Book pricing, let’s talk about it! If you charge too much, readers might pump the brakes and support your competitors instead. But price your book too low, and you risk downplaying your digital book that took hours of creativity and hard work. So, what's the sweet spot?
A publishing business needs to make money, and readers need to access information. In this guide, we'll show you how to price a Kindle book in a way that works for both you AND your readers!
Wanna find out how to score big with Kindle publishing? Join our free webinar and hear directly from self-publishers who turned their wildest dreams into reality—from achieving big career milestones to generating their dream income and traveling the world with nothing but a free Amazon account.
In this section, we'll cover all the things you’ll need to think about when you’re trying to find that perfect middle ground when it comes to pricing your book.
Selling on Amazon, where countless books are battling for attention, means your potential audience probably doesn’t know much about your work—especially if you’re a first-time publisher. Picking a random price for your book might work out in your favor (but it probably won’t).
We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that you might have to do a bit of homework…the good news is that this homework pays off BIG TIME!
To get the pricing strategy right as a first-time publisher, consider the following:
Pro Tip: You can often read previews of your competitor’s books, which include the table of contents and even part of the first chapter, to get an idea of the tone, style, and types of information they include.
Dynamic Pricing on Amazon’s KDP just means changing your price based on different factors like the market (and some things we’ll explore later on in this blog).
When you’re just getting started, pricing your book as high as possible ISN’T the goal. It might sound counterintuitive, but pricing your book lower initially can help you gain traction a lot faster. Then, you can change your strategy as you grow.
Your book pricing might look something like this:
Now, these numbers are just an example, but they demonstrate a couple of things. First, you can see how the different book formats use “anchor pricing” to make the other formats seem either more affordable or more premium. Second, you have a clear goal for your book reviews that you can use as a good benchmark to start increasing your pricing.
Pro Tip: 50 reviews is generally the magic number we teach our AIA students, but the more, the merrier!
The options begin to open up as you scale your publishing business and establish a loyal reader base. You can start a radio show or podcast, sell physical products, or also just open the lines of communication between you and your readers (but the coolest part of self-publishing is that you don’t have to do any of these things to be successful).
If you DO decide to send your readers a survey, you might ask some of the following questions:
You could even throw in a reward—like a sneak peek of your upcoming book—to sweeten the deal and get more responses. Then, you can reach out to your list at the start of your next launch to ask for more honest book reviews.
This is another win-win. You get valuable research directly from your readers, and your readers feel like you care about what they have to say.
Here are some additional pricing considerations that will stay relevant whether you’re about to publish your very first book or you’ve already got 50+ under your belt, like Yasmin, one of our publishing coaches (read her story here)!
Consider the value your book brings to the table. Does it guide readers through life-changing transformations? Does it teach readers how to improve their relationships? Does it help your audience improve their focus and productivity at work?
Even if there are other books on the subject (and there will be 99% of the time), you are bringing something unique to the table. You can highlight whatever this unique factor is in your book description and even your book cover!
Think about your field, too. In fields where high-quality resources are scarce because knowledge is hard to acquire—think computer engineering, data analysis, or medicine—you can consider charging more for your hard work.
Pro Tip: Overcoming the guilt of charging a premium can be hard for first-time publishers, but it’s part of stepping into the identity of running a publishing business.
People often assume that a longer book should carry a higher price tag because it takes more time to write and contains more information. But for eBooks, the relationship between length and price isn't as straightforward as it might seem.
Sure, if your book is a concise 50 pages and you're competing with a hefty 250-pager (tackling the same topic within the same niche), then you should adjust your price accordingly.
But here's the catch—longer doesn't always equate to better, and it certainly doesn't always justify a higher price.
Consider, for instance, the scenario where you're selling books like:
These books share a common theme–they promise quick and actionable solutions. Now, imagine if all of these books were 350 pages long….Who wants to sift through an encyclopedia for a simple, straightforward morning routine? The risk here is that readers may see the book as filled with unnecessary fluff, and this reduces its perceived value.
Pro Tip: While it's true that longer books often come with a higher Kindle eBook price, you should ask yourself if your book genuinely benefits from the extra pages. Be careful about choosing a pricing strategy that’s based on book length alone.
Being an independent publisher means you get to call the shots creatively and also puts more book royalties money in your pocket compared to traditional publishers. Let’s break down the math.
While big, traditional publishing houses might hand over 20% of your book's retail price (at most), platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) can be way more generous, offering up to 70% of your book sales, depending on the format of your book.
One more thing to note is that Amazon calculates royalties based on the list price, not the sale price. Even during promotions or Amazon-driven discounts, your guaranteed royalty rate remains intact, with Amazon covering the difference!
Here’s the gist:
See how much you could earn by publishing your own eBook on Amazon. Use our free Kindle eBook royalty calculator now to estimate your potential profits.
Pro Tip: To calculate how much you can earn from your paperbacks and hardcovers, you can use our KDP pricing calculator!
Think you need years of experience with technology and writing to make self-publishing work for you? Think again.
Dive into the success stories of hundreds of individuals just like you, who have transformed their lives by earning passive income through self-publishing.
Like Amber, who wanted to find more stability:
Like Travis, who struggled with months of procrastination before finally giving it a try and seeing results almost instantly:
Like Koorosh, who wanted to redefine his retirement:
To truly crack the code of a successful digital book, you need a roadmap for success. Good news! Our free self-publishing webinar can provide you with everything you need to know. This webinar has already empowered thousands of publishers to take control of their schedules and income, and it can help you: