How do you price your e-Book to maximize on sales potential? I get this question all the time.
Sadly there’s no silver bullet book marketing strategy that will secure you success every time. There are some factors to keep in mind that should put you in the ballpark.
And if you’re an indie author, the ballpark is a great place to be, because you have book marketing flexibility. That lets you play with your pricing a bit to fine tune what seems to work best for where you’re at in your publishing career.
Because let’s be honest, as you become more established, with a strong following, you can command more per book.
But when you’re just starting out, and certainly if you’re new to the scene with fewer than 50 reviews, you have to price your e-Book in a way that lets buyers “take a chance” on an unknown author.
Price Your E-Book in the Sweet Spot
Kindle told me at a conference I was at not long ago that 2.99 to 5.99 is their sweet spot. With most eBooks actually sold at the $3.99 price.
Publishers are ALWAYS pricing their eBooks too high, anything over $9.99 is just nuts. And the whole strategy behind pushing people to your print book with an overpriced eBook is also nonsense.
This is not what authorship and publishing should be about. Most indie authors get this, but in case you’re intrigued by that strategy, just stop.
Do Your Research
An indie author should look at their market, what others are pricing at, and aim to be competitive with these prices.
It’s also important to know who your competition is. This is a big element of numerous book marketing strategies. It will serve you well when you price your e-Book too.
Your competition likely isn’t a big time bestselling author with a 20+ year publishing history or major movie franchise, so their pricing won’t help you.
Be realistic about who your competition is and follow suit.
Be Mindful of Industry Standards
One thing you should keep in mind is to price your e-Book based on book length.
So if you have a short novella, don’t try to sell it for 5.99 – that’s ridiculous. This is another area where scoping out the indie author competition can help you.
And if your book is a series and you have it available as a boxed set as well, be sure to double-check your math. Yes, it seems simple, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve realized I could buy the series as separate books for cheaper than the boxed set. This of course defeats the purpose of releasing a boxed set at all – certainly from a book marketing angle.
Understanding When to Use Free
Free books are getting a bit old, as in, the novelty is wearing off.
It used to be a really fun and effective way to make your e-Book stand out. With so many authors using this strategy, buyers are becoming more wary of free. Their free time is limited – no pun intended. So it doesn’t ensure big download numbers like it used to.
That being said, people still love free. A good deal will never go out of style. Authors are going to have to get more strategic with how their book marketing supports their free book – they’ll have to try harder. Free on its own won’t cut it anymore.
Permafree, however, is still a solid strategy for indie authors with a series.
Once you get to releasing book three, make your first in the series as a permafree to make starting the series a no-brainer. Once they start reading, they’ll be hooked and come back and buy the next book, right?
There are a few things to consider when you price your e-Book: the sweet spot, your competition, industry standards and the changing landscape of free.
Yes, you want to make money. Especially if you’re smart enough to invest in proper book marketing and self-promotion. Success is not free in publishing.
I want to discourage you from shooting yourself in the foot, so to speak. Don’t price your e-Book outside of what your market is comfortable spending. You won’t make your money back faster if you’re not selling any books in the first place.
And keep in mind, being an indie author means you’re also a business. Would you open a business and only focus on the short-term? I hope not!
Keep writing books, and more importantly, keep building your fan base. You’ll get to a point where you can price your e-Book in a way that gives you a sweet return on each sale.
Does this all seem like a bit too much? Contact me and I can walk you through your own personalized book marketing strategy.