Vook Explains Why $3, $4, or even $9.99 Isn’t Always the Best Price for an eBook

Vook, maker of enhanced eBooks, has released a nifty whitepaper on what it has learned about pricing in the not quite 2 years since it launched. You can download it as a PDF, and it’s well worth your time to read.

It turns out there’s more variables to ebook pricing than you might think. The best selling point for a title is dependent on (among other things) genre, category, ebookstore, and format. Some stores do better at different prices, and there’s really no explanation than it’s a quirk of the store. Some formats or genre also can have an interesting affect on sales.

Vook came up with 10 golden rules to explain some of the things it saw:

  1. Zero variable cost means it’s OK to significantly lower prices to maximize revenue.
  2. Optimal pricing is highly content specific.
  3. Certain pricing thresholds trigger psychological “automatic” purchases.
  4. Categorization has a large role in optimal pricing and discoverability.
  5. Merchandising whole catalogs is more effective than single titles: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
  6. Containers are critical to driving upsell in App environment.
  7. Lift effects through savvy launch promotions have a profound impact on sales.
  8. In general apps cannot support as high price points as eBooks.
  9. Real‐time sales tracking is necessary to adjust pricing in a dynamic eBook world.
  10. For each retailer there are distinct best practices to maximize discoverability and revenues.

But that’s not all Vook did. Rather than leaving ebook pricing up to guess work, Vook also ran an practical experiment. Over the course of a couple months, Vook progressive dropped the price of a selection of eBooks.

The eBooks were drawn from all categories and all eBookstores and app stores where Vook had content. This let Vook identify the sweet spot not just for each store but also for each category in a store.

Vook has that data, and if you publish an eBook with Vook the data will be used to select the best price for your title.