What’s the best price to sell your Kindle ebook?

All of them. Sell it for all the prices. Change it every so often and see what works best. You can’t price it below 99p / $0.99 anyway, unless you give it away for free. And you probably won’t get many takers above the $5 mark either, unless you’re already on the shelves of bookshops. So hopefully that narrows it down.

My novel’s been in the Kindle store for over a year, and I’m still tinkering with the price to see what works. Recently I’ve gone for the bargain basement price of 99p / $1.47 and I’ve no idea if my sales will go up or down. I’ll watch the graph for a week or two and see if there’s any change in readers’ number of downloads.

Now, there’s an argument for not undervaluing your work and not putting readers off by being so cheap. (‘Why’s it so cheap? What’s wrong with it?’).

There’s an opposing argument for not overvaluing your work when you’re an unknown author and you have no costs to recoup.

The smart counterlogic would have us believe that pricing your work higher will net you more sales because you’re suggesting quality, but I’m not convinced.

Lots of people buy Fords and Toyotas and Skodas because they’re affordable. Lots of people shop at Aldi and Lidl because they’re affordable. Lots of people sit on their asses and watch shit TV because it’s more affordable than a six-star hotel stay in the Caribbean. Less people have their own helicopter parked on the lawn, because those are not quite so affordable as their Skoda.

I think there’s a lot to be said for being affordable. I for one love to pay affordable prices for things, because it doesn’t feel like I’m being hit in the face by a cartoon corporate fatcat chewing a cigar that they lit with burning money.

If you’re starting out as a Kindle author, like I am, then chances are no one knows you. You’re already asking people to take a chance on you with the most valuable thing they have – their finite amount of time on this mortal coil. Maybe think twice about trying to punch their wallet in the groin with a $9 price tag on your book when you have literally no costs to cover whatsoever.

Anyway, I’ll see how the sales go in Skodaland and let you know the results. And vive l’affordabilite. For now, anyway. If my sales drop off then I’m pegging that thing right back up to the dizzying $3 it started at.


2 Replies to “What’s the best price to sell your Kindle ebook?”

  1. I don’t think it’s a matter of affordability between posting your book at .99 or 2.99; both are less than a pint, and both are pretty attainable for the average person, unlike a helicopter. The difference between these two prices is how much of an impulse purchase it is. .99 is a lot easier to say “oh it’s nothing” and put in the cart than 5.99; but if you’re buying something for 5.99, you’re definitely going to read it, whereas the .99 book might sit there unread for a while.

    However, what I’ve heard from several authors is that the .99 books get far more downloads than the 2.99 books (about three times as much), but if you’re getting 35% on Amazon for .99 vs. 70% for 2.99, you’re making more money with it more expensive. So I guess it depends on do you want more profits, or do you want more readers? Really it’s about priorities.

    I think it’s a great idea to spend some time trying different prices. After all, Amazon makes it so easy to choose! Just remember that if you put your price back up, you also need to put your royalties back where they were. Otherwise, you’ll be selling at 2.99 for 30% profit, the worst of both worlds!

    1. Wise words! I wonder though if Amazon’s skewing authors towards cheaper prices overall with the introduction of the ‘pages read’ feature. A lower price tag may attract more readers, and multiply royalties earned through the ‘pages read’ feature instead, despite the initial loss leader on the asking price. And yes, very good point on remembering to charge the 70% if authors do go above the $2.99 threshold!

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