You can improve your book cover, spend more on book marketing or even do a complete rewrite, but usually the easiest way to boost your book sales is to play around with your pricing.
Most authors have experienced the horror that is writing a book that doesn’t sell. At a minimum it is discouraging. At it's worst is can be downright costly.
Before you make any radical changes or give up on your writing career, make sure you experiment with the price of your book. Doing so requires very little effort. When you find the right price it can make all the difference.
In this post we will discuss how to find the perfect price for your book.
How to Price Your Book for Sales and Marketing Success
Think about when you go to the bookstore to look for a new book. You look through the shelves to find books that catch your attention. You look at the cover, read the description, and yes, check out the price. That final component, the price, can completely dictate if you buy the book or not.
As authors we can’t always charge as much for our books as we want. This can be a very tough realization for new authors especially.
It is very important for you to think about your book’s price as a component of your sales and marketing strategy. The wrong price will decrease your book sales considerably. Below are a few things to consider when pricing your books to sell.
What Do Similar Books Sell For?
The first place to start when considering a price change for your book is to look at the price of similar books. It is important to consider the price of books within your genre, as well as books written by authors of similar popularity.
Afterall, James Patterson and Stephen King can typically charge more than an independent author. You do not have to be the lowest priced book in comparison to similar titles, but do a quick check to make sure your price isn’t sticking out like a sore thumb.
Make Your eBook More Affordable
Discounting a physical book can be costly. There are built-in costs that have to be considered.
Discounting an eBook is much easier to do. The costs related to creating and selling an eBook are much lower. In fact, many authors make money selling eBooks for a fraction of the price of their paperback or hardcover books.
Your eBooks are a great place to start if you want to experiment with your prices. You can change the price of your eBooks instantaneously and tracking the results is extremely easy.
A major eBook pricing mistake we see regularly is authors selling their eBook for the same price as their physical books. This strategy simply doesn’t make sense for a couple of reasons:
A general rule of thumb is that your eBook should be at least 35% cheaper than your print copy books. The sweet spot for eBook pricing is $2.99-$6.99.
- An eBook doesn’t cost you the same amount as a physical book
- Not having a more affordable option decreases the size of your potential audience
Make Your Book Free
Have you considered making one of your books free? Doing so might make you a lot of money.
It is proven that making one of your books free can boost the sales of your other books by 400%. This strategy is especially powerful if you have written a multi-book series. By giving away the first book of the series for free, you can get new readers hooked. Once they finish your first book they will happily pay for your other books.
When authors give away a book for free, it acts as marketing. What better way to show new readers why they should buy your books than to give them a book they will love for free. This strategy can definitely scare a lot of authors, but it is proven to have amazing results.
Experiment With Price Rotation
Price rotation refers to changing how much you charge for your book regularly. This rotation allows you to gauge which price works best, as well as cater to different audiences.
So, how often should you change the price of your book?
We have talked to authors that change the price of their eBooks multiple times per week. This may be too often. Our recommendation is that you change the price of your book everything 3-5 weeks. Doing so will allow you to measure the effect it has on sales.
Discount Your Book For a Temporary Promotion
Walk around your local mall and you will see stores advertising their current sales. Most stores always have a sale going on, but they entice you by always creating a sense of urgency. You feel like if you wait you might miss out on a great deal.
When it comes to selling books, authors can learn a lot from these stores. Discounting your book for a temporary promotion can boost your book sales immensely. There are several ways to promote your book, such as Bookbub, that will give you exposure to large audiences of readers. Most of these services require you to greatly discount your book.
Do not fear this temporary discount. Not only do these promotions help you sell more books initially, but it will help you sell more books down the road once you move your price back up.
Bonus: Increase Your Books Price
Have you ever decided not to buy something because it was too cheap? Imagine if a heart surgeon said he could do your procedure for $19.99. I don’t know about you, but I would have some serious questions.
Authors typically experiment with discounting their book price, but many forget to experiment with increasing the price. While it is true that lowering book prices leads to more sales in most situations, there are times where a book's low price is actually a deterrent.
When you do your initial audit of the prices of similar books and realize your book is priced significantly lower than all the other books, it may be time to consider a price increase.
It is possible that potential readers are passing up on your book because it looks too cheap. If you are a well-known author this is rarely a problem, but self-published authors need to communicate with readers that their work is legitimate and should be taken seriously.