Continuing our discussion of our presentation at SPBE this slide shows the formats that our readers prefer.
As you can see, 56% of the readers we surveyed prefer the eBook format. This is not surprising. According to amazon.com during the past two years eBooks have outsold print books. The convenience of eBook readers and the lower cost of eBooks are the main drivers of this trend. Slide 7 also shows that if an author also wants a print book, a trade paperback is the most desirable format. We believe that an indie author should offer both but if he or she only publishes their book in one format, it should be as an eBook.
This next slide shows the best price points for an eBook.
The above chart shows that 32% of the readers we surveyed will pay up to $4.99 for an eBook while 39% are willing to pay up to $9.99. The slide also indicates that 92% of readers will pay more than 99 cents. This is very important because there is anecdotal evidence from other sources that pricing a book at $.99 does not generate sufficient sales to warrant the loss of revenue. Moreover, at this price an author has no flexibility to run a special offer on his or her book other than by doing a free giveaway. We submit that an author can always run a free offer for a book and giving a $4.99 book away is more appealing to a reader than a book regularly priced at $.99. To support this, at the expo Mark Lefebvre of Kobo said that $.99 books are referred to in the industry as “self-published crap” (his words not ours). Furthermore, did you know that $1.99 is considered the worst price? It isn’t low enough to appeal to the bottom feeders who want books at 99 cents and it isn’t high enough to be considered part of the quality books priced at $3.99 to $4.99.
In conclusion, based on what we saw in our survey and what we learned from those we spoke with at the expo, we recommend that an eBook should be priced between $3.99 to $9.99, and we suggest that $4.99 is a good place to be.