Ebook Pricing: How Much to Charge, How to Work Sales, and How the Right Price Can Increase Visibility

Tonight, we talked all about how we price our novels, novellas, and short stories. Here are a few of the subjects we covered:

  • What each of us charges for our ebooks and why
  • When bundling makes sense (i.e. an omnibus for short stories or for series books) and why you would want to do it
  • What to do with short stories, especially ones under 10,000 words
  • Can you get away with higher prices with science fiction and fantasy than with some other genres
  • Do we tinker with prices (increasing or decreasing them) as a book ages
  • The trade-off between making less on lower priced books but possibly increasing visibility due to more sales
  • Is there a time and a place for the 99-cent novel?
  • Do we lower prices on earlier books in a series when we release a new novel

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  • Jim Mulcey

    Have any of you tried to set a list price at say $4.99 and put it on perma-sale for $2.99? I have no books to sell, so I don’t even know if you can do that with the retailers.

    From a marketing psychology perspective, a buyer would feel they are getting $4.99 of value and saving $2.00 on it.

    Just wondering.

    • SFFpodcast

      I remember being able to do this for a while back in 2011 or so, but now, if you have the price on a book lower at another store (but not free), Amazon will send you a nasty gram and tell you that it’s against their ToS for you to have a book listed for less elsewhere. They seem to give you a bye on the free thing since it’s not an option to make a book free in their dashboard.

    • Sean McKay


      The guys at SPP mentioned a strategy of setting up a CreateSpace version of your ebook, because Amazon then labels your ebook as discounted compared to the book price. So in theory you could set a CreateSpace book at 4.99 (assuming your length allowed that) and price your ebook at 2.99, the savings will show up. For example Lindsay has a print book “Forged in Blood II” with a print price of 14.99 (the line marked through, and you can select it for 13.62). the Kindle price of 4.95. Amazon explicitly says “You Save: $10.04 (67%)”. Check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Forged-Blood-Emperors-Edge-Book-ebook/dp/B00DZTCMJK/ref=la_B004FSRHUE_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427871644&sr=1-2

      • SFFpodcast

        I definitely think having a print book like that can help, because it does seem to the reader like they’re getting a much better deal.