Friday, June 14, 2013

How Much Should A Book Cost?

YA writers and bloggers unite each week to share their thoughts on what it's like going indie in today's publishing world.

I have just released my latest novel - Unknown - so YA Indie Carnival's discussion today is quite timely. I had to ask myself this very question as I uploaded my book the other day. 

How much should this book cost? How much is it worth?

It saddens me to realize that a book's cost and worth are two very different things. When I think about all the hours I've poured into my novels and the money I've spent on editors to make sure they a quality reads, I cringe to think that I may only sell them for 99c.

But the thing is, there is no point putting in all this time and effort and publishing it online then not selling one single copy. So pricing is a very important consideration.

When it comes to pricing, I try to think like a reader. I don't mind spending up to $5 for en e-book. I'll even spend up to $8 if it's an author I really love. Now I don't know any indie authors that would price their stuff that high. Most of the authors I know price their books at either 99c or between $2.99 - $4.99, which I am always happy to pay. It's WAY cheaper than the $25+ I used to spend on paperback novels.

Personally, I would love to charge $3.99+ for all my books. They are all over 60,000 words long, they are a decent read and I feel like they are worth that much, but from a marketing stand point, I choose not to do that. I am trying to find a happy compromise. 

So - my very first book (the first of a series) is permanently free - Golden Blood. The next two books in the series are $3.99 each. Some people don't like this, but I figure I'm giving them one book for free, so they're picking up an entire trilogy for just under $8, which really isn't bad. My two stand alone novels are $3.99 each and my latest release (the first of a series) is $2.99. 

By making $2.99 my lowest price, I am able to benefit from 70% royalties on Amazon and it also gives me room to move with specials. I try to run some sort of special every couple of months on my books. I don't mind dropping the price to 99c for a short period of time. It's a great boost for my rankings. I tend to only do this with first books in a series though.

Now I don't know if I have it right. I still have much to learn about marketing, but this strategy seems to be working for now.

How about you?
What do you think books are worth?

If you'd like to find out what the other carnival goers think, you can follow the links below. 
And don't forget to check out our latest news on our YA Author Club site.

1.Laura A. H. Elliott2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series4.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog6.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter8.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9.Ella James10.Maureen Murrish
11.YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings12.A Little Bit of R&R
13.Melissa Pearl14.Terah Edun - YA Fantasy
15.Heather Sutherlin - YA Fantasy


  1. I love it when books are 99c. I usually am more willing to buy them. I have gotten sucked in to trilogies because the first one is free and then the other two were terrible (those shall remain nameless). When I came across your Time Spirit trilogy, I'd just finished a crappy series and was not really wanting to get into another one but Komal Kant suggested them to me so I took the plunge and I loved them!
    Like you said, I'm more willing to pay for a book if I like the author, and I will pay more. $3.99 is a good price point in my opinion. I was suggested a book one time and she was a first time author and her e-book was $25! I didn't buy it. I'd go to the store for the hard copy before I bought an ebook at that price.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad Komal suggested my books to you and you enjoyed them. That kind of thing makes my day!!! Thanks for your support.

      I know what you mean about the 99c thing. I love only spending 99c on a book, which is why I never mind if an author charges more for the rest in a good series. I feel like they've earned it :D

  2. i love the prices you have set for your books. completly worth it. i dont pay over 5bucks for one cus when u do the conversion its alot more. if its a author i love il pay up to 9bucks expecially if its not going to be a paperback
    anyone complaining about your prices just suck. they are totally worth it, and im willing to pay anything to get the paperbacks :)

  3. Yeah I am still working with pricing myself. I went ahead and did my first novel at 2.99. I figure it is a good starting price for me to work with and it is working out okay so far. I may move other series up to 3.99, but I think that 4.99 would be my top price for eBooks.

    1. $2.99 is a great place to start.
      Thanks for stopping by, Brandon :D