In a previous blog post, we briefly looked at price to see if the price you set your books at is helping you to attract readers or if it repels them.
The discussion stemmed from the fact that many self-published authors tend to price themselves out of sales. This happens because:
- You know how much time you spent to write the book, time or money spent on editing, time or money spent on the cover, time spent on learning to self-publish, plus the priceless view you have of your own work, all combine to make you price your book higher.
- Self-published authors sometimes aren’t making many sales, so they price their book higher to earn more per sale…
We get that… but we’ve always been a proponent of the fact that you can sell more books with a lower price (which leads to more sales, and more sales, and more sales), and while you’ll earn less per book, you will make more in aggregate than you would with a higher price book.
Now we have proof, with numbers directly from Amazon!
Amazon on Book Pricing
Amazon is usually pretty guarded with their stats. They don’t share much, but they recently shared some numbers regarding book sales at different price ranges here.
Here is the quote relevant to book pricing:
“It’s also important to understand that e-books are highly price-elastic. This means that when the price goes up, customers buy much less. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that at the lower price, total revenue increases 16%. This is good for all the parties involved.”
This is directly from the largest book marketplace in the world, who specializes in ebooks.
How much clearer can it get?
Sure, we would all love to sell at $14.99 or even $9.99, but that’s not the reality for the self-published author. But, you can still make good money selling at $0.99, $1.99, $2.99.
Once you have built a strong following of readers (you’re building that mailing list, right?), then, you can experiment with $3.99, $4.99, even $5.99. But if you try to start at that price, for whatever reason, and you have very few reviews and hardly any fans, you’re going to continue to not sell many books, and you will earn less than you would with a lower price point.
Get people in the door with a lower price, get them to fall in love with you and your books, THEN price higher. That is the beauty of self-publishing… you get to control the price, and you can make those changes and adjust as it makes sense for your business. The key is to grow your following, and then as you continue to release books, you’ll have a fanbase who will buy your books regardless of the price.
Here’s to selling more books!