Book marketinge-books

Ebook Pricing Experiment

This definitely falls under the Skidding in Sideways category. When I was challenged to self-publish and sell 1,000 copies, I had no idea how to go about it. I just waded in, doing my best to choose the right printer for the paperback and then formatting my book according to their guidelines. Then, I realized I needed an ebook. You can read my major ebook revelation on this blog. I learned all about ebook formatting and subsequently uploaded the Kindle edition.

Then came the pricing question.

Pricing the paperback was fairly obvious. CreateSpace, my printer, has a handy little program that tells you how much the book costs to print and how much Amazon or other distributors take as their cut. Then, I looked at the other books in the Austen sequel market, which were all priced in a fairly tight range. So I priced my book high enough not to owe money on each purchase but also on the low end of my fellow Austen-sequelers.

Pricing the ebook has been more difficult. Originally, I based my price on fellow Austen sequels, but the range was enormous: $.99 to $9.99! What is one to make of that? I just shot for the middle. As I did more research, I realized that many of these ebooks are suffering from inflated prices in an attempt to drive readers back to paperbacks. I don’t want anything to do with that.

While I certainly can’t complain about my ebook sales, I’m now considering an experiment in pricing. What is the market determined price for ebooks? There are lots of opinions out there and probably the optimum price point varies by book, but here’s the thing: I’ll never know if I don’t experiment.

So today I dropped the price of my ebook–on both Amazon (although it takes up to 24 hours for the change to be made there) and Smashwords–to what seems to be a proven price given current market conditions: $2.99. Will it be worth it? I have no idea. Will I lose money? I hope not. Will I make more sales? I hope so.

In any case, I’m looking at this as a learning experience and an experiment in economics. I’ll keep you updated on the results.

7 thoughts on “Ebook Pricing Experiment

  1. Well, I have a Kindle and when a book is priced at $0.99, I usually buy without guilt. If it's priced about $2.99, I may have a bit of guilt but if I've been a good girl and haven't purchased many books that month, I'll splurge. However at $5.99 or higher, I'll really debate and unless it's a book I REALLY want to read or NEED, I won't get it.

    Just my two cents.


  2. Thanks for the input, Clarissa. I've been really waffling over pricing. I figure in this economy I need to be thinking of my readers' pocketbooks. I want to share my book, and eventually, I'd like to make a career out of sharing quality books at good prices. I just have no idea what is the right price. LOL

  3. I've only purchased one or two ebooks and that was because it was the only format offered. I think if I had a reader, I'd be stocking up on a lot of titles from .99 to probably 3.99…I love that I can get more books for the same price I'd pay for one new!

    Your book is on my list–I'd hoped hubbers would get it to me for my birthday, but that's come and gone so I'm sitting here wondering why I haven't fixed that injustice yet. Hmmmm.

  4. My blog seems to have eaten my own comment. Thank you, Vicki, for having Charlotte on your to-read list. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing and sharing it.

    I also love the idea of inexpensive, but good quality, ebooks, and I'm hoping Santa will bring me a Kindle for Christmas.

  5. Ah please tell me the result of your experiment later, I've also published my first ebook recently on amazon and priced it at 4.99. I've been wondering if it's too high since Konrath suggested that 2.99 is the best price… Still filled with doubt tho since I'm a newly self-published author and don't have much experience in this.

    So if you'd be so kind to let us know later whether the 2.99 price point is better I'd really appreciate it 🙂

    here's my book on amazon btw, just fyi :):

    Cheers, and good luck with experiment!

    Oscar Simanjuntak

  6. Oscar, it's too soon to say for sure, but Konrath appears to be right. Will give full report at the end of the month.

    Congrats on your book.

  7. Jennifer,
    Just wanted to let you know that yours is the first book that I have purchased for my Kindle reader on my iTouch. It was an amazing price, and felt that I could indulge a little, without feeling guilty! Thank you for the opportunity to buy your book. I am new to the whole 'ebooks' and so far, I am loving it! Just wanted to let you know that the $2.99 price was a perfect selling point.
    Good luck and thanks for the site! Can't wait to get back to your book. Have enjoyed the first chapter so far!

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