Is there an ebook pricing strategy to sell ebooks and get Kindle Unlimited reads?
Since Kindle Unlimited (KU) was introduced in 2014, the number of Kindle ebooks available on KU is now around 1.4 million and growing every day.
Of these available titles, the vast majority are by self-published authors who have enrolled in Amazon KDP Select, and a smaller proportion is from Amazon’s own publishing imprints.
Very few, if any titles are from the major publishers.
From a reader’s perspective, the decision to subscribe to KU for $9.99 per month will depend on their reading appetite.
For a reader who reads say, one ebook per month, they will probably buy a title between $2.99 and $9.99 rather than subscribe.
Whereas a reader who reads six or seven ebooks or more per month will be attracted to the economy KU offers.
Knowing these basics is important when deciding how to set your pricing model for your ebooks on Kindle to still get book dales.
Who is your target reader?
Depending on your writing genre, you may find that you get more traction with Kindle Unlimited subscribers. In particular, romance readers tend to read more ebooks per month than readers of other genres.
Other genres that perform well in KU are science fiction and crime and detective.
Knowing your target reader is a good starting point in deciding whether you enrol your ebooks in KU or not.
If you decide not to join KDP Select and therefore forego the enrolment of your ebooks in KU, then it is a matter of pricing your ebooks competitively to sell more books at 70% royalty. Take a look at ebooks, and even print books, in your genre and price accordingly.
As a general rule, the sweet spot to set the retail pricing for ebooks is between $2.99 and $5.99.
There is a range of ebook pricing strategies you can apply, as well as free ebook campaigns. But with the advent of subscription reading, I would have to say that free ebooks are not nearly as successful nowadays in gaining real book sales.
How do you price if want sales and KU reads?
It is not only KU that is a consideration. If you are open publishing with Draft2Digital or Smashwords, both aggregators have subscriber reading retailers such as Kobo Plus, Playster, Scribd and 24Symbols.
In both cases, you need to have your books priced to be both competitive for sales, as well as offering perceived value to subscription readers.
By perceived value, I mean that an ebook with a high price of $5.99 would be seen as quite good value to a subscription reader. Whereas one priced at $0.99 would not.
It is a matter of bang for your buck, which is purely human nature. For subscribers paying $9.99 per month, reading three ebooks with the higher list price of $5.99 means they are in front.
However, at the price point of $5.99, readers who only buy titles may shy away from the higher price as it is outside the ebook pricing sweet spot. But at $0.99 you will probably sell a lot.
The price you decide upon needs to be balanced for your objectives. Do you want both sales and KU page reads, or are you happy to concentrate on sales only?
Price your ebook with the market in mind
It will be a different decision for every author.
If you are in KDP Select, then the big advantage of your enrolment is Kindle Unlimited, so you should endeavour to maximise your page read income.
Logically, if you are using the standard KDP, sales will be your sole objective.
For open publishers, it will depend on whether you have agreed to publish your ebooks with subscription services or not.
However, the price sensitivity is probably not as acute on these services as it is on Kindle because Amazon really does push the Read this ebook for free on Kindle Unlimited pop-up, to emphasise KU free reading against the cover price.
There is no right or wrong action to take with regard to an ebook pricing strategy.
The only advice I would give is to stay within the sweet spot price range of $2.99 to $5.99 but keep to the lower to the middle of this range.
If your aim is for ebook sales, price your book on the lower side. But if you really want Kindle Unlimited page reads, go towards the top of the range.
For a foot in each camp, it would be wise to set the price between $2.99 and $3.99.
Many authors never change their ebook prices. This is not a good book marketing tactic.
It is very easy to change the price of an ebook, and it is a useful way to learn how the market works. It is not as simple as cheaper sells more. It is about value.
As I mentioned before, the perceived value is a huge sales motivator in book promotion. It is the internal feeling a buyer has about the value of a product to them personally.
This is a reason why self-help ebooks can sometimes sell at prices higher than fiction.
Is it time you revisited and reviewed your ebook pricing?
I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.
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