You’ve finished writing your ebook and you want to sell it. How can you set the right price and be sure of the best pricing policy?
Before you start selling your work, there are a few rules you need to know, not only about the competition but also about the laws.
So, what is the price of your ebook and how do you make it attractive on the digital book market? We tell you everything!
How do you set the price of your ebook?
Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon: the pricing policy of online bookstores
In order to set the price of your ebook, the first indicator to observe is the digital book market. There are many ebook publishers out there. You’ll therefore be able to easily consult the categories which join those of your ebook in order to find the prices fixed by the platforms and thus help you choose a good pricing strategy.
Short texts or the size of the different tomes of The Lord of the Rings: pay attention to the size of the books as well as the types of content offered! This technique will give you an idea of the price range as well as the average price in order to determine the price of your ebook.
Offer a lower price for downloads than for paperbacks
As you can see on the Barnes & Noble website, the ebooks on Amazon Kindle, or any other online bookstore, the prices of ebooks are much lower than the prices of paperback or hardcover versions.
The idea is not to get stuck on an exact percentage between paper and digital versions, but to adapt to customers who aren’t used to spending more than $10 on the purchase of an ebook.
You’ll see that most publishers charge between $5 and $10 maximum for ebooks, and sometimes even less than $5.
As an independent author or in self-publishing, set the right price for your ebook by calculating your profits and the margins you’ll be able to make on the different platforms, an intermediate price between your ideal price and the most attractive for your readers.
You can also consider temporary promotion campaigns to invite the first readers to discover your book. Determine an interesting psychological threshold, such as $2.99 to start: you can change this small price at any time once the sale of your work is launched.
Respect the price limits dictated by the law
Be careful to respect the rules regarding the pricing policy of your ebook.
Did you know that, for instance, in France, the price of your book must end with €0.49 or €0.99?
In addition, the “law of the single price” or Lang law regulates the pricing of a book on the market.
Whether it’s in paper or digital format, a single price must be given by the publisher or the author. This fixed price must be applied to all sales sites without any modification of the price according to this or that platform.
For example, it’s impossible to sell a book at €2.99 on the Kindle platform while it’s priced at €6.99 on the Fnac sales site.
If the price remains the same on all the points of sale, the publisher or the author is totally free to modify it, either downwards or upwards according to their choice, on all the platforms without exception.
Be sure to check your particular country’s laws pertaining to ebook pricing to ensure that you’re following all the applicable regulations!
Offer your ebook in a free version
You can also create your ebook and offer it at no cost without going through sales platforms or digital libraries.
This practice is common in the framework of professional marketing strategy in order to get the greatest number of email addresses possible to increase your customer database.
This opt-in lever then requires a landing page dedicated to the capture of the prospect’s email address. Then, this technique will ask to send a confirmation email containing the link to the ebook to the new reader. This scenario is very simple to set up and can be done on automation software such as Mailchimp.
Set a higher price according to the exclusive content of the ebook
There are many cases where prices exceed $10 for an ebook: this is mainly motivated by the quality of the work, the length of the ebook, but also by the reputation of the author and how exclusive their content is considered to be.
What is an ebook that’s considered exclusive? When we look at the recipe books of the big names in the world of cooking, for example, we can see that the ebook version can easily reach $20 or $30. In these cases, this is explained by the names of the authors recognized in the profession, but also by the exclusivity of the recipes that don’t exist outside the ebook.
Similarly, some ebooks written by influencers (fitness, wellness, etc.) can also exceed the $30 mark: these well-known figures appreciated by the public deliver their exclusive tips, only accessible through the ebook, which makes the content more “precious.”
Finally, a price that’s more expensive can also be justified by the size of the ebook (excluding literary works): if your work is very well documented, the number of pages is significant, and you feel that your production deserves a higher price, you can test the sale of your product at an initial price before adjusting it based on your results.
Selling your ebook on online libraries
How much does an ebook earn on Amazon Kindle?
There are two ways to sell your ebook on the Amazon platform: the 70% royalty and the 35% royalty.
Under the 70% royalty, your ebook must be in a price range between $2.99 and $9.99.
You should also be aware that the 70% fee includes a delivery fee, which is calculated based on the weight of your Kindle file ($.15 per MB).
If you choose the 35% fee, there are no delivery charges.
The price on the Amazon platform is also determined by the weight of the ebook, i.e., the number of pages of your ebook. A book between 3 and 10 MB should have a minimum list price of $1.99. Beyond 10 MB, the list price will be at least $2.99 .
Adding your ebook on the Amazon platform also allows you to participate in various prizes organized by Amazon to try to win awards, evolving as an author to gain notoriety and recognition.
What are the fees charged by the Kobo service?
With the Kobo Writing Life program, it’s possible to upload your manuscript to the digital bookstore.
The Kobo system works like Amazon with royalty rates determined by the service itself. On this platform, everything depends on the listing price of your ebook:
- Less than $2.99, the royalty amounts to 45%
- $2.99 or more, the royalty is 70%.
The Kobo platform is therefore more remunerative than Amazon's on lower-priced books, which pushes self-publishing authors to diversify the channels on which their work is available for purchase.
How do you offer your book on Barnes & Noble NOOK e-readers?
Another option is to self-publish your ebook with U.S. book retailer Barnes & Noble via B&N Press, making your digital creation available on the company’s website as well as on NOOK devices.
When self-publishing an ebook with B&N Press, authors benefit from a royalty rate of 70%, regardless of the ebook’s price.
B&N Press doesn’t require exclusive rights from authors in order to publish their works, and the company pays out monthly royalties when you earn $10 or more or bi-monthly royalties for any amount.
Putting your ebook on sale on your own sales site
Create your online store and start selling!
If it’s essential to go through bookstore platforms and publishing houses specialized in digital literature, why not offer your content directly on your own merchant site?
Instead of going only through ebook publishers and having to pay a commission on the sale of each copy of your project, creating your own site for the sale of your book is a good way to achieve greater freedom in managing your presentation and communication.
With the WiziShop solution, you can offer your ebook in any downloadable format. Whether it’s a novel, a book of foreign literature, a personal development ebook, or professional works related to your business, create your site from A to Z while being accompanied by a team of ecommerce experts to help you along the way.
You’ll also benefit from complimentary training with your subscription while taking advantage of more than 400 features from the beginning of your new adventure in self-publishing. WiziShop accompanies you step by step to find your first customers until your national and international success!
Which ecommerce service and subscription to choose?
With your own online sales site thanks to the WiziShop solution, only your subscription starting at $40/month (with your first month being just $1) plus a nominal commission fee will be necessary to take advantage of hundreds of benefits in selling your ebook.
You’ll also get to avail of a 3-day free trial: this will give you time to think about the best price for your book and all the time you need to set up a site that suits your image.
Once you’ve determined how much you want to charge for your creation, all you have to do is set up your design and the elements necessary to help sell your ebook. The fastest way to your literary success!
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