Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What is the perfect price for ebooks?

The perfect price for ebooks is what the public is willing to pay, and many publishers and authors are ignoring this fact. Too many ebooks are priced the same or more than their print counterparts. Too many ebooks are priced at over $9.99, and most people don't want to pay that much, unless it's for one of the "big name authors".

There has been a lot of discussion of what the perfect price point is for an ebook. The answer? Publishers and authors may have to play with the prices to determine where the best price lies.

A strong proponent of $0.99 and $1.99 ebooks, author JA Konrath, held those views up until last year, when Amazon raised the royalty level to 70% for ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Konrath took the plunge and raised his prices and has reported that this hasn't hurt his sales in the least. In fact, he reports he made over $100K last year on his ebooks, across multiple retailers. Not bad income for an author who is self-publishing his own books now, after being published by the big guys for years.

In Konrath's latest blog post, he talks about an author who reached the NYT bestsellers list multiple times, who was just offered a $200K two-book deal. After Konrath crunched the numbers and pointed out that her ebooks would be priced higher, it appears this author would be better off publishing these on her own--especially since she obviously already has a platform and a built-in fan base from her existing titles--and setting lower prices.

Kindle Nation Daily conducted a recent survey and discovered that a high percentage of Kindle readers preferred ebooks priced at $3.99 and less.

As an author, I want readers to be able to afford my books. I don't write so they can sit on a shelf (physical or virtual) and collect dust, or be used as decorations. I write because I want someone to read my stories and hopefully enjoy them. I write for more personal reasons too, but essentially my intention is to make by books and ebooks available to everyone and anyone.

So I've priced my ebooks low--from $0.99 to $3.99. Why? Because I want my books to be read.

I don't know if there really is one "perfect" price point for an ebook. I think it varies, depending on the economical situation and your target audience per title. But I am very pleased to know that all my ebooks are retailing at an affordable price, and that I'm able to put them on sale every now and then.

In the end, the pricing issue really boils down to one thing. Publishers and authors should give readers what they want, and they want less expensive ebooks.

For authors: How important is ebook pricing?

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