What price my eBooks?

A piece of great advice I got from Peter Ramshaw of eText Press was about pricing my eBooks once I had my backlist of novels up with Amazon, Smashwords and all the others.  Peter advised me to price my books at less than $3.00 each.

‘What,’ I screamed, ‘are you crazy? Do you know how much work I put into my books? Why don’t I just give them away?’

After I’d calmed down Peter explained that $3.00 was the price marker and that below that price I would likely get a lot more sales.

And so it has proved. Although they’ve only been eBooks for about three months and I haven’t done any serious promotion (largely because I don’t know how; I’m still trying to get my head around viral marketing) my books are selling in a steady stream, especially in America.

But here’s the really interesting part. I make almost as much money per book with an eBook priced at $2.99, as I would if the book was in paperback.

With a paperback selling at $27.00, I would receive a (maximum) 10% royalty – $ 2.70 – paid up to nine months in arrears and excluding all returned books from the bookshops.

With an eBook I receive quarterly from Amazon (who has, by far, the biggest share of the market) a 70% royalty– $2.10- per book. I pay a 5% royalty to eText Press as my publishers – 10c – which leave me $2.00 per book.

To price any higher than $3.00 would net me a little more money but all the experts say that sales would decrease.  This way, with the help of eText Press I’m making almost the same as with a printed book conventionally published.

The difference is that with eBooks I have a market of millions and growing at over a 100% a year.