Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

E-book prices: The lower, the better?


E-book prices are a major cause of dispute, both among authors and readers. Readers often claim that publishers set their eBook prices too high and while I will not say they are wrong with that, I will also not say they are right.

Some eBooks are priced at the same price, or even higher, than their paperback counterparts. This is something I disagree with. I would not pay $12.99 for an eBook when I can get the paperback for $9.99. I won’t mention titles, but I have seen it happen.

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...

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However, I am a firm believer that there must be worth to each book sold. If the paperback sells for $9.99 and the accompanying eBook sells for only $0.99 on Amazon, then is that fair to readers who prefer to stick with paper? There are always costs in publishing eBooks, much like print books. Editing, cover design, copy-editing. The price of paper, ink, and binding is what falls away.

You have a friend who can design your cover, a family member who is an English teacher, and can do formatting yourself? Great! If you want high sales and have low production costs, then go for the $0.99 price. On the other hand, that sometimes devalues the book. If many readers were willing to pay $4.99 for the quality a book has, would that make a difference? Would writers change the price?

The $0.99 price is a common one that authors new to self-publishing use. Starting low is a great strategy that I am using at this very moment. While the price of my flash fiction collection is $1.49, it is now on sale for $0.99 and I have watched the sales slowly trickle in since dropping the price.

Readers are more willing to risk $0.99 on a new author whose writing they may not enjoy, than $2.99 or even higher prices. This is why so many new authors try lower prices and why publishers are struggling with eBook sales.

Authors with an established following will have less issues with their sales than a new author publishing their first book through a publisher. While that book has the desired publisher’s approval that so many readers see, it is still a risk – a gamble. It is a new author and the $5.99 the book is priced at might not be worth it.

E-book prices will be a cause for dispute for a long time to come. I doubt we will ever decide on what is the right price for them is. For me, I lean towards $2.99 – $4.99 for novels, and I have no problem admitting that it also depends on the author. The first book of a new series by my favorite author? I’ll hand over that $4.99 without a second thought. A new author, a book that is a gamble? I might pause and consider before I decide.

The low price is a great way to gather a following – to get people who may be willing to pay the higher prices if it comes to that. Every self-publishing author has to make the choice for themselves, and it will affect their sales.

When Tales of The Forbidden is ready for publication, I’ll face that same choice.

What is the most you are willing to pay for an eBook, and what affects your decision when choosing how much to spend on a book?

Don’t forget that A Glimpse of The Dark is on sale! Only until January 7th, this collection of dark and paranormal fantasy tales is available for $0.99 on Kindle!


Author: Natasha McNeely

I'm a writer, reader, gamer and a dreamer. I love losing myself to thought and considering possibilities. That is how I create my stories and weave the erratic tales into readable ones.

6 thoughts on “E-book prices: The lower, the better?

  1. Pingback: The cost of creation « Something To Say

  2. I was about to write a response, then realised it was going to get lengthy, since I’ve been thinking about this a lot and meaning to blog about it, too. Therefore, happened. XD


  3. I pretty much agree with you 100% on this one. I don’t have a problem plonking out $4.99-5.99 on an ebook by an author I enjoy, but $9.99? Yeah, right, I’ll just go buy the paperback. What a rip off.

    • I’m glad to hear you agree! I know that eBooks can’t always be priced at $0.99, except for sales and such, but there has a be a line. Without print costs, there’s no reason it should have the same price as a print book.

  4. Pingback: REFLECTIONS ON PRICES….. | Anna Jeffrey: I'm Just Saying…

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