Pricing Ebooks – An Indie Author Must

As self-published authors and independent creators, we have to determine the value of our work.  And, as I’ve discovered along the way on many creative endeavors, the price point you set can be entirely arbitrary.  Someone who is willing to pay $10 for a high-quality print would probably be willing to pay $15 or $20 if it was on slightly better paper, whereas someone who would balk at $15 would probably do the same at the $10 price point.  Someone willing to spend $50 on original artwork would probably be willing to spend $75, but there’s a chance you might not even be noticed if you only charge $25.

For ebook pricing, there seems to be a few different mindsets.  I personally feel that ebooks should be priced with affordability in mind.  I think it’s terrible that some publishers charge the same for an ebook as they do for a print book when production costs are so much lower.  And you never have to order new editions.  Once the digital file is completed, there you go.

And since I am a Virgo, and I love make rules for myself to follow, I have come up with this little chart for myself as a price point for ebooks.  Maybe it will help you.  This is why I am sharing.

Word Count

Pricing

Under 10,000

                  $ .99

10,001 to 40,000

$ 1.99

40,001 to 99,999

$ 2.99

100,000 to 149,999

$ 3.99

And obviously, if I ever wrote an epic of massive proportions, I would continue pricing accordingly.

When it comes to collections, though, I’m not sure how I’d price it.  If I had ten short stories in a collection that I was selling each individually for $.99 but collectively they were still under 100,000 words, I think I would charge more than the $2.99 price point.  That’s a bridge to cross when I get to it though.

How do you determine your pricing?  Do you try to calculate time involved?

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5 thoughts on “Pricing Ebooks – An Indie Author Must

  1. You’re so right about publishers charging the same for an e-book as for a printed book. It ticks me off so much that I usually end up buying neither, and either waiting for it at the library or not reading the book at all. Probably not the reaction they’re looking for. 🙂

    Now, I might pay a little more for an e-book if I knew the author was getting the difference, and not the publisher. Still not as much as a paperback, but it would make a difference.

    I like your pricing chart. It looks similar to what I have planned, though I’ll do price-drop promotions, and would definitely consider at permanently dropping the price on the first book of a series to hook new readers. I’m looking at a long-term sales strategy, though, not trying to get my first book into millions of hands right away. There are other schools of thought that necessitate different pricing strategies. To each her/his own, I guess.

    • I think I would do the same if I ever write a series. Lowering the price might hook more people. But there’s also psychology involved, when it comes to customers. Marketing is such a fascinating study in humanity. 🙂

  2. Pingback: How Sustainable is the $0.99 ebook Price Point » Mark Lord's Historical and Fantasy Fiction

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