I hear the following question often:

What price do you recommend for my book?

There are multiple answers to this question because we need a different price for each format the book will be sold in: 1) paperback or softcover, 2) hardcover, 3) Kindle (EPUB or MOBI) and 4) eBook (PDF for website distribution).

Before considering the pricing for these various formats, I usually ask the question:

Is your goal for the book to make money or get more readers?

More Readers

If they say, 1) “I want more readers to increase my visibility and brand-recognition” or 2) “I want more readers because I want to sell more books to attain the #1 Bestseller status on Amazon,” then a good approach is to find several comparable titles (let’s call them “COMPS”), and then average the prices from the leaders in the same book categories as the book we are pricing. We calculate the average price for each book format.

Note that some comparable books will be priced very low to attract more readers, but we can normalize that by taking the top 10 books (as specified in the Amazon Bestseller screen) in the category to calculate an average price.

Many people offer the Kindle version for free; do not use those in your calculation. Note that Amazon uses a separate Bestseller calculation for the free books. Also, remove the $0.99 and $1.99 and $2.99 books or normalize them by adding more COMPs into the average.

Once we calculate an average price for each format, we can decrease each price to attract readers. Note that if we are seeking a #1 Bestseller status on Amazon, we can decrease ONLY the price of the Kindle to $0.99 and leave the other formats at the price we calculated. During the book launch period, we keep the Kindle price low while we perform marketing to boost sales. We can raise the Kindle price to the calculated target after the launch.

Note that the book price is not the only consideration in generating sales. We also need a solid rollout plan using various marketing techniques.

This is Part 1 in a multi-part series. The next entry will cover other answers to the initial question posed and will be titled “Book Pricing – Effective Strategies for Pricing Your Kindle, Softcover, Hardcover and EBook – Part II”