Self-publishing gives authors complete control over the writing and marketing process of their book. However, even successful indie authors can do little more than guess when it comes to breaking down the intricacies of assigning value to their work. If the issue of ebook pricing has left you feeling dazed and confused, don’t be discouraged. The best thing you can do is to run a variety of pricing tests and track your results.
Self-publishing gives authors complete control over the writing and marketing process of their book. While this feeling of power may bring a sense of peace during the writing phase of your project, your comfort may begin to unravel as you face numerous uncertainties about getting your masterpiece into the hands of the masses. And the first and foremost of marketing strategies to decipher will ultimately lay the foundation for your entire promotional plan – ebook pricing. How much should you charge for your book?
With ebook pricing, the waters are still a bit murky. Even successful indie authors can do little more than guess when it comes to breaking down the intricacies of assigning value to their work. Of course as an indie you can always choose a price and change it as often as you see fit until you hit that sweet spot (where your ebooks are flying off the virtual shelves). But still, where do you begin?
How to Assign the Right Value to Your Work
If the issue of ebook pricing has left you feeling dazed and confused, don’t be discouraged. Here are some suggestions on how to make an informed choice when it comes to deciding the best price point for your book:
1. Offer Your Book for Free
At first glance the suggestion of a free book offering may sound strange given the topic of ebook pricing. However, if you “peel the banana back” you’ll find that giving your book away can pave the way for collecting a lot of helpful data on the best ebook price points. Simply distribute a questionnaire (to those whom you’ve graced with a free copy) asking the following: How much money would you pay for this ebook? How would you quantify the value you’ve received from the contents of this book? How much have you spent on other books in this same genre? If you can obtain feedback from at least 5 to 10 individuals, you should have a good starting point for pricing your ebook.
2. Set Goals
When determining ebook pricing, you should ask yourself what you want to achieve financially. Some authors hope to recoup all the money they’ve spent on expenses like editing and cover art in addition to making a hefty profit. Others just want to get their name out there and couldn’t care less whether or not they make a dime. For them, the goal is to craft a reputation and then use that notoriety to sell their next book at a premium price. So you should first figure out your financial goals and then set a price that helps you achieve those goals.
3. Consider the Medium
What medium are you going to use to sell your books? Different mediums tend to bring different ebook pricing considerations to the table. For instance, most major self-publishing companies will take a portion of the money you make on each sale. Amazon typically gives you 70 percent of your profit on each ebook sold as long as it’s priced within the range of $2.99 and $9.99. Other platforms may not be so generous. Simply put, you must carefully select the medium through which your book will be sold because it will have a drastic impact on your pricing. Logically speaking, a medium that allows you to keep a larger percentage of your profits permits you to sell your book at a lower price. On the contrary, platforms that seize a sizeable portion of your profits leave you with little choice but to hike your prices in order to meet your financial goals.
4. Consider Range Pricing
You do not have to restrict yourself to one price. Regardless of the price you chose at the start, you can always make changes in response to the demand. In my opinion, however, I think it would be better to start off at a low price and move towards increase rather than the other way around. You can set lower prices during the launch of your book to increase sales and notoriety, and then slowly but steadily raise the prices as interest builds. If you start high and later cut your book’s price, it can either spark excitement in deal seekers or scream “not worth it” in those looking for value triggers. All in all, range pricing can be the best of both worlds if done correctly.
5. Price More than One Book
If you are struggling to price one book, consider throwing a second book into the mix. Price each book differently, with one book having a significantly lower price than the other. The rationale here is simple: some people will feel compelled to buy the cheaper book because it will appear a lot more attractive. On the other hand, you will find people buying the more expensive one because they think its heftier price tag proves that it is better. Track the number of sales for each book and settle on a price closest to the one with the most sales. This strategy might sound silly, but some it actually works, even if you are dealing with two different editions of the same book.
There is no magic bullet when it comes to ebook pricing. And while it would be a mistake to overprice your book, underpricing or undervaluing your work can be just as critical. The best thing you can do is to run a variety of pricing tests and track your results. Ultimately your final price should provide the perfect cost-benefit for your readers while helping you meet your financial goals.