Book pricing strategy - book marketing guide #6

When you finally finish polishing your book cover and description, the next step is one of the biggest pleasures of self-publishing world: the day when you upload your book via self-publishing platforms and make it available to be bought and read. When self-publishing, you can control one of the biggest sale factors - the price of your book. You should think your book pricing strategy over, and think it over well, as it will determine many details of the following marketing actions. We will discuss the book pricing strategy using an example of the biggest self-publishing platform which is Amazon KDP, but the matters mentioned below also apply to other marketplaces such as Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Itunes, Smashwords and other.


  •  First of all, you have to remember that ebook readers expect the electronic books to be significantly cheaper than the printed versions. This has caused a big discussion among the big publishers, and they still try to set the ebook price at a quite high – 70-or-more - percent of the cost of the printed version of a book. This is done to maximize their income. However, there is a second big discussion going on, on reader forums, where a majority of ebook readers agrees that the price they see as fair should be around 50% of the cost of the printed version.
  •  Amazon KDP system gives you two options for pricing your book. The main range of price that they encourage you to choose is between $2.99 and $9.99. If you price your book within that range, you earn 70% royalty. If your book is priced below $2.99 or over $9.99, you earn 35% royalty.
  •  Your book should not be priced too low (the only exception are first books in a series, priced lower to encourage readers to start the series, perma-free books or so-called lead generating books) as sometimes this too low price makes potential readers hesistate about the content of the book.
  • Your book should not be priced too high (the exception are the highly-specialised books with valuable and rare knowledge) - many publishers believe that (in 2014) $7.90 is a price point that should not be crossed because price higher than this kills the sales.
  • You should do a thorough research, and note the prices of the bestselling books in your field. Now, we shall reveal the big but simple secret of some notable publishing companies: note the price of ten bestselling books of your genre, calculate the average of all ten, and round down to a 90% of the average result. This simple method is a quick way of getting a solid candidate for your retail price.
  • If you still doubt your price, there is a proven choice - $4.99. We have asked many authors, who report that after many experiments, they return to that amount as the best choice that balances the 70% royalty option and  reader accessibility.

In the next chapter of our book promotion guide, we will talk about importance of honest reviews of your ebook. Meanwhile, promote your ebook by submitting it to our site!

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