WRITING TIPS: AUGUST 2019

PRICING YOUR BOOK

You’ve got your book ready to publish now (please refer to previous Writing Tips posts where we discussed the steps leading up to this). Your book has a great cover, an intriguing description, it has been formatted professionally, and you’ve got your keywords and phrases selected. Now it’s time to price your book on Amazon.

At what price should you sell your book? Should you start at .99 cents for a few weeks or start out at $2.99? Or even $5.99?

First, let’s look at a few things that may impact this decision. One good thing to do is to see what other books from indie authors in your genre are selling for. I say indie authors because well-known authors writing for large publishers may sell their books at a much higher price that’s been set by the publishing house. You could try to sell your book at $8.99 or $9.99, but you have to remember that you’re competing with well-known authors at this price point, and readers who don’t know you may not want to take a chance on your book at such a high price. You may want to try a lower price to attract new readers.

Also, the royalty rates Amazon pays may come into your decision to price your book. As of this writing, Amazon pays 35% royalties for ebooks from .99 cents up to $2.98, and also on books over $10.00. They pay a 70% royalty rate for ebooks from the $2.99 to $9.99 price range (and please double check this yourself before publishing because things can always change). When pricing your book, you’ll be prompted to select either the 35% or 70% range, and then you’ll have to price your book accordingly in that range. To benefit from the higher royalty rate, you may want to price your book in that range, but it’s entirely up to you.

Nonfiction books, as a rule, can often sell for a higher price than fiction, so that’s another thing you’ll have to keep in mind. And even though your book might be nonfiction, it’s still a good idea to compare your book to others in that genre.

But let’s say you’ve written a fiction novel. You may want to check books that are similar to yours in that genre, or sub-genre, to see what they’re selling for. You may find that a lot of indie authors are selling their books anywhere from .99 cents on up to $6.99. Yes, maybe a few authors will sell their books for more than that, and some may give their books away for free, but let’s just say that the above prices are where most of the books fall. So, what about the price of your book?

Let’s say you decide on the price of $2.99 to start with so you can get the 70% royalty. Maybe you want to come in a little lower than $3.99 and $4.99 so readers might take a chance on your new book. And maybe it’s selling pretty well. You can always experiment with your pricing, bumping it up to $3.99 or even $4.99. If sales drop off dramatically after your price change, you could drop it back down to $2.99. Experiment with the pricing and see which price works best until you hit that sweet spot.

What about having a sale for your book? Maybe you want to discount your book to .99 cents for a little while to increase your sales and your ranking. You could either start your book out at .99 cents or start out at a higher price and put your book on sale later (this can work well if you’re in Kindle Unlimited – you can lower the price for up to seven days once per 90 day period and still keep your 70% royalty rate). If you aren’t in Kindle Unlimited, you could lower your book to .99 cents to attract new readers for a little while. This can be a good tactic for the first book in a series. Some authors leave the first book in their series at .99 cents hoping to draw the readers into the series.

You could offer your new release at .99 cents for the first 30 days to build up the sales and reviews, and then raise the price later.

So, the choice is yours when it comes to price. And remember, you can always experiment with it.

Hope this helps someone out there.

Until next time . . .

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