Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Setting a price for your e-book can be really confusing.

I've recently started the following discussion on Amazon forum but I'm also posting it here. I'd like to know what you think.
"I am a new author of a self-published paranormal (time-travel) romance. My paperback has sold some copies through Amazon but a month ago I decided to try the kindle edition. I knew nothing about kindle as in my country people are still on paperback. So I read blog posts of other writers who know better. What I got from them was not to undervalue my work by setting a very low price and so on... I selected the price of 9,99 $ thinking that it's much lower that the paperback price. Surprisingly, when my book came live and ready to sell, I saw that the price has increased to 13,75 $. Is it VAT, or something else I didn't notice when I selected the publishing options, I can't tell. Then I bumped into forums of e-book readers who complained about e-books prices and I started to realize the problem. When friends started asking me why I have set such a high price for my e-book I didn't know what to say. It's true I don't intend to make a living from writing, I mean I have a good, steady job. But it's writing that makes me happy. And if there are others out there who find hapiness in the same stories with me, I'd like to share mine with them. It's that simple.

I have just decided to edit the list price for my e-book to 1,99 with a revenue of 0,45 and I'm waiting for my book to be come live again. I'd like to know if experienced e-book writers or readers think it was a wise thing to do or if a low price is an indication of poor quality to them. I believe there are others like me out there who are confused and your sugestions will be valuable to us."


  1. HI dear Rania. This is a very complex matter and you will get all sorts of opinions. 9.99 is quite high for a self published book. The reason trad published books are priced so high is all the costs they have and the commission they take. So as a self published author you can price yours lower and earn the same or more. The main issue in discussions of this sort is that the $0.99 price set by many self-pubbed authors seems to reflect badly on them - is taken as a sign that they haven't put so much work in their book and that they don't think it's worth more. Although this is challenged by many and many 0.99 books are great, it is indeed a point to consider. You could make a compromise - choose a price along the lines of 4-6 dollars, and yes, do remember that outside the US the 15% VAT will be added to it. I chose to price my book at $3.99. When I open Amazon.com, it appears as $6.89. I think that's an affordable but not too low price. Just my thoughts! Good luck. :)

  2. Thank you Chrystalla!
    You've been really helpful.

  3. Hi Rania,

    For Kindle books, I think the smartest thing is to go low. The lower the price, the more you sell, not guaranteed though. I know I've read a lot of comments from readers and they love the lower priced ebooks. You will often find them sharing the lower priced ebooks way more often than the high ones. They can always buy your paperback at the regular price. I know there are certain books that I still want in paperback, and the rest I will buy for my Kindle. I try not to pay more than 5 dollars, though on occasion, if I really want the book and cannot wait, I will pay 9.99 USD. Not very often though.

    When you're first trying to get your book out there though, lower is always better until you get some good reviews. Then you can always up the price later.

  4. Thank you.
    I've changed to 1,99 and looking forward to what changes Amazon will make, VAT or anything else.I still buy paperback and I never think about the price, especially if it's one of my favorite writers. But e-book market is different. I can see it now.


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