Business Basics for Authors

Ebook Pricing: Is $4.99 the Sweet Spot?

$4.99 Ebooks Outearning All Other Price Points; $3.99 a Close Second

The person known as “Data Guy” who crunches the numbers at left a comment at The Passive Voice regarding ebook price points:

$9.99 ebooks outsell $14.99 ebooks by a huge margin in units


$9.99 ebooks outsell $14.99 ebooks by a huge DOLLAR margin, too, despite their lower price



Even when looking only at the Top 10 (outliers) for each price point, the pricing sweet spot at $9.99 or above seems to be $10.99 (with $9.99 running a close second).

The Top 10 bestselling ebooks at $12.99 and $14.99 generate fewer gross DOLLARS (as well as selling fewer units) than the Top 10 at $9.99 and $10.99.


But… $4.99 beats $9.99 in every category. It sells more units AND brings in more gross DOLLARS than any other price point. This is true even for the Top 10 Best Selling outliers at each price point.

The Top 500 Best Selling Kindle books priced at $4.99 are out-earning those at $9.99, $10.99, $12.99, $14.99, and every other price point.

(Below the Top 10, $3.99 runs a close second to $4.99.) Go here to read more.

I’ve blogged before about the pricing sweet spot, the price point that provides both maximum sales (for visibility) and maximum revenue. According to this chart, the sweet spot has increased since I began publishing in 2010. At that time, $2.99 was the sweet spot. Then, it increased to $3.99. Now, hey presto: $4.99.

This is the exact opposite of what everyone feared. People have been so concerned that $.99 ebook prices would essentially make content worthless, but that does not appear to be bearing out in reality.

Good news for authors!

3 thoughts on “Ebook Pricing: Is $4.99 the Sweet Spot?

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    You have created fantastic bar graphs for explaining information clearly. But speaking very frankly, I did not understood that which e-books are best for making massive profits? the high cost books or low cost ones?

    1. If I knew the answer to that question with certainty, I would give you the price plainly. However, there are too many factors involved in ebook pricing–genre, quality, time of year, market forces, etc.–to give a concrete answer. Experimentation is the key.

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