Episode 65 – Does the Price of Your Book Affect Sales?

By Dr. Beth Brombosz

May 17

 

I get asked about book pricing a lot. And I get it—it’s hard to figure out what you should list your book at to make sure that the price doesn’t drive away potential book buyers and readers. So, in this episode, I’m diving into the question of whether or not book price affects sales.

 

Over the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with the price of my books on Amazon. I always want to share what I learn from my own books with you listeners, so I’m sharing the results with you here. At the end, I’ll share the one thing that I think you should use to guide your book’s pricing.

 

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DOES THE PRICE OF YOUR BOOK AFFECT SALES?

 

(This is a direct transcription, so please overlook any grammar or punctuation errors.)

 

I’m sure a lot of you have wondered about the pricing of your book and it’s a question I get asked about a lot because it is so hard to figure out how to price your book, especially your self-published book because you don’t have a publisher helping you set the price, uh, which makes it a little more difficult because you could choose just about any price you want to sell it for. So how do you find that sweet spot and how do you make sure that you’re maximizing the money you’re making while still making sure that your book isn’t priced so high that nobody will buy it. And I just want to throw in the caveat that I am in here mostly talking about nonfiction books. My knowledge of fiction books is very limited in terms of strategy.

And so if anything that I’m saying is contradicting what you be fiction book sellers who you follow, advertise or talk about, I would follow their advice over mine a, again, primarily I’m talking to nonfiction authors here. Um, so there’s a general idea and for the most part, this holds, although not necessarily all the time, that if you price a product lower, more people will buy it and so a lot of authors will either consider or will actually price their book very low to get more people to buy it. And this is true, especially I see it a lot with books that are launching. They’ll price books at ninety nine cents or a dollar 99 to help that book sell more copies. And if you’re interested in learning a little bit more about that. I also talk about that in my podcast episode about how I became a number one best seller.

So you can head over to blog or to author.com/podcast to find that episode or find it wherever you download your podcast episodes from. But the general idea is, again, people will be more likely to buy your book. If it’s priced low. It’s easier for them to say, oh, hey, sure, I’ll buy this ninety nine cent book because it’s only ninety nine cents. And so that may lead you to assume that you should price your book really low because that will entice people to buy it, but that’s not necessarily the case. And so I just wanted to share actually the story of what has happened with my books. I’ve been experimenting with the a little bit and especially over the past couple of months I have played around with that. I reduce the price on several of my books, both my health and fitness books and then my blogger to author book which different niches, but I wanted to see if across the board if price affected my sales or if it just affected my sales in one niche and not the other end.

What I found is that across the board, my sales were relatively unaffected when I dropped the price of the book by a couple of dollars or even several dollars in the case of my blogger to author kindle book. So my original price for the blogger to author kindle book was [inaudible] Ninety nine. I dropped it down to three 99 and I maybe got a couple more downloads of that. But not too many, and so I think that that’s just a great show that by dropping down the price even substantially, but even in the case of some of my other books, it was just a couple of dollars that I dropped the price and I still didn’t see a difference in sales. And this is even with having ninety nine cent ebooks are kindle books. I didn’t see a huge difference in sales, but it made a big difference to my bottom line.

So for example, if I’m selling my ebook on Amazon as a kindle book, and if I take it from one 99 down to ninety nine cents to see if I’m going to make more sales, I’m literally losing half of my royalties. But if I’m not seeing any results or if I’m selling one or two more books, it’s absolutely not worth it for me to drop the price. So really what this brings me to is that I do think, especially for nonfiction books, that you should price on value and that you should sell on value. And so for example, I’m not afraid to put my Bulgur to author book back where it was price wise, I don’t know if I’ll take the kindle price honestly backup two, nine 99, but I’ll put it somewhere in the middle of where it was because I know that it is valuable and actually I really, when I think about it, have no problem with it being nine slash 99 because I know that for $10 my readers can get the digital copy of that book and it will help them create their own book.

It walks them through everything that is worth honestly way more than $10. So that $10 is a fair price. Same thing. I took the printed version of that book and I dropped it from $11.99 down to $9. Ninety nine. Did it affect my sales? Not at all, but it was less take home for me. And honestly I know that book is worth at least 1199 for the same reason that I just explained is the kindle version. It’s valuable, it helps people. And so that’s something that honestly I could bring up to $14.99 because I know the value is there and I have clients who have their nonfiction books priced at $14.99 and they are selling hundreds and even more than that of copies because the value is there because they know and their audience knows that the book is full of amazing, helpful content. And so my, again, my take home message here is that instead of worrying about lowering the price of your book to sell more copies, I think that you should price on what your book is worth.

And to do that, you need to think about how much value you’re book is bringing to your readers and don’t focus as much about, oh well, will I get more sales if I lower the price? I don’t think it’s going to have that big of an effect, but it will have a big effect on your bottom line. So get comfortable with the price that again, you know, makes it worth it to your readers. Is it worth it for them to spend $15 to get the results that your book is going to give them? If it is awesome price your book there, is it worth $9.99? Wherever that point is, take a careful look and use that to help guide your pricing for your book. I think that that’s the smartest way to go. Again, I’ve played with this myself. I saw no difference for my personal books and so I would suggest to you all to really focus on pricing on value instead of pricing on hopefully making something less expensive so hopefully you’ll get more sales because that may not happen and you may be out money because of it.

 

OTHER BOOK PRICING RESOURCES

 

Here are some other resources you might find helpful when you’re pricing your book:

 

Ten Tips for Pricing Your Book Profitably from SelfPublishedAuthor by Bowker
DIY: How to Price a Self-Published eBook via Publishers Weekly
Tips for Pricing Your Book via IngramSpark

 

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