Price Point Matters

If you’ve never been published before, people don’t know what kind of stories you write and they don’t know if you’re any good. What price (for an ebook), should you sell your book for? Book length has some bearing on the subject certainly. If you just released a modern day version of war and peace, I think that it is expected that the price point would be over $2.99. But what if your story hasn’t cracked two hundred pages? What word count would justify higher pricing?

I don’t know the answer to that question however I have read many articles saying that most ebooks should be priced initially at $2.99 and then do special events and offer coupons, offer free stories as a buy one get one free combination to entice readers. The thing is, you have to have a starting point. I recently had a question posed after a reviewer posted a review of my book. He asked why would he risk a buy of $2.99 to an unknown author when he could buy two or three stories and get three really great books for the price of my one book. It was a good question. I also read another article where a gentlemen detailed his sales pattern from offering a book at $2.99 and then lowering the book. He noted that it is harder to get one person to buy a book for $2.99 than it is to convince six people to spend $0.99. To make the same amount of profit from one sale at $2.99, if he offered the book at $0.99, it would take him six times that amount of people to earn the same profit.

What it comes down to is choice really and trial and error. I’ve gotten really positive reviews on my debut novella, Better Than 8 Fantasy out now (check out my books for buy links). I do plan to offer coupons and put my book on sale for a limited time after a bit. I think about how I buy books. If the story line intrigued me, if the cover was enticing, if the excerpt was interesting, I would spend up to a good $5 on an ebook.  What’s the most you would pay for an ebook? What prevents you from buying a book under $3? How do you view books priced at $0.99? Good, bad, indifferent?

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen C
    May 31, 2011 @ 21:27:54

    Last question first – I think I’m extraordinarily lucky if I can get an e-book at $.99. I look for them and I buy them. It gives me a chance to try new-to-me authors and different genres. I’ve been known to go back and buy an entire series if I really like the read/author’s style.

    The highest I’ll pay for an e-book? If it’s by an author I know and love, then I’ll go as high as $8.00. I have a limited book budget these days, so I may have to hold off until the price comes down – or until I’m really desperate to read that particular book (which usually happens first!).

    What prevents me from buying a book under $3.00? Page/word count would probably play a big part in that decision for me. I think $3 is a bit high for 60-70 pages – especially if the count includes the author info, dedication, etc. I think that places like B&N & Amazon should include the word and/or page count in the details. And, I think it’s one of the things that annoys (nice word usage here) people to pay anywhere between $4 – $7 and only get 60-70 pages!

    As I follow author web and blog sites, I’m learning more about the issues an author faces and sympathize, but, I’m not sure how to make it equitable for both the author and the reader.


  2. Patricia Royal
    May 31, 2011 @ 21:59:33

    I really don’t think $2.99 is that steep of a price for an ebook. I may be less willing to spend it on an author I don’t know but it’s like you said, if the cover is good, the description is good and sample is good what makes it so different than spending $14.99 or more on an unknown author in a bookstore?


    • Erin Jamison
      May 31, 2011 @ 22:02:59

      That is a really good point Patty. I have certainly picked up a book in a bookstore and paid at least that much or more depending on the cover, jacket, blurb, etc for an author I’ve never read before.


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