Pricing Your E-Book Right

As the Kindle a course in miracles books reader takes over the literary market, so does the rise of e-books in general. The question arises about what to price e-books. What price are reader’s willing to pay for the digital version of a book? In case you’re interested, the Internet is flooded with “how-to price your e-book” advice. One word of advice you’ll likely come across is to price your e-book based on the type of information and amount of information in your book. I followed up on this advice and perused through several online sites and found this true for a majority of non-fiction books (such as business books) that tended to contain more information and also included printed photographs. Non-fiction books were higher in price. On average, non-fiction e-books were around $10.00-14.00. They tended to be cheaper when offered through for the Kindle.

But here’s the issue with this pricing logic: What about fiction writers? How can you measure the amount of information provided in your work of fiction? You could argue that the amount of pages equals the amount of information, but for many works of fiction, that simply wouldn’t work. Take Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” for example. It is short, therefore if going by this idea on quantity it should be priced low. Though it may be short, it’s a classic chalked full of meaning. In my opinion, you cannot put a value on the type of information in fiction. The information provided in fiction has an intrinsic value, a value which cannot be measured. Therefore, it is difficult to price a fiction book based on the type of information it offers.

What about children’s books? They are typically not long; therefore if we were to price by the amount of information, it would also be a very low price. The author would make no profit. What type of information can you quantify in a children’s book? Compared to adult books, there is not much information. Therefore, if continuing with the page quantity idea, again, the children’s book would have to be priced low. In a way, this “criteria” for pricing discriminates against children’s books. Since children’s books are both short in length and generally not full of information, they cannot fit into pricing standard mentioned above. Does that mean there is no market for children’s e-books?

I believe the easiest way to price your e-book is to choose a price that reflects the value of the content — not just the size or quantity of pages. Be sure to do your research of similar titles so that you don’t price your book too high or too low. And remember it’s typically easier to lower your price than to raise it! When it doubt: talk with a publisher, bookstore personnel, or even other readers.

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