e-book pricing

Ugh, I know. There are a lot of posts about this subject. Mine will be brief.

I have a new book out (did you notice? LOL) and I really agonized over the price. I looked at similar books to help make my decision, but the things I discovered only made me more confused.

m/m Romance books seem to have no rhyme or reason to their pricing. Looking at the top 40, they range from $.99 to $6.99,and length has little to do with the variation. Some 200 page books go for $.99, and some go for $3.99. Some 100 page books are $5.99. There are even a few 20 page books listed at $2.99!

At first I thought, well maybe it is a publisher thing – self publishers can set any price, but maybe those titles pubbed by houses are set higher? But no, not really. Looking closer, many traditionally published books are set at $3.99, or even lower.

I can’t figure it out!

Then I looked at Romance (not “gay”) and found the prices a bit easier to understand. Big names (like Nora Roberts) are listed for big money. Lesser known authors are asking $.99 to $3.99, and length seems more a factor in this than anything else. Under 200 pages by a lesser known author is pretty much $.99 across the board. Over 300 pages, usually $3.99.

So I used that model. Because at least it made some sense to me. And I priced my 450 page book at $3.99

I wonder, though, if making it $2.99 would have resulted in more sales? Or even $1.99? I did a lot of reading, and some advice I came across was to put a book out with a low price: like .99 or something. Then promote it like crazy and get it into the top 100 list, and once there raise the price to your target (or even above) and take advantage of the exposure of the list.

That felt wrong, and way too manipulative. But maybe that is what I should be doing, and how I should be thinking? This is business, after all, right?

Then there are the “my book is worth $$$ because quality” type people. And those who say a .99 book is going to be perceived as a low-value read. Others who price high because they want to recoup their investment in time, editing, cover art, etc. I can understand all that.

But in the end, I priced it at the point I feel I would be satisfied, as a reader. I think it’s the right price.

On a related note, I just broke one of my kindle-purchase rules: I paid more than $10. for an e-book! I said I’d never do it, but this one should be okay. It’s Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance. I’ve been waiting for this to come out for so long! Plus it is over 1000 pages and has an average 5 star rating (with like 1500 ratings, so that’s pretty impressive) Also I had that Amazon credit still, so I felt justified. I’ll write a review here whenever I finish it 🙂


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