What price should you set for Kindle non-fiction book?
A perennial question with a lot of variables. How many pages is the book? How valuable is the information? What level of authority do you have? And on and on.
In general, I listened to consensus wisdom which is that you should launch your book at $0 (if you don’t have much of an email list) or $0.99 (if you do have a decent size email list), and then switch the price to $2.99.
$2.99 seemed to be the sweet spot. Most Kindle books are far shorter than traditionally published books, and you want to be priced cheaper than the competition to make your book more valuable.
But! More recently many people have suggested that “how to” books are fairly price inelastic. Meaning, if someone has a problem you are solving and they’ve found your book, they’ll buy it even if it’s higher than $2.99. After all, we’re still talking about price ranges that are below that of a Starbucks specialty coffee. And still others say a higher price will actually sell more books because it’s positioned as a premium product. I don’t need to compete on no stinkin’ price.
In fact, I initially jumped 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management from $0.99 to $2.99 and it was young hot-shot Mark Messick who called me out and said I need to go higher to driver higher sales.
So I did. In fact, the chart at the top of this post shows unit sales after rising the price from $0.99 to $2.99, and then to $3.99 and then to $4.99. I didn’t bother to actually crunch the numbers to see what my average daily royalties are at each level, because there are a lot of external variables. There were podcast episodes that featured my book, a couple magazines added my book to to their “Top” lists, etc.
Overall, I look at that chart and say that it looks like there may have been a small drop in unit volume from $2.99 to $3.99 and from $3.99 to $4.99, but the extra royalty taken home would certainly make up for it. Not sure how much higher I should go, but will keep experimenting.
NOTE: If your strategy is to use your books to build your opt-in list than ignore all of this, you might want to stick at $0.99 or even perma-free to maximize downloads and thus conversions.