Determining the price of your ebook is a similar process to choosing a price for your print book; with a few key differences. Perhaps you have already priced your print book, and it’s currently being sold, or you may be just starting on your self-publishing journey and want to find the right price for your ebook and your print book. Whichever position you’re in, you need to know how to price your book and what strategies align with your goals.
Why are you publishing your book? Numerous writers create stories, poems, essays, but never publish them. You have decided to take your work to the next level and Share It With the World. Is it a thrilling mystery novel that you’re sharing with eager readers? Is it a self-help book that you believe will improve the lives of everyday people? Is it a textbook that offers the most up-to-date research and commentary in a particular field? The answer to these questions will guide you on how to price your ebook and your print book. In an ideal world, you might want to sell as many copies as possible and make as much money as possible, but in reality you need a more specific goal. If your primary goal is to have your book read by as many people as possible, then making your book less expensive may attract more readers. However, if your goal is to maximize your profits, setting your price at the higher end could offer you more revenue.
What genre will your book be categorized? Identifying and researching your genre is one of the most crucial steps in pricing your print book and ebook. When you were writing your book, you probably did research to compare your work to others in your genre. Use the same approach when deciding on a price point. Whether you’ve written a steamy romance or a textbook on civil engineering, the genre of your book should guide your pricing. What is the average price of a book in your genre? How much is the book that is most similar to yours? You want your book to fit in with its peers.
If your book is priced too low for what is typical in your genre, it could appear less credible or entertaining than its competitors. If your book is priced too high, readers are going to wonder why your book is more expensive than a similar book in the genre. The reader has to be able to quickly see something about your book that justifies the higher price; otherwise, it won’t make sense why your book is more costly than its counterparts. Knowing your work and knowing your audience will help you find a sweet spot for pricing your print book and ebook. Are you well known in your genre or field, or is this your first publication? Readers are not surprised when the work of a famous person is more expensive than that of an unknown author. Consider where you are on the spectrum of novice to expert or first-time published to multi-published author. Again, you want to fit in with your peers.
Pricing Specific to Ebooks
What you want from your ebook may differ from the desired results of your print book. You might focus primarily on your print book’s success and sales and therefore decide to price your ebook as less expensive. Maybe your print book has already been available for years, and you’re looking at your ebook as a kind of re-release jump start for fresh sales. If you publish an ebook with no physical book option, then your goals are narrowed to compete in a digital space only.
While your print book has dimensions, color, texture, and weight, your ebook’s appearance is contained within digital screens. When you are comparing your ebook to other ebooks in your genre you need to consider content when deciding on a price. If your print book is a paperback then you would compare it to other paperbacks in your genre to decide on a price. However, for ebooks, you want to compare the content in the genre that is most similar to yours, regardless of how the books might appear in the real world.
Pricing Specific to Print Books
For print books, this is not just about content, but the appearance and feel of the book. When you compare your print book to others in the genre you have to look for things like trim size, weight, and cover design. If the majority of self-help print books are paperback then you will want to fit in with those books and price your paperback similarly. Likewise, if most of the books reviewing Renaissance paintings are large hardcovers, then to fit in with that genre means considering a hardcover option, which will affect how you price your book.
Who is your audience? A print book may mean a physical store. Readers are walking down aisles, touching book spines, and reading dust jackets. Some people view print books as a path to get away from technology. Others view buying physical books as an investment in their personal collection. When deciding on a price for your print book, keep in mind the kind of reader that is specifically buying a print book instead of an ebook.