How much to charge for your (soon to be bestselling) ebook

There’s a short answer to this question but I’m going to make you read through the whole article to find out what it is. Don’t worry; it’s less than five hundred words, so it won’t take long.
When I released my first book “My Temporary Life” in December 2011 I priced it at $4.99. Based on other books out there this seemed like a reasonable price. I sold a few books but I knew there were others selling a lot more, and I believed in my book. So, I tried a .99 cent sale to try and get the ball rolling and perhaps find a reader base that would spread the word to other potential readers. I advertised my promo on Facebook and Goodreads and I sold a few more, but still not enough. Then, I discovered KDP Select. I enrolled in KDPS and ran a free promotion. During the promotion I gave away fifty thousand ebooks and afterwards, based on research I’d done checking out other Indie ebooks I priced my book at $3.99. Over the next few months I sold over twenty thousand books at $3.99. Bingo, I’d found my perfect price-point.
After a few months, when sales lagged again and KDPS wasn’t working as effectively as my first time around I ran a promotion with Ereader News Today. Once again, for three days I offered my book for .99 cents and then returned it to $3.99. This time it was fairly successful and I sold a few hundred books during and after the promotion, and my book climbed back up Amazon’s rankings. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. The challenge of course, is that there are so many new books coming into the system on a daily basis, and lots of them are very, very good. So, it’s very important to know what your competition is and price your work accordingly. My book has been a #1 bestseller in the romance/suspense category and hit Amazon’s overall top ten rankings also. It has one hundred and sixty-seven reviews and a four point five average rating. I tell you this only to illustrate that at $3.99 I believe it’s a good buy. I’ve heard it said that ebooks published by new authors shouldn’t be priced more than $5.99 and the perfect price point is $2.99. I think “My Temporary Life” has enough credentials to be at offered at the $3.99 to $4.99 level, and although it isn’t selling a thousand books a day, as it was last March, it’s still being purchased and downloaded daily, at $3.99. So, for now, that’s the price that the market will bear. I’ll keep watching what’s happening out there though, and if something changes I’ll adjust. Quickly.
Martin Crosbie
Author of the B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree
My Temporary Life

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14 responses to “How much to charge for your (soon to be bestselling) ebook”

  1. Tui Allen says:

    Agree with all you say about prices. Wish my sales were like that! Well done.

  2. Megan Denby says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom! I published my ebook 2 weeks ago on Amazon and thought $2.99 felt right. I’ve sold 60 books in two weeks while only promoting to friends and family. I belong to the KDP Select and my free days are this Thursday and Friday – Fingers Crossed! Thanks again! Megan

  3. Martin Crosbie says:

    Thanks for your comment, Tui, and good luck with your book.

  4. Martin Crosbie says:

    Megan, those are really good numbers for a new book, I’m sure your promo went really well. And, if it didn’t, there are other ways to find readers, we just need to keep looking.
    Appreciate you commenting!

  5. Renee Field, Founder of StoryFinds says:

    Great post. I keep playing with the price points and feel certain genres sell better – my romance outsells 3 to 1 for my young adult. KDP though does work and even with my romance books I’ve only sold 1 on Kobo. Plus, getting your name out there – cross promoting does help.

  6. Madison Johns says:

    Great blog post. I could name a few author that need to stay off the 99 cent mark. I originally had my book at $3.99 but then lowered it to the sweet spot of $2.99. When it comes to sales. I believe it’s best to wait it out for a few months before you just panic. I also did well with the KDP Select free run, although I wasn’t as successful, but it paid for all my editing I had invested in. I’m doing a free run on Wed-Fri and my fingers are crossed too. Good luck Martin!

  7. Jamie Lee Scott says:

    Great book Martin. And I’m getting ready to read Hardly! You are my eBook pricing guru! Cheers.

  8. Geri says:

    growing an audience has to be the most frustrating pard of writing!

  9. Geri says:

    I attended on panel at the SPBE which had 2 best selling authors – both Romance novelists! It seems to be a best seller, you need to write “Romance” and lots of it!

  10. Martin Crosbie says:

    My apologies, Renee, I’m late to the party in responding to your comments.
    Yes, branding is so important isn’t it and there are so many different things we can do to get our name out there. And, in terms of pricing, as a new author as long as our work is priced at the point where a reader is willing to take a chance on it then we’re definitely in the game.
    Appreciate your thoughts, thank you.

  11. Martin Crosbie says:

    Thank you, Madison and I’m glad you’ve found the price point that works for you. I hope your promotion went well.

  12. Martin Crosbie says:

    Yikes, that sounds like pressure Jamie Lee. I hope you enjoy “My Name Is Hardly” and thank you for your kind words.

  13. Martin Crosbie says:

    I agree, Geri. If I look at the top sellers on Amazon’s overall rankings I see lots of romance novels and some thrillers. I just can’t seem to write a story that falls neatly within a genre. It certainly does seem to be what a lot of readers want though.
    Thanks for your comments.

  14. Geri says:

    Therein lies a great dilemma for most writers – write what sells or write what you love. They are not always the same thing! I suppose you could write an erotic romance (Fifty Shades of Gray?) and once you are famous, write the next great novel-

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