As a writer and marketer, I am often asked about the “right” ebook pricing strategy. 

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Every book launch is different (even within the same genre), so it’s important to understand the various pricing strategies and determine which one is right for your particular situation.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the different ebook pricing strategies that you can use to promote and sell your book.

But first, let’s address a common misconception: the idea that there’s a “correct” price for an ebook. This simply isn’t true. In fact, the price of your ebook is just one part of a larger “book package.” A good book package consists of a great cover design, a compelling book description, and a reasonable price.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the various pricing strategies you can use.

1. Launch at a higher price (higher profit) and then drop gradually

One strategy that can be effective is to launch your book at a higher price point and then gradually lower it over time. This strategy works well if you have a large fanbase or readership and are willing to invest in advertising.

To start, you’ll want to launch your book at a higher price point (maybe in the $4.99 to $5.99 range). Then, over the next several weeks or months, you can gradually lower the price of the book to $3.99, $2.99, and eventually to $0.99.

To maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, you’ll also want to invest in ads. This can be in the form of paid ads on a platform like Facebook or Instagram, or in the form of newsletter swaps with other authors.

Keep in mind that this strategy may not work for everyone, particularly if you’re just starting out. If you don’t have a large fanbase or a lot of money to invest in advertising, you may want to consider other strategies.

2. Create a sales funnel with lower-priced books

Another strategy that can be effective is to create a sales funnel with lower-priced or free books. The idea here is to start by offering a book at a lower price point to attract readers, and then gradually move them toward higher-priced offerings.

For example, you may start by offering a free prequel novella that introduces readers to your characters and sets up the world of your book. From there, you can move readers through your series, with each book becoming progressively more expensive by a dollar (up to a max price you determine, like $4.99 or $6.99). 

The key to this strategy is to ensure that your readers are getting value from each book they purchase. This will help build trust and loyalty, and will ultimately lead to sustainable growth in readership and profits.

3. Wait for data before making decisions

Timing is important when it comes to pricing strategies. It’s essential to wait several months to gather useful data before making decisions about whether a pricing or promotional strategy is working.

But Nick, you ask, isn’t several months a long time?

Yes. Yes, it is. However, consider that there are simply too many variables (both known and unknown) that affect our books’ success. Ads, other releases (from us and other authors), storefronts’ algorithmic changes, etc. 

By giving yourself enough time to actually understand and interpret the data, you’re giving yourself the best chance at success for your next launch. Only with good data can we determine the best route forward!

During this timeframe, you can closely monitor your sales and adjust your pricing or promotions accordingly. This helps you to make informed decisions that are based on data, rather than just guessing.

4. Determine your goal: money or readership

One of the best things you can do is to have a strategy and determine the goal for your book. There are generally two big goals when it comes to pricing a book: make money or build readership.

(I say generally because there are always other goals. But these two seem to be the two main things authors are after, at any point in their career). 

By focusing on one of these goals for each book’s launch, you can really home in on the right strategy you want to use: 

If your goal is to make money, you might want to price your book higher (higher price = more money per sale). On the other hand, if your goal is to build readership, you might choose to price your book lower (lower price = more sales and readers). 

Your strategy can and should change over time, as your goals and circumstances change. For example, you may want to lower the price of your book after a few months to start driving more readership, or you may want to increase the price of your book to take advantage of a sudden increase in demand.

5. Short-term versus long-term pricing strategy

In my opinion, it’s important to have a short-term and long-term pricing strategy. In the short term, you may want to price your book lower to attract readers and build a fanbase. In the long term, you may want to price your book higher to maximize profits.

One framework for determining your pricing strategy is to look at your short-term and long-term goals. In the short term, your goal may be to sell as many books as possible to build readership. To accomplish this, you may want to price your book lower.

In the long term, your goal may be to maximize profits. To accomplish this, you may want to gradually increase the price of your book over time. This will allow you to take advantage of your existing fanbase and maximize profits.

Remember, this doesn’t need to be a career-wide thing: you can choose a strategy for each book, and I highly recommend thinking this way. You can use a “freebie” offer to cast a wide net, find interested readers, and give them some immediate value for no charge. 

Then, for your committed fans, you can launch a different book at a higher price point, generating revenue for you. 

I offer three of my books as “freebies” on my website, but I also sell books full-price — for me, that’s $6.99. In addition, most of my ebooks are exclusive to Amazon (in Kindle Unlimited), so I also mention to my fans that they can get my books through the KU program, which typically ends up cheaper for them, and I get paid for every page of my books that’s read. 

For authors who are “wide” — as in, their books are non-exclusive, and thus available in other online bookstores besides Amazon — there are myriad opportunities for pricing promotions. Draft2Digital offers some of the best options, and once you sign up to hear from us, we’ll send you emails for every promotional opportunity we can find that your books might be a good fit for!

6. Genre fiction pricing

When it comes to pricing genre fiction, there are generally three price ranges that work well: $0.99-$2.99, $3.99-$4.99, and $5.99-$9.99.

I call these low, medium, and high pricing tiers. 

Pricing in the low tier (between $0.99 to $2.99) can be effective in building readership, but may not bring in a lot of profit per book. Pricing higher (between $5.99 to $9.99) can bring in more profit per book, but may not sell as many copies.

The mid-price range (between $3.99 to $4.99) is often seen as a sweet spot, as it provides a good balance between readership and profit.

But consider that when you price low, you may find more sales — meaning that although your profit-per-sale (or margin) is lower, you’re making up for it in the quantity of sales. The opposite may be true for high-priced ebooks!

There is no one “correct” ebook pricing strategy. 

The right strategy for you will depend on your goals, your fanbase, and your genre. By understanding the various pricing strategies and experimenting with different approaches, you can find the right pricing strategy for your book and ultimately build a successful writing career.

Test everything — only through good data can we make good decisions!