What is a good list price for your eBook?

This is a very frequently asked question, and there is no simple answer.

Before you decide, you will need to understand a few basic guidelines:

  1. Amazon currently sell more eBooks than any other single retailer, so their royalty options are a good place to start when deciding on your list price. In order to get 70% royalty rate (rather than 35%) you will need to price accordingly. If your eBook is a large file, it may be better to opt for 35% royalty on Amazon rather than 70%. Books in the 35% royalty bracket do not incur delivery fees. Please read this page carefully for key information https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A29FL26OKE7R7B
  2. See also this  information about royalty rates and minimum and maximum selling prices on other retailers:  Retailer Royalty Rates
  3. It is advisable to set the list price of your eBook, in $, £ and €. You can simply specify a $ price and allow the retailers to assign equivalent prices in other currencies if you wish, but this may not be a good tactic if the exchange rates are not favourable for you from $ to £ for example. We also recommend researching key markets for your eBook to get a feel for best pricing in these territories. One country may have higher price points for certain books. Some territories may be important because of the size of the reading population, but price per book is typically much lower.
  4. The list price may not be the sales price. See below for more information.
  5. There is no reliable formula for setting a price for an eBook. We strongly advise research on the retailer websites to see what the comfortable price range is for books similar to your title/s. If you look at the top 20 best selling titles in your category, you will get an idea of price, however there are many variables.

Bear in mind that this is a highly competitive market, there are many thousands of books launched online every day. Amazon sells around 5 million eBooks in the Kindle store. This does not mean that you should always price low, but it does mean that you will need to work hard to find readers, and price accordingly for your title.

For example, a technical manual aimed at a specific readership may be able to command a higher price than a romantic novel. Historical non-fiction is usually priced higher than romantic fiction.

If you have a strong marketing plan in place and a database of potential readers to contact, you may wish to maintain a slightly higher price at launch and then introduce promotion pricing later, when the initial marketing push is over.

There are many discussions about eBook pricing in the publishing world, and a quick Google search will show you some of the views of authors and publishers.

Selling on Apple?

The price of your book must end in .49 or .99 (cents or pence)

Your list price can be fixed, but the selling price may change.

The good news is that worldwide brand retailers like Amazon and Apple will allow you, as independent authors and publishers, to sell your eBooks on their websites. Your eBooks will be available to their massive audience of customers, and the retailers will pay you royalties on sales. The slightly frustrating part of the deal is that although you will specify a list price when the eBook files are uploaded, this may then be disregarded and the book may be discounted, or price matched if another retailer has reduced the price on their website. Before you know it, your selling price is different depending on the retailer.

Amazon, Apple and Kobo will usually not instigate this by discounting  – but Amazon will price match pretty quickly if others do. Our advice is to keep an eye on your listings, and weigh up the danger of limiting your availability against protecting your price per sale.

In our experience, with the titles we distribute – the retailers most likely to discount at the moment are Barnes and Noble (UK particularly) Google and Gardners. Gardners account for a very small percentage of sales, but Google will continue to develop as an important sales channel.

More on this from my blog post on the Alliance of Independent Author website: http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/reaching-readers-how-to-choose-self-publishing-distribution-options/