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Sunday, June 20, 2021

How Should Authors Price Their Books?

    When I had written my first set of novellas and short stories, I priced my books based on how my competitors priced their books. This approach was fine in the beginning, but as I began to grow and know my worth as an author, I based my pricing on my bottom line. I wanted to make at the very least two bucks per sale after clearing Amazon’s 60-40 split and printing costs. For example, if I wrote a 20,000-word novella, my printing cost would be $2.15 per copy. So, in order to gross a two-dollar profit, I’d have to charge my readers $6.95 per book (6.95 x 0.60) – 2.15 = 4.17 – 2.15 = $2.02.

Author Workspace

    Pricing eBooks are a different story because of the fact that most Amazon customers have Amazon Prime accounts and unlimited access to free downloads. Authors are paid by page views ($0.005 per page) and not the cost of the eBook unless the customer doesn’t have an Amazon Prime account. I always choose the 70% royalty option when I set the eBook price (the eBook price has to be between $2.99 - $9.99 in order for the author to receive a 70-30 split from Amazon), so I charge $2.99 for a 20,000-word novella, for example, and price each book according to word count (a dollar per 10,000-word increment).

    Lastly, I always use ninety-nine cent pricing points for my eBooks and ninety-five cent pricing points for my paperback books instead of even pricing points based on the Basu’s 2006 study that consumers disregard the right-most digits and focus on the solid number to the left of the decimal. This approach has worked well for me, and I’ve never varied from the script in regard to setting a price for each one of my works.

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