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Writing and Selling Ebooks Online: Diary of My Quest to Publish 50 Ebooks on Amazon in One Year, Part VI

My ebook writing quest has inspired others to jump on the bandwagon. As we discussed in last week’s post in this ebook writing series, one writer has told me that she’s shooting to publish an ebook a week thru the end of the year. 

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.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details. And FYI, you can read all entries in this ebook writing series at the end of this post.

Ok, now to Wendy’s question. She wrote:

QUESTION ABOUT PRICING EBOOKS

Hey Yuwanda,

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!

Wendy

I wrote back …

MY ANSWER

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!

coverI 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.

Related Post: Learn how to make money writing short romance novellas– really good money!

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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P.S.: Get The Ultimate Self-Publishing Package: 4 Ebooks. 1 Low Price.

ebook-publishing-packIf 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.

P.P.S.: Serious about Starting a Self-Publishing Career? Then You Need a Website/Blog. Learn why and how to start one.

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    Comments

    1. @Jack: Welcome to InkwellEditorial.com; I too am glad you found us on the web.

      As for your questions, a lot of what you’re looking for can be found simply by doing Google searches.

      I’ve written on copyright protection (an ebook) and pen names before.

      Heres’ the post whether or not to use a pen name as a writer.

      Here’s the ebook on copyright protection/copyright infringement.

      I’ll address the part about publishing your book in parts in my post in the ebook writing series on Friday.

      FYI, I’m not a fiction writer, so do a Google search and find the blog of a fiction writer you like and follow their advice.

      Again, almost anything you want to know about self publishing can be found online. All it takes is some digging.

      Good luck!

    2. @Wendy: First, congrats on uploading your first title. Wasn’t it exciting! Now, you’re a published author.

      As for the covers, the ebook I’m working on right now will show you how to create cheap ones (for like $5) yourself. That way, you’ll never have to pay someone to do it again for you — unless you want to.

      I’m so glad I learned how to do mine myself; now I can get them exactly the way I want without a lot of back and forth with a designer.

      Congrats again, and remember to keep me up to date on your progress as you shoot for the 25 titles by the end of the year.

    3. Hi Yuwanda,

      I am so glad I came across Inkwell Editorial last week and want you to know that I have taken your wisdom to heed. There are a few items that surfaced in my mind which I’d like to ask you for help with. First, have you written anything on copywriting? I’d writing my first fiction novel (a transfer from a screenplay I wrote ages ago, which is actually taking a new life of its own) and have no copywrite as of yet. Can I simply tag it with a copywrite claim on the bottom pages, like in your ebook, or must I fill out a form and mail it to Big Brother?
      Second, I’ve decided to use a pen name (Jack Morgan) so that I can maintain some privacy should I actually achieve some level of popularity. That being the case, I am once again concerned with formalities. Does one need to file a form with the government to have a pen name? Any help with these housekeeping items will be greatly appreciated. And lastly, I am already working on chapter three of my romance novel and have considered loading my first two chapters on Amazon and the other sites to sell for $0.99 each. However, I’m uncertain because I kinda want to have the book complete and polished before releasing anything. But at the same time, I think that releasing it chapter by chapter may very well entice readers to continue buying subsequent chapters as a sort of mini-series in print. 😉 Any thoughts on that?

      Thanks in advance for your replies and for such great work you’ve done!

      Cheers!

      Jack Morgan

    4. Thanks so much for answering my question! I’m going to check out Konrath’s blog and see what pearls of wisdom I can gleam from his blog.

      I did upload my first Kindle book today! It was an existing title sitting on my computer. The only downside was that I have to wait for a new debit card (someone tried to buy a ticket to Brazil with mine) before I can buy and create a real cover. Ah, well, at least the first one is down! I think I may even get a few fiction stories out of my head while I’m at it, but I have a list of “how-to” titles that can take me into 2012!

      Thanks again for answering my questions and I look forward to your next update!

      Wendy

      http://teenfaithandbeauty.com

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