Setting An International Ebook Pricing Strategy

ebook pricing

Since the advent of the ebook, the one facet that has yet to find a firm footing is pricing.

There are so many factors at play when it comes to ebook pricing.

A lot of these involve the book buyer’s perception of value.

From free up to $10.00 is the most favored range.

What is the best ebook price point?

There was a long battle between the major publishers and Amazon to establish a $14.99 price point for traditionally published titles.

But now, it seems that the book industry has settled down in this regard.

However, for self-publishing authors, the price of your book on Amazon is still fluid.

A list price of $2.99 is common. This is because it is the lowest price you can set to get 70% royalty from Amazon KDP.

But setting a higher price can have a negative effect on selling your book.

Many authors try setting the price at the minimum, which is $0.99. But at the reduced royalty rate of 35%, you need to sell a lot of ebooks to make any money.

There are many ebook pricing strategies you can try.

But one you might not have considered is the variation in perceived value in different markets.

 

International differences

I stumbled across an interesting article on Techcrunch concerning ebook prices, which adds a very surprising element to the perception of value in ebook prices.

In general, ebook buyers in the UK seem to have a totally different value system to buyers in the US.

To put it in a simple context, UK ebook buyers love cheap.

Look at the graphs below for the comparison of the price points that ebooks sell in each market.

ebook pricing US

ebook pricing UK

You can see that ebooks in the range of 2.99 and 9.99 sell quite well in the US.

But in the UK, ebooks sell in a much lower price range of 1.99 or less.

When it comes to total revenue, again the US is more even across price points. For the UK ebook market, revenue decreases rapidly as the price increases.

ebook revenue US

ebook revenue UK

Rethink your ebook pricing strategy

These graphs show clearly that self-publishing authors might want to rethink how they price their ebooks for each market.

US ebook buyers appear to accept a wider price range as good buying value, and even increasing substantially at the $10.00 mark.

But UK ebook buyers seem to have a reluctance to pay much more than £0.99.

Perhaps the UK Amazon Kindle Store could be called the ebook dollar shop.

For most self-published authors I suppose, you set your ebook pricing in $US on KDP.

Then you let the automated system on KDP calculate the price in the various currencies for each of the international Kindle Stores.

However, there is a manual override to this system. You can set your prices differently for currencies and countries.

You can also set your prices manually on Smashwords, Draft2digital, and Google Play.

Take a look at your price settings, and in particular for the UK market.

 

Summary

If you are not selling a lot of ebooks in the UK, the difference in perceived value on either side of the Atlantic may explain why.

Perhaps you could try experimenting with your UK ebook prices to see if it can help boost your sales.

Apart from the US and UK differences, changing your ebook price is always worth considering as part of your book promotion strategy.

If you are enrolled in Amazon KDP Select, your price can affect your perceived value for Kindle Unlimited readers. A higher-priced ebook will always seem more attractive than a lower price.

You can also consider changing your print book price to make your ebook look like much better value.

If you set your book price at the time you published, and have not changed it since you might want to reconsider.

Yes, you can offer free ebooks, use Kindle Countdown Deals, or write new blog posts to help your book promotion.

But you want to sell ebooks. The best way to do that is to make sure that your ebook pricing is attractive for your potential readers.

You might also be interested in how used book pricing works on Amazon. It is quite surprising.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

2 thoughts on “Setting An International Ebook Pricing Strategy

  • June 9, 2015 at 7:40 am
    Permalink

    Prices of eBooks is only part of the problem Derek. As you know, sales of eBooks in the UK are always much less than in the US. Compare the sales of eBooks with paper or hardback in the UK and the eBook loses out every time. Sad to say, but its a fact that my fellow Poms would much rather hold a real book in their hands, written by a ‘known’ traditionally published writer, than read an electronic file, written by someone who is not, and probably never will be, a household name…

    Reply
    • January 9, 2016 at 4:36 pm
      Permalink

      The current value of the pound is $1.45, which shifts the British graph to somewhat higher values [shifts it to the right] if the horizontal axis is corrected to dollars. Also, countries with smaller media incomes will likely be even more price sensitive.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Douglas Wnislow Cooper Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.