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What’s the right price for an eBook?

Amazon.com Kindle book the tourist trail

The Tourist Trail is available on the Kindle (and iPad) for $2.99.

Clearly, I’m not giving up the day job anytime soon.

Of course, if (when) I sell a million copies, even $2.99 isn’t such a bad price. But I’m not quite there yet.

So why did I settle on this price?

I landed on $2.99 for two main reasons:

  1. I didn’t want price to get in the way. $2.99 is less than a grande Frappuccino. One reader said that the price was a reason for why she was happy to take a chance on my book. Since I released the book for the Kindle, quite a few people have taken a chance on it, and two have given me very good reviews.
  2. But I didn’t want price to make the book look too cheap. Amazon allows you to price your book as low as $.99, but this would have been too low I think. The Tourist Trail has been professionally edited and designed and represents more than four years of work. And perhaps $2.99 is still too low given the work that went into it.

But I also looked around at what other authors and publishers were doing.

The author Joe Konrath has been very successful at $2.99.

One of the current Kindle bestselling books is No Mercy, by John Gilstrap, priced at $3.99.

Author David Carnoy also likes $3.99

And what about the major publishing houses? Most have not been pleased that Amazon prices their books at $9.99.

But Disney recently announced that it has settled on $8.99.

Clearly, things are confusing right now. I’m not sure we’ll ever get to one “perfect” price. I have a feeling that prices for books will evolve as an author’s career evolves. eBooks allow for a flexibility that print books do not.

I’d certainly like to get to a point where I can raise the price a notch or two. Every writer dreams of being able to make a living off of his or her writing. At $2.99, I’ve got to sell A LOT of books to get there.

But I’m optimistic. The great thing right now is that I have the power to price my book low. To get it out there. So people can take a chance on it.

So far, people seem to be doing just that.

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