Book Pricing Warning: Don’t Sell Your Book Too Cheap

There’s a lot of bad advice in the book publishing market. As I’ve shared before, there are also a lot of self-publishing scams to watch out for. One of the areas where I think there’s a lot of misguided advice is in the area of book pricing.

As a part of our book publishing and support services at Book Launchers, we do in depth research to help you determine the best price points for your book. Even with research, it’s not that straightforward.

Many people suggest that you price your book for .99 cents to $9.99. Generally, that’s being driven by the advantages of being in the KDP Select program (watch this video on the KDP select program and going exclusive with Amazon).

Generally, I don’t like to go exclusive with Amazon unless you have a really good reason. And, I’m certainly not going to give it away for free on Amazon when Amazon’s not telling you who’s ‘buying’ your book. If you’re giving it away for free (or really cheap), you need to be benefiting in some other way. To me, that’s in the form of an opt-in at a minimum.

You may think more downloads is better, but if you need people to read that download to then become a customer, you’re putting a lot of faith in your audience to read your book.

Have you ever downloaded a free book you didn’t read?

Yea, me too! All the time.

Even if you pay a lot for a book, it’s still not a guarantee you’ll read it. But if you download a free book, you’re even less motivated to read it unless there’s an amazing hook or a really killer promise.

When it comes to book pricing, that’s just one of the reasons I won’t sell my books really cheap. Here’s the three main reasons:

Number one is value.

You are putting years of expertise, education and experience into this book. It probably took you tens of thousands of dollars to gain that expertise. You likely invested thousands of hours to learn what you’ve learned.

You invested in something that your reader is going to use to save time or money. So there’s a lot of value in those pages. So why sell them for 99 cents and make nothing?

Number two is perceived value.

Depending on your industry, your clients probably spend a lot of money to work with you. Do you want your services to be perceived as cheap?

If you price a book at 99 cents, what do you think your clients are going to think not only about the book but potentially about your services?

Number three, book stores and wholesale opportunities.

If you want to do a lot more than break even on your book sales, this is really important.

You can move hundreds or thousands of copies of your books with the right kind of deal. If your book is too cheap those deals won’t be there.

For example, if you write a book on fitness, you may be able to strike deals with the distributors of equipment you recommend. This kinda deal can move thousands of copies of books. But, this is contingent on your book having true value to their clients and the people they give copies too.

There are plenty of reasons to price your book appropriately for your goals and your market, the challenge of course, is how to figure that price out.

So now, you might be wondering … how exactly do I price my book? You can find our one part science and one part art approach right here.