venture.
$4.99-$5.99: Another good price point especially for fiction and self-published authors.
$6.99-$9.99: I’ve notice more well- known authors and nonfiction authors go this route. This price range is not a deal breaker but you won’t get as many “what the heck, I’ll take a chance” buy from new readers. At this price point they researched other books in the same category, asked their fellow book clubbers, Google your name, read the Amazon reviews and in general made a weighted decision to buy your book.
$10+: I would reserve this price range for nonfiction books and fiction authors with a large platform because at this price range: your writing better be top-notch, you ideas better be of value and your eBook better be worth paying the same price as a printed book.
But at the end of the day, contrary to what some people may have you believe, there’s no hard rule on eBook pricing. And like Yoda reminded Obi-Wan “only a Sith Lord deals in absolutes.”
As random as that last sentence is, you have no idea how happy I am to be able to throw in a Star Wars quote. Seriously…my lil’ nerd heart is filled with glee.