Are you using your head or your heart to price your eBook?

Faydra Deon
By Faydra Deon December 23, 2012 17:05

Are you using your head or your heart to price your eBook?

This post was updated on 02 May 2014.

I’ve had many independent authors ask my advice on what they should charge for their eBooks.

I usually tell them to charge what they believe their work it worth.

After being asked that same question just recently by another author, I gave some more thought to what I’ve been saying about charging what you believe your work is worth.

I mean, if you’re pricing your eBook from your heart, the cost will more than likely be far more than pricing your eBook from your head. Some people would agree that emotion and logic don’t mix in any relationship, and there is a relationship between the artist and his/her art, the author and his/her book, right?

It’s like your book is your baby. You gave birth to something you adore and you believe the world should adore it, too. The reality, however, is that not every reader in the world is going to look at your book and see your labor pains or your stretch marks or even the reason you love it so much.

If they think the pricing is reasonable, they may give your book a go. If they don’t think your pricing is reasonable, they’ll move on to the next author’s baby.

While I’m still reluctant to tell anyone what they should charge for their eBooks, I will share with you how I price my eBooks. Keep in mind, this is the pricing structure that I devised for me, so it may not work for you.

Anyway…

I keep it simple. I base the pricing structure for my eBooks on word count.

Anything I publish with up to about 20,000 words gets a price tag of $3.99.

Anything I publish that’s between 20,001 and 50,000 words gets a price tag of $5.99.

Anything I publish that’s 60,000 words or more gets a price tag of $8.99.

Why these prices and these word counts?

Truthfully, I chose them based on what I’d willingly pay to read someone else’s eBook with a similar word count. Keep in mind I’m referring to authors who don’t have a proven track record in the publishing industry.

I mean, best-selling authors like James Patterson and Terry McMillian are selling eBooks at $14.99, but they’ve got reputations for writing excellent books. I’m willing to give an indie author a try at about half of what I’d pay for a best-selling author’s eBook. I think that’s fair.

If you let me tell it, each of my eBooks is worth a million bucks! 🙂 However, the reality is that no one’s going to pay me a million dollars for one of my eBooks.

I still don’t feel comfortable telling other authors what to charge for their eBooks, so I’ll always tell them to charge what they believe their eBooks are worth, but I will add that they should make sure they’re pricing their books from their heads (logically) and not their hearts (emotionally).

Final note: this pricing structure is for fiction eBooks. Reference eBooks I write get priced differently than my works of fiction.

Faydra Deon
By Faydra Deon December 23, 2012 17:05
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6 Comments

  1. Karen Prince December 24, 04:48

    Faydra, after reading your blog, my head is so telling me to price my book at 2.99, especially since it is about 100 000 words, but my heart is saying 99c. Over here in Africa it becomes 2.99 anyway once Amazon has added delivery charges, and the bottom line is I wrote it for Africans so I desperately want it to be affordable for them. Having it really cheap in the States will just have to be a by product.

    Reply to this comment
    • Faydra Deon December 24, 13:11

      What delivery charges does Amazon need to add to an eBook? I’m not understanding that part.

      Like I said in my post, the prices I’ve set work for me and my eBooks. It may not work for your situation, so go with what makes sense. That’s always the best way to handle it.

      Thanks for reading the post and for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts and your time. 🙂

      Reply to this comment
      • Karen Prince December 24, 13:22

        Yes, Amazon charges extra for anyone who is not living in the USA. So my 99c book is 2.99 for South Africans, but still 99c for Americans.

        I am just beginning to appreciate how much you are helping everyone with this website. Thanks.

        Reply to this comment
        • Faydra Deon December 24, 13:24

          Wow. I didn’t know that it was that much of a mark up. You could always break your 100,000-word book into two parts and charge $0.99 for each part, which would convert to $2.99 for each part for US readers.

          Reply to this comment
          • Karen Prince December 24, 13:29

            No, That would totally spoil the story. I don’t really mind. I am in it for the long haul. I am more interested in getting dedicated fans and delivering something awesome to them, than making millions. Thanks for the suggestion though.

          • Faydra Deon December 24, 13:47

            I agree that building an audience is key.

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