7 eBook Price Points Defended

By Jason Boog Comment

How much should an eBook cost? To give publishers and authors some guidance, we’ve collected spirited defenses of seven different eBook prices–choose the price that works best for your writing.

According to a new and unscientific poll, Nathan Bransford found that 51 percent of his readers thought eBooks should be priced between $5 and $9.99. What is your favorite price point?

$0.99 Novelist John Locke sold more than one million eBooks with this price point: “When I saw that highly successful authors were charging $9.99 for an e-book, I thought that if I can make a profit at 99 cents, I no longer have to prove I’m as good as them … Rather, they have to prove they are ten times better than me.”

$1.99 Author J.A. Konrath wrote: “Some Kindle owners emailed me, asking if I could make my early, unpublished books available for them to read. I uploaded them using Amazon’s Digital Text Platform and charged $1.99. Readers like low prices. And why wouldn’t they? Two or three bucks is less than a cup of coffee.”

$2.99: Publisher Jeff Rutherford explained: “I’m convinced that if you price eBooks at an impulse purchase price of $2.99, you easily make up in volume, and I think my sales have shown that.”

$5.00 Author Andrew Shaffer defended the price point: “The $5 price (or $2.99, or whatever) is the mass market paperback equivalent ebook price. If the DRAGON TATTOO is $7 in mass market (or whatever), the e-book should be priced accordingly. There’s still room for $9.99, $12.99, and even $14.99 e-books–just as there is room for $1 fast-food hamburgers and $25 steaks.”

$6.99-$7.99 Author Jennifer Crusie wrote: “[I]f you’re talking about trying new authors, or just looking for something new to read on the spur of the moment, I’m thinking that price point drops even lower, to $6.99, $7.99, mass market prices (which I’m still appalled by for mass market).”

$9.99: Open Road Integrated Media CEO Jane Friedman explained: “There is nothing wrong with the $9.99 price, if it works within the business model.”

$12.99-$14.99 Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote: “Generally e-book editions of hardcover new releases will be priced between $14.99 and $12.99; a few books will be priced higher and lower. This is a tremendous discount from the price of the printed hardcover books, which generally range from $28.00 to $24.00.”