Most independent authors want to sell their book at the highest possible price. On Kindle, that’s basically $9.99. If you sell the book at a higher price than that, your commission goes from 70% to an abysmal 35%. Damn Amazon. Same thing happens when you go below $2.99. So Amazon thinks $2.99 to $9.99 is the right price for an eBook, and they push their might around to keep most books in that range.
But most experts agree that independent authors will make more money selling their books at a lower price, much closer to $2.99 than $9.99. For some authors, they just can’t swallow the fact that someone could read a book they shed blood, sweat, and tears over for just a measly $2.99. But this is often a mistake. 100 copies sold at $2.99 is a lot more total revenue than 10 copies sold at $9.99, and price makes a big difference on Amazon where there are literally millions of books to choose from other than yours.
Sometimes cheap isn’t better though. Depends on the book, the genre, the uniqueness of the book, the competition, and the reputation and audience of the author.
If you have a well-built audience on a blog or on your social networks clamoring to get their hands on your next book, you’re fine to price it at $9.99. Most of my books are priced there on Kindle most of the time and they do alright. But that’s mostly because I have an engine driving sales outside of Amazon. If you don’t, you’re just not likely to ever get any traction for your book at that price, and will almost certainly need to go much lower until you do.
In my experience though, these are the 3 most important rules of all when it comes to pricing:
- Don’t be afraid to drop the price.
- Don’t be afraid to raise the price.
- Never let a book sit too long at one price.
#1 and #2 require no explanation. The importance of the third rule is explained in thorough detail in my article on improving your Amazon sales rank. I call it price jigging, and it’s an essential weapon to have in your author arsenal, or you will get shoved aside and cast into obscurity.
In general, a good test to see if the “price is right” is simply observing that your sales rank isn’t slowly slipping away into the abyss, and adjusting it accordingly to keep it from nosediving.
That’s about all that needs to be said about pricing. Nothing too mind bending, but knowing how to properly manipulate the price of your book is a skill you will need to learn, and an activity that you need to actively participate in. If not you’ll be that schmuck with a sales rank over 1,000,000 that was published 3 years ago and still only has one review. Not good. Unfortunately there are hundreds of thousands of books just like that, and simple tips like this can easily prevent that from happening.
Good luck Hemingway! If you have any questions or need some help getting your books published, my partner Rob and I are more than happy to help. Watch our welcome video HERE and fill out the Contact Us form and we’ll be in touch.
Matt Stone is a successful self-published author of more than 15 books and co-founder of Archangel Ink. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time helping independent authors distribute, market, and successfully sell their books.