Indie Ebook Pricing
This is the post just about every self published author makes at some point. The one about self published ebook pricing.
In the last few years as ebook popularity has grown, self published authors have had the opportunity to price their ebooks however they like. While traditionally published ebooks still cost nearly as much as paperbacks, self pub authors were pricing books at $4.99 and below and cashing in on attracting customers with the cheaper price, big time. And then more indie authors wanted to do the same, and dropped the price again to be even more attractive, and the price kept going down, $3.99, $2.99, 0.99c, and then free. Authors give their books away for free download all the time, just to seem like the best deal and get more readers.
I personally feel that free, or even 99c is too low for an ebook. It’s a great sales price for temporary sales, or perhaps as a promotion to bring people into reading your other books, but otherwise I think ebooks should be worth more.
The problem with pricing ebooks though is their intangible nature. We’ve grown to expect digital content to be free, or so cheap it’s barely a purchase. So how do we value something intangible?
I like to compare books to food. Both satisfy, both nourish, both are fleeting, temporary enjoyment (whether it’s an ebook or hard copy, most people don’t read books more than once) but if it’s good enough we often remember it fondly. So let’s compare ebooks to a cup of coffee. How much do you pay for a good cup of coffee? We buy, we drink, we enjoy, and it’s gone with nothing but a bit of a buzz to show for it. And it takes a lot less time to drink a cup of coffee than it does to read a novel. Good novels easily give us 5+ hours of enjoyment, and a heck of a better buzz than a cup of coffee. Why wouldn’t you pay as much, or more, for an ebook?
Some people point out that readers find it easier to buy a 99c ebook from self published authors, as though it’s less risk in case the book downright sucks. I’ll readily admit that there are some rubbish self published books out there, because new programs allow anyone to publish anything. There are also a whole lot of really fantastic reads that are worth far more than a couple of dollars. How do you make sure you’re spending money on a good book and not a bad one? That’s what free samples are for, and reviews. I always try to download and read samples first, and if I get to the end of the sample and want to keep reading, I’ll buy the book regardless of the price.
So, what does this all mean for MY self published ebooks?
The short of it is, my prices will be going up soon.
I originally intended to price my books higher than they currently are, because I do believe they are worth more. But I got sucked into the indie author price lowering craze. It’s now time for me to rethink my pricing and put it back up to where I think it should belong. Sure I’ll still have sales, giveaways and promotions in the future, but overall, my prices will be going up. I’m in the process of writing a short story, and I’ll be changing pricing for all my ebooks when it’s released. If you want to save a few bucks on my books, now’s the time to grab them!