My Take on Ebook Pricing

There’s been a good deal of debate over the pricing of ebooks. One thought is if you price them too low, you devalue the writer and his/her work. This has caused problems with authors who do have their books either at .99 cents or free. They feel the lower price generates sales and exposure (which they do), and that will carry over to their next book.

The other side of the coin is that if you price them too high, the same as it’s paper counterpart, you run the risk of not sales, as people won’t purchase a $15 dollar ebook. I know I was taken aback when I saw a few ebooks at that price.

The thing is, you CAN’T price an ebook the same as a paper one. There is more work behind a physical book (paper, printing, distribution, book stores), compared to ebooks (digital upload, cover art, editing). The shelf life is longer for an ebook as well. There’s no big release date push for an ebook. Rather, many ebook author blogs conclude that it’s a back list of titles that brings in the money.

I think ebooks should be priced by their content. I also don’t think any ebook, no matter how big, should be over $10. Here is a breakdown of what the price will be for any future books I self-publish.

20k – 30k : 99 cents, 31k – 40k: $1.99, 41k – 50k: $2.99, 51k – 60k: $3.99, 61k – 70k:  $4.99, 71k – 80k: $5.99, etc. See the pattern? For every 10k worth of story, the price goes up by one dollar, up to a fixed price of $9.99, which would bring the word count for a $9.99 book at over 130k.

I doubt I’d write something THAT long, though.  

If all goes well, UNDER THE COVER OF WICCA will be published at the end of this month. This is a larger story than THE WATCHTOWER, over 32k so I plan on selling it for 1.99. Also, I’m taking THE WATCHTOWER out of the free category, and listing it for .99 cents. Money I make off my books goes right back into them, and I have a few more I’d like to see out there.

Anyway, that’s my take and I’m sticking to it.

About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

4 Responses to My Take on Ebook Pricing

  1. I’m pretty much on board with your philosophy here. You are right in that it’s ridiculous to price an eBook the same as a physical copy. Consumers simply are NOT going to respond in a positive way to that price structure.

    • I rarely buy hardcover books. I think I own maybe two? Even then, I stumbled over the price. Now that I have my ereader, I don’t think I’m going to buy any more physical books.

  2. Very interesting article. My book is just shy of 85 K. I have it priced at $4.99, although Amazon have discounted it to $2.99. I was thinking of putting up the price and thought $5.99 sounded right, which is only a little off your pricing for the K. I was also going to use Kindle’s Prime so as to get the exposure without doing the .99 cents thing. Though, I might put it free for one day to kick start things as other authors say this feature works well. But, I am a bit loath to give away my baby for free as it took a lot of blood, sweat and a very annoyed husband to write it. However, promotion is promotion, so I’ll see. Cheers, Marita A. Hansen.

    • Good morning, and thanks for posting!

      First, good luck with your novel. My first book is free, but that was the result of me wanting to clear my Karma. I think the free option is a personal move. It feels like there’s some kind of semi-quasi movement to list all first books by new authors for free, but it’s really a personal choice. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t.

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