Yeah. You know you’ve had that reaction before while browsing on Amazon. If you’ve ever wondered WHY someone would price an extremely short novella or perhaps a 34 page book about blog events at $2.99, I have the answer for you.
And it’s not that the price is “worth it.” (Even if it is.)
No, many people price their books at $2.99 because it’s the lowest price you can set your book at and still receive 70 percent royalty.
In fact, it had been my intention to price my book lower than $2.99. I knew that, while the information in the book is well worth $2.99, most people would look at the 34 page count and go, “Nope. Not for $2.99.” As I’m sure many people already have. And I get it. I knew going into it that I wouldn’t make much money (if I made any at all) on Blog Events, but it wasn’t about the money, it was about producing a product that would garner me more recognition. On that front, it worked.
But back to the prices.
I ended up setting the price at $2.99 because by pricing it lower, I would have only been able to receive 35 percent royalty. And 35 percent on $.99 or $1.99 is not much at all, especially when you factor in the costs of production. I need 13 times the sales I have now–at $2.99–to break even on my investment. $2.99 gives me a fighting chance to get there.
So no, authors may not always believe their 16 or 34 page ebook is worth $2.99, but publishing is, after all, a money-making venture. And some of those $2.99 priced ebooks? Aren’t worth the cost. Kelly and I have proved that with our GLA books. (Which, by the way, we download when they’re free. But the original price is often $2.99.)
And I think this pricing dilemma is one worth mentioning. If I could have received 70 percent royalty on $1.99 or lower, I would have. But I couldn’t. So I didn’t.
What must a $2.99 ebook have to entice you to buy it? High page count? Good reviews? Something else?
PS. I haven’t linked my ebook here because this post isn’t about getting sympathy or getting people to buy my book. It’s about explaining the pricing at Amazon–and what authors earn–because it’s something that’s not talked about. And learning it has made me reconsider how I view other books priced at $2.99. Even if I may not buy a $2.99 book, I do understand the reasoning behind it.