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.99, 2.99 or Higher: The Pricing of an E-Book

I know there is lot of controversy about this, but I wanted to open up a discussion about e-book pricing. However, with the success of Darcie Chan, who sold 400,00 copies after she lowered her price to .99 cents, I wanted to see what success or failure anyone else has had.

What is the price of your e book? Why did you choose that price? Have you ever raised it or dropped it? What was the result? 

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I think it depends on the type and length of the book, too. Otherwise, we're just comparing apples to oranges.

I'm still torn about this subject.  I originally priced my Kindle novel, FALL EAGLE ONE , at $8.99, which I thought reasonable for a fast-paced techno-thriller.  When sales slowed to a snail's pace, I sought advice on Kindle's Community forum and was advised to jazz up my blurb and cut the cost to $4.99 or under.  Sales have not picked up appreciably, and I'm wondering if I still have it priced too high.  I hate to drop it so low that I only receive the 35% royalty.  I'd appreciate advice on this.  You can see my current efforts at:

I took a peek at your novel! Looks interesting! I guess my question for you is this: What are you doing for marketing? I believe the time has passed where an author can just put an e-book up and watch the money come in. There's too much competition out there. My sales only pick up after I speak, or go to an event, or get out in the public some. It's during that time and shortly after that the books sell - paper and eBooks.

I decided to sell Toxic (You can view it at at .99 cents. Why? Mostly because of my character. I don't spend a lot of money on books, and I don't often buy books from new authors. I guess I'm cheap, but I don't have a lot of money. I wanted to lower the risk for my customers. Even McDonalds offers very little for a dollar. Now, my sequel which is coming out soon will be a little more expensive because people can still take the risk with the first one and get hooked.

I bet that didn't help, did it? :)

Hi Vicki and Everyone,

I have 21 books at (18 educational and three vanity) in both Kindle and book form.

I priced all of them at 9.99 with slow sales on kindle.  I will be dropping the price to  .99 for kindle and keep the other prices for paper.

Best Regards

Arthur H Tafero

PS I am looking for an agent in the US and China and a publisher in China if you know anyone that is reputable.  See all my books on sale at (my web site) on teacher resource page

If I new I could sell 400,000 copies, I would consider dropping my book to .99 cents. For now, I'm selling my book on Kindle for $9.99 because that's what its worth. I have a niche audience being that my books is a memoir on seeing Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. I've been getting great reviews and some publicity, but I must admit that I'd love to see a huge spike in sales. However, my instincts tell me I shouldn't drop price. I'm gonna keep promoting and scrapping for every sale. My book is a well crafted 268 page memoir worth $9.99 on Kindle and $14.99 in paperback. I stand by that.

I have heard that $5.99 is the sweet spot. It still looks like $5.00. It is not too high, not too low. Shows quality, but not gouging. That is our target!

There is NO WAY I'll pay more for an ebook than $5.00. There is almost no overhead such as there is with a paper book. My own mysteries are: short story free as a teaser. 35K book 99 cents, 55K book $2.99. A couple of non-fiction collections of essays are $1.89.

Firstly, I think there is a difference in pricing between fiction and non-fiction.  Non-fiction books are assumed to be properly researched and often written by PhDs.  If one is looking for serious advice from a non-fiction book, one would probably think a 0.99 book is hodge-podge and not worth it.

Fiction, on the other hand, is usually priced a little cheaper (sorry fiction authors).

Now, my suggestion is - search for a particular genre on ebook websites, and see what the top books in THAT genre is selling for.  Most of the top fiction ebooks - those are the ones that will first show up when doing a search on Amazon, for example - are priced at free, 0.99 or 1.99, perhaps 2.99 but definitely not higher than 3.99 in my experience, with a few exceptions.  Just look at the prices on the first ten pages of ebooks that appear - if you want to get your book in there, price it in the same range!

I'll reply with something I mentioned to another forum contributor: if you give away your book or sell it for less than $2.99, either (1) you think your book is crap; or (2) you undervalue your creative work!  I'm speaking to what's been happening after Amazon changed its algorithms and made the freebie promo at KDP Select less beneficial.  Even at $7.99, you're pricing better than most traditionally published ebooks because the traditional publishers have to jack prices up to cover overhead AND author's royalties (often less than in indie publishing).  In any case, I think $2.99-$5.99 is the place to be, with $4.99-$5.99 the sweet spot where people know you value your work and don't think it's crap.  (BTW, two of my books are $0.99.  One is a YA novel--I figure young adults will have that kind of change around.  The other is an anthology of stories that appeared as freebies on my website.  There are, in fact, solid reasons for every ebook price in my opus.  This is not hard to do.)


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