What’s the best price for a self-published ebook? $3.99, Smashwords research suggests

Vy Chazen:

Hmm, interesting. What do indie authors think about this? Care to weigh in?

Originally posted on paidContent (old):

One of the biggest decisions that self-published authors have to make is how to price their ebook. What’s the sweet spot? Self-publishing platform and digital bookstore Smashwords analyzed 11 months’ worth of sales — $12 million, 120,000 ebooks sold — to discern some best practices for self-published authors. The full report is here. Among the findings:

Most authors price at $2.99…

Smashwords founder and CEO Mark Coker found that authors chose to price at $2.99 “more frequently than any other price point. In last year’s survey, $.99 was a more common price point than $2.99. In this year’s survey, $2.99 was [chosen] about 60 percent more often.”

…but $3.99 sells the most copies.

Smashwords’ findings suggest that those $2.99 authors should price up by a dollar: “One surprising finding is that, on average, $3.99 books sold more units than $2.99 books, and more units than any other price except FREE…

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3 thoughts on “What’s the best price for a self-published ebook? $3.99, Smashwords research suggests

  1. Interesting stuff… It looks like anywhere between $2.00 and $6.99 is a reasonable bet. Maybe it depends on the genre? The content? The length of the book?? Will be interesting to find out a bit more. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is a very interesting graph. I saw it a while ago, but it still has me puzzled. There are so many authors who sell their books for .99 cents and seem to sell so much more than all the other prices, but I’m not a marketing analyst, so what do I know? But I find it interesting that 10 dollars sells more than .99 cents?

    • You know, this is something we often talk about at my work. It’s about perceived value. Since I work for a not-for-profit, we offer many programs at no cost. Yet they are often less attended. The idea is people see value in what they are paying for and price gives it accountability.

      My own personal experience is that I actually tend to buy more e-books at a higher price than .99 cents. I don’t remember if it is this article or another, but the 3.99 range is a higher seller than .99 cents. I also think authors should value more of their writing. Since I’m investing in an editor, I know my work will be polished (here’s hoping).

      I would say quality over quantity. I would hope that my work is worth it to readers who are genuinely interested in the theme and not because it’s cheaper.

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