Wednesday, August 03, 2011

E-book Pricing

Last Saturday, I linked you to Robert Niles’ three part post on publishing an e-book. Staying in that theme, today, I’m giving you the link to Publishers Weekly’s article by Jim Milliot on Vook’s 10 Rules of Pricing.

To come up with those 10 rules, Vook examined what it calls the four successful factors for e-book pricing: “categorization, discoverability, marketplaces, and the importance of libraries.”

Some of them seem pretty obvious to me, like #7:
Lift effects through savvy launch promotions have a profound impact on sales.
The article is not so much aimed at authors who do their own ebooks as it is at retailers (or in this case e-tailers) and publishers. Even so, it can be informative for author-publishers. Be sure you scroll through the comments. Most of them so far seem to be from author-publishers.

Do you have any of your own rules of pricing for your ebooks?

25 comments:

  1. Your post link and the story link are strung together...
    I'm glad there was a commenter over there that mentioned the 'heavy jargon'. I thought it was only a lack of caffeine on my part. :)

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  2. Gotta have the jargon to make your article seem more intelligent than it is.

    Here's the link: Publisher's Weekly article

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  3. I'm filling up my "favorites" with your links!

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  4. Sorry about the link mess-up. I've fixed them both! Thank y'all for catching that and for letting me know.

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  5. I just went with my gut when a made the memoir into an ebook. $.99 felt too little, but $2.99 felt right.
    karen

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  6. Interesting to see how come up with the best e-price and for publishers to give the necessary *lift* to the book.

    I need to read it again, though, because there is some good info here that can translate to authors as well.

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

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  7. Interesting article although I think it should have been written more in layman's terms since most indie publishers are not that familiar with the publishing business. I have three indie OP books on Kindle that I've priced at $2.99 but they're not selling as well as my Poisoned Pen Press ebook priced at $6.95. I'm not sure whether it's PPP's name or the book's content that makes the difference.

    Jean
    Murder on the Interstate
    now on Kindle at $2.99

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  8. It's very interesting. I don't mind taking a chance on a new author for 2.99 - over 5 and I think a lot longer :)

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  9. It's so interesting, isn't it? I hadn't thought of the categorization, and someone writing cross-over genres could really take advantage of that. I think, too, having a shelf is BIG--I've heard a few self-published authors say 6 books is about the sweet spot--books start cross-polinating at that point. And at that point, you can DEEP discount ONE and the rest of the titles start selling faster, even NOT discounted.

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  10. That's very interesting, Jean.

    Jemi, I've never bought an ebook, but when I do, I don't know whether the price will sway me or the author.

    Good information, Hart. Thank you.

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  11. I'd never thought about the effect of no printing on book pricing.

    I imagine promoting e-books in a clever launch is tricky just like promoting a website is tricky because there are so many e-books out there.

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  12. I'd never thought about the effect of no printing on book pricing.

    I imagine promoting e-books in a clever launch is tricky just like promoting a website is tricky because there are so many e-books out there.

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  13. It is something of a guess, Ashley. The good news is that a lot of authors are sharing their results with pricing, which helps others.

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  14. I was amazed to find that amazon.com has quite alot of ebooks for free, in particular some very nice classics >:)

    Cold As Heaven

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  15. You're trying to entice me to spend money, Cold. (I now have an eReader, although I have no idea yet how to use it.)

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  16. Thanks for the links, Helen.

    From what I've read, many authors believe that $2.99 seems to be the "magic" price that attracts readers.

    In the end, a good story and great characters are the real magic that sell books.

    Katie O’Reilly Titanic blog

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  17. Tricks? Yeah, I let my publisher do it!

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  18. From what I've read, $2.99 seems to be a good price point for epubbing. We'll see!

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  19. I don't. I price mine between $2.99 and $4.99. I haven't seen much difference in the way of sales as both work. Opening will be priced at $4.99.

    I have to admit I'm surprised to see self published ebooks priced at $9.99. Seems steep, but if the author canbe successful, more power to them.

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  20. In today's economy, I wouldn't charge anything more than 2.99 for a kindle book. I want everyone to get a chance to read my books.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  21. All ebooks need to be reasonably priced, even from the big publishers. There's a wide gap between self and small publisher books and the big publisher books in terms of price. And after reading John Locke's book, he has a point - if you only have $10, which do you want - one book or many? The higher priced books need to prove they are that much better!

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  22. I'll be releasing my memoir in e-book format this fall, and I'm not sure about pricing yet, so I appreciate reading people's thoughts here. My colleagues in Denver have put me in touch with an author who offers workshops on ebooks, and she says that $5.99 was a sort-of magic number for her. She's had phenomenal sales. I believe her idea is that $5.99 is low enough to feel like a bargain, yet high enough to feel like the product is of value.

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  23. Thanks for the link, Helen. Some of the rules seem a bit obscure, like "Containers are critical to driving upsell in app environment." Wha--?

    Pricing is still a mystery to me. My three novels are all 4.99, and I am selling a few. I'm going to put them on sale for 2.99 and see what happens. To me, the question seems to be, how much is a reader willing to risk on an unknown author? Anyone will spring for 0.99, but I think many will go somewhat higher.

    Good post.

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