Just for the record, this just tickles me purple (cuz black people don’t turn pink – at least not the ones who are my shade). 🙂
Anyhoo, I received the following email from this writer about how to price ebooks. I promised to answer in this week’s series, so here we go. Before we get to that though, a little legal biz.
Ok, now to Wendy’s question. She wrote:
QUESTION ABOUT PRICING EBOOKS
This is going to be my first week on my quest to publish an e-book each week and I remember reading something in one of your articles about using a price point at around $2.99. Is that because of the new Kindle category of Singles? I see that it’s for 10k – 30k words and I was wondering what you thought about that.
Thanks in advance and I hope you have had a safe and wonderful holiday weekend!
Actually, my pricing has nothing to do with Amazon and their guidelines. I read JA Konrath’s blog a lot. In case you’re wondering who he is, he’s the “self pubbing guru.”
He’s been published by mainstream publishers and started self publishing in 2008. He’s sold over 300,000 ebooks – so that’s why I’m an avid reader of his blog.
Also, he tends to give VERY detailed answers; like this one on ebook pricing. It’s one of the reasons I started playing around with my pricing (my motto is listen to those who are where you want to be).
Some other reasons I’m trying the cheap pricing model on Amazon (eg, 99 cents to $2.99) is that:
Factors to Consider When Pricing Ebooks to Sell on Amazon
I. It’s a new demographic for me: I know the price points that work well for my site. But the Amazon crowd reads in a new medium. And, many of them are used to to things being cheap.
I’m not moving as many ebooks as I think I should be, and I think pricing has something to do with that, so I’m trying that first.
2. New technology: Because Kindle and other e-readers are a new technology that can hold thousands of books, the market is more competitive. But, if your ebook is priced right (ie, cheap), many will try it “just because”; and, if they don’t like it they’ve only lost “a couple of bucks.”
And if they do like it, they will ostensibly go on to buy more from you.
3. Different genre: Although I follow JA Konrath’s blog, his advice is geared for fiction writers. I write non-fiction (see 2017 update below for more on this), of course, and dry, business stuff at that. So, I don’t ever expect to hit his numbers. Although I do, in the words of Jessie Jackson, “Keep hope alive!”
Which Types of Ebooks Sell Better on Amazon: Fiction or Nonfiction?
In fact, I was doing some reading a couple of weeks ago about how fiction sells on Amazon vs. nonfiction because so many of the success stories you hear about are all of fiction authors.
The article states that the average price of the Top 10 best-selling nonfiction titles is $10.40. And, none of them are self-published, which was interesting to note. The average price of a fiction ebook on Amazon was 40% LESS ($6.31); again, very interesting fact.
The article goes on to state:
Self-publishing has traditionally worked best for nonfiction authors with solid information-based books. There is no disputing that a new world of bookselling is upon us, and all the old rules will be scrapped or at least reexamined in the light of new realities.
All of this was encouraging to me because I don’t need to sell 10,000 or 100,000 (or even 1,000) copies a month to make a good living at $2.99.
I already make a decent living just selling my ebooks from my websites. But, if I can sell a few thousand copies a month on Amazon (and Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc.), then, I’d make much more than I ever dreamed as a self-publisher.
All of these are things you have to consider when pricing your ebooks to sell. And if a price point isn’t working out, don’t be afraid to change it, which you can do at will on Amazon.
Hope this insight helps.
My Ebook Writing Progress This Week
Fell flat on my friggin’ face!
I travelled last week back to Jamaica, and between getting settled (cleaning house, grocery shopping, laundry, buying household goods, etc.) and socializing, which took up more time than I’d planned, I fell behind.
As an aside, met a famous Broadway producer while reading a book at the beach; went out to dinner with him. The nicest guy – and he knows Denzel, and Blair Underwood and Shemar Moore – and all the other fine brothers I’d like to meet in Hollywood!
Looked him up online – THE REAL FRIGGIN’ DEAL!
My sister said, “You should wear that bathing suit again – ain’t no telling who you’ll meet next!” Ohhhhhh, I tell ya, if I still had the acting bug, or was a fame whore, I so woulda gone out with him with a different agenda.
He’s someone though that I feel will morph into a friend for life. Just a really down to earth guy. Anyway, terrible digression. Back to my ebook publishing . . .
I published an existing title today (which counted for LAST week). And, I started a new title today (how to create really cheap (like less than $5)) gorgeous ebook covers.
I started doing mine myself a couple of months ago and have been getting some great kudos on them, so I detail how I do it, cuz ebook covers can be expensive. But more and more, I’m seeing that they are necessary (especially on a worldwide stage like Amazon) to making ebook sales.
I will finish this ebook this weekend, which will keep me on track, and if I have the energy left over, will try my best to upload an additional, existing title on Sunday.
11 Titles Uploaded to Amazon: 39 More Ebooks to Go!
With the ebook I uploaded today, I have 11 titles on Amazon. By Sunday, it’ll be 12 (or 13).
2017 Update: Writing Fiction & Non-Fiction
In 2013, I wrote my first romance novella. By 2017, I’d self-published over 40 more. Between fiction and non-fiction, I’ve written and self-published almost 100 ebooks. And yes, you can do both quite successfully!
My romance novellas sell better than my non-fiction, how-to books by a wide margin. But, because the non-fiction titles are priced higher (significantly so in many cases), I still earn good money with those too.
3 Things to Consider About Writing Fiction & Non-Fiction
Romance is the #1 selling genre of all time; readers in this genre are voracious. Also, my non-fiction, how-to titles are very niche (mostly on/about freelance writing, small biz, self-publishing and internet marketing).
And finally, in 2016, I took many of my non-fiction titles off Amazon. I left a few up there to give myself a presence and drive traffic to this site, but most of my non-fiction titles can only be found and bought on this site. It’s a marketing strategy that’s worked for me.
How’s your ebook writing coming along? Progress? Setbacks? I’m all ears. Sound off in the comments section below, and have an excellent weekend. I’ll have some fun, but will be working too. 🙂
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If you are courageous, hard-working and self-motivated, you really can make a lot of money selling ebooks online (I’m proof of this) – if you don’t forget that last ingredient – perseverance.
Share Your Ebook Selling Tips and Questions?
Have any ebook selling tips to share? Have a question about how to make money selling ebooks online? Share in the comments section below.