Many people think that marketing is just taking out ads and posting about their book everywhere. Marketing is a very complicated part of a business including that of being an author. What many authors, especially self-published and indie authors, forget is that good marketing includes finding the right price for your book.
In this article, I’ll focus more on eBook pricing as that seems to be the most overlooked and dangerous price marketing area. Let’s start with what attracts you to a book price-wise.
Do you eagerly look for books that are free? I know that I periodically go through sites and download as many as I can find that appeal to me. Free gets my attention, but free books are only done periodically. They are great to get attention for your book and generate more reviews. So, what do I suggest? Periodically, offer your book for free to help keep attention on it.
Now, for actual pricing…
Should your book be set at $.99, $1.99, or $7.99? That is a good question. It is one that can easily be debated on any forum. Many authors scoff at low pricing of books while many others are horrified at the higher priced eBooks. So, what is the right price to get sales for your book? Let’s explore each pricing structure.
The $.99 books are ones that easily get bought. They are cheap. That makes them appealing when a reader is looking for new authors. The book might sound interesting, but if they have never heard of the author or the reviews are pretty iffy, they won’t want to pay six or seven dollars for it. For about a buck, they might be willing to give a new author a try. This price is great for the first few books of a new author as well as the first in a series. In a series, many people are reluctant to spend much on that first book. But if they really like it, they’ll be willing to spend more for the next books. Get the readers with a lower cost book and keep them with reasonable priced ones.
The drawback to a book being priced at or below $1 is that many people see them as inferior works. They see them as writers who just want to get money or did not spend the money on good covers, editing, and marketing. Sadly, that is true in some cases, but there are many great authors who like to just price their books low for exposure and so their readers can access them easily without breaking the bank.
Up to $2.99
From there, the next pricing tier is $1.99 to $2.99. Many authors tend to price in ranges. This is actually a very safe range. The price is low enough that most readers are willing to pay for an interesting book. It is high enough to not be considered inferior by many. Will you get more sales at this tier than at $.99? It all depends on the book and the genre. Some books sell more at $.99 though they do not get as much in royalties, while others sell more in this tier which of course shows them a larger percentage of royalties.
The next tier is anything above $3. This is the danger zone. To some, only the good books are priced this high, but if sales don’t occur due to a high price, then is it really worth being put in this category? For some authors, readers are more than willing to shell out a little more to be able to get a copy of their book in seconds. But even the most popular authors have many fans who stop and reconsider purchasing their eBook when they see it priced at $7.99 or something similar. To them it is not worth it. They’ll just buy a print copy or look for it at the library.
So what is the verdict? If you are new author, consider having at least a few of your books priced at $.99 in order to take the risk takers and expand your fan base. If you really want to feel safe about your books, price them at the next tier at either $1.99 or $2.99. Pricing a book higher than that can get you lots more money but the number of sales will be lower and many potential readers will be turned away at high prices. Most readers know they can get their favorite books cheaper other ways, and they rarely if ever will risk a lot of money on an author they have never experienced before.
The key is to play with your pricing. It could vary based on your genre, the time of year, and the latest trends. You can always change the price.