Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sweet Spot

George Bernard Shaw's writing desk

I've read some articles recently about ebook sales.  Most agree, ebook sales are down from last year.  But the interesting thing is, the comments on those articles usually end in an argument on ebook prices.

Here's what I understand.  The big publishing houses want to keep their ebook prices high, around $9.99 - $12.99.  Which compared to hardcovers, is a good price.  Except, there is no resale value on that book for the purchaser.  You can't turn around and sell an ebook it online, trade it in at a used bookstore or even get $1 at a garage sale.  But you get a "professionally" published book.

Then along comes the India publisher (sorry small publishing houses, I don't know much about you).  They sit in the coffee shops and homes, push the "publish" button on their computer and decide that $ .99 - $4.99 is the right price for their book.  They're making up to $3.49 a book which is not a bad deal.

This is the key: you'll sell more books at a lower price than a higher price.  As an avid reader via my kindles, I am more apt to pass on the $9.99 and up books.  If I do purchase one at that price, they would need to be exceptional and not often.  It's much easier to buy a book that's $4.99 and under.

There are of course more factors to consider in your ebook pricing.  Length of book, content, quality and if you're a newbie.  Overall, the best thing to do is think like a reader.  What price would make me purchase this book right now?  Not the highest price you can get, because that may drive away sales.  Not the lowest price because you'll undercut yourself and others.  Find the sweet spot price.

Even though ebook sales look like they are down on paper, there is still a very active readership for them.  Make it easy for those readers to buy, and make them happy with the price they pay to enjoy your stories.

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