In this episode, we are going to talk about how to price your eBook. 

Show Notes


One of those episodes we can’t believe we’ve never done, because it’s a question everyone seems to always be asking.

What should you price your ebook? We have a short answer and a long answer.

The Short Answer: All eBook pricing is an ongoing/never ending experiment

The Long Answer:

We’ll give you broad strokes, and then specific brush strokes that will help you make an informed decision.

How pricing works in economics. 

  • In general, prices are driven by supply and demand.
  • Elastic Prices (Genre Fiction)
  • Non-Elastic Prices (Textbooks)
  • How do you become less elastic? Build a strong brand!
    • Example: Brandon Sanderson-Thomas will pay the going price!


The Pricing Graph

  • Higher Prices > Lower Unit Sales
  • Lower Prices < Higher Unit Sales
  • Sweet spot, where you have maximum profit. Also known as the point of equilibrium.


What is Your Objective? The goal for all authors is not necessarily to maximize profits. Sell Lots of Books? Or … Make Lots of Money?


Sell Lots of Books


  • When you’re in the start to middle of your career- books in as many hands as possible. (Pirating again.)
  • More sales makes Amazon smarter- they know who will buy your book
  • You’ll rise higher on the charts. More reviews. More email subscribers.
  • Price? $0.99 On average, authors sell at least twice as many copies at $0.99 as they do at any other price point.
    • The downside of $0.99 is that Amazon penalizes you by reducing your profits.
  • Impulse buy.
  • Success drives success.


Make Lots of Money

  • The sweet spot has been $3.99
    • This is a fluid number …
  • The royalty structure on most major retailers is dependent on price.
  • Amazon: 70% of every sale they make when their book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99, and 35% of the sale when their book is priced below $2.99.
  •      However, this only works IF:
  • Great cover
  • Great (and lots of) reviews


  • What if you don’t have those two things?
    • Run a $.99 promo and garner reviews, then come back.


Apparel Pricing as an Example

$20 for a t-shirt … sits on the rack, now on sale for $5! Wow, great savings! Wrong. You have $5 less, but that anchoring works!


Establish a Brand

  • High prices can establish a luxury brand.  
  • The problem with a race to the bottom is that you just might win.
  • You never want to be the second cheapest option.


What if You Want High Sales and High Profit?

  • Consider KDP Select- exclusive to Amazon
    • Kindle Countdown Deals and …
    • KENP Payouts. Authors running a promotion at $0.99 earn a 70% royalty effectively doubling the royalty on each of their sales.
    • Pages read: authors enrolled in KDP Select see an increase in the number of pages read when they run a promotion.
      • On average, authors see a 1300 bump in KENP reads the day of the promotion, with reads increasing into the weeks after the promotion. With the current payout per page amount averaging $0.0045, that’s an additional $5.85 in earnings per day that an author earns off the promotion.


What Price Should You Choose? 


  • You can price a book based on a combination of any of these factors:
    • Length
    • Genre
    • Marketing reasons
    • What other similar authors charge
    • Amazon’s suggestion- KDP dashboard will suggest


  • Pricing Based on Length- In general, the longer the story, the more you can charge:


    • Flash Fiction – <1,000 words $0.00 – $0.99
    • Short Short Story – 1,000 – 5,000 words- $0.00 – $0.99
    • Short Story – 5,000 – 10,000 words- – $0.99 – $1.99
    • (Digression- we’re big on writing short stories … and you can often make the same you’d make on a 90k novel!)
    • Novelette – 10,000 – 20,000 words- $1.99 – $3.99
    • Novella – 20,000 – 40,000 words- $2.99 – $5.99
    • Novel – 40,000 – 120,000 words- $2.99 – $7.99
    • Epic Novel – >120,000 words – $5.99 – $12.99


  •  Pricing Based on Genre
    • Specific genres usually have a specific price point. Stick to that.
    • Know your genre. Look at trad pricing, sure, but look at indie publishing as well
    • The growth is with indies … so while trads will say sales are flat or down, it’s not true, trad sales are flat, but not indie.



  • Pricing Based on Marketing


    • We talked about this above


  • What Other (Similar) Authors Charge
    • Look at your also boughts
    • Depends on if they’re a bigger seller than you/or lower


  • Amazon will Suggest


A Few More Thoughts


  • Run simple month long experiments
  • Short-term discounts on Boxed Sets Sell Well
  • Backlist helps sell the front list- the best marketing for your books will always be your books
  •  Non-fiction- you can price higher
  •  Price your Physical Book Higher
  •  It’s Okay to Have Fluid Pricing


Featured Patron

You’re the Cream in My Coffee …Jennifer Lamont Leo. Jennifer loves all things vintage, especially stories set in the early twentieth century. You’re the Cream in My Coffee and the sequel, Ain’t Misbehavin’, are set in 1920s Chicago.


The Rubart Writing Academy


Transcript generated algorithmically by Sonix(Affiliate Link).

Want more?

Get a weekly email with tips on building a platform, selling more books, and changing the world with writing worth talking about. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This