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How to price an e book in the kindle age

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  • 1. HOW TO PRICE AN EBOOK IN THE KINDLE AGE by PAUL WOLFE www.onespoonatatime.com 
  • 2. How To Price An eBook In The Kindle AgeTo learn how to write eBooks click here to get your FREE 10 Module course:Back in the day – when Kindle was just a gleam in Jeff Bezos’s eyes – writingeBooks to sell from your website was a great way to create a revenue streamfor your business.And it was commonplace for eBooks to be priced at higher prices than the‘regular’ books that you might buy from Amazon. $27 was a common eBookprice. As was $37. And $47. And I’ve seen eBooks at $67 and $97.And I’ve got no problem with these prices – I believe the way books are pricedis based on a model that’s no longer relevant in the 21st Century. I thinkthat the price of something should be determined by the value it provides tothe buyer – not by an artificial model imposed by a tradition bound industrythat’s not essentially changed in 50 years or more.For a few years – say from around 2003 to 2009 – you could create an eBookand set the price yourself. And benefit both from charging for the value thatyou provided to your buyers AND from actually earning the majority of theprice that you set.The rise of the Kindle has moved the boundaries though.  |  © Paul Wolfe www.onespoonatatime.com
  • 3. How To Price An eBook In The Kindle AgeThe Kindle AgeBefore we move on I want to tell you that whoever came up with the conceptof the Kindle is a genius. And that whoever at Amazon worked out the mar-keting plan for the Kindle is also a certifiable genius.And I also believe that the ease of self-publishing to the Kindle is gamechanging in its potential scope for writers.But there’s a downside to this – and that downside is that although Amazonnow have the clout to move away from the business and pricing models thatthe Publishing Industry try and impose, they’re still playing the game bythese rules.So if you self publish to the Kindle, you earn the highest royalty rate if youprice your book in the $2.99 to $9.99 range. The author royalty in this rangeis 70% - which is staggering by the way. If you published a book through tra-ditional channels the figures I’ve seen quoted are that you’d receive around$0.50 to $0.75 per copy IF – and for most writers this is a big IF – you sellenough copies to earn the advance back.Now that the Kindle has quietly established itself as a mainstream player themajority of the Kindle books are being priced in this $2.99 to $9.99 range.The problem with this price range is that Kindle books are effectively eBooks– and the prices being charged for them make the ‘traditional’ eBook pricingmodels look expensive and potentially deter purchasers.So how do you price your eBook? Can you still charge $37 for an eBook ormore? Let’s look at 3 ways you can use to determine what price you are goingto charge.How To Price An eBook 1 – The Kindle Price ModelThe path of least resistance pricing model is this one. Amazon.com are start-ing to flex their muscles – mostly in a good way – and it’s entirely possiblethat Amazon will drive the future of the Publishing Industry.  |  © Paul Wolfe www.onespoonatatime.com
  • 4. How To Price An eBook In The Kindle AgeTo price your eBook using this model you literally go to the Kindle store, com-pare what comparable books are selling for, and use that as your price point.Advantages: Potential buyers won’t balk on the basis of price. You’ll becharging what’s perceived as the ‘market rate’ for your eBook.Disadvantages: You’re pricing your eBook at the lowest price point. If youreBook offers great value or great information – and EVERY eBook you writeshould offer great value – then you’re not getting the return that’s warrantedfrom the writing of your eBook.How To Price An eBook 2 – The ‘Bit More Than Kindle’ Price ModelThis model reflects the reality that Kindle is the driving force in the eBookmarket for most potential buyers. There are a lot of buyers who’ve NEVERbought an eBook in PDF form from Click Bank or from your website – and it’sa big step for them to be presented with an eBook for $37 or $47.But adding a few dollars to the $9.99 price range is NOT such a big step. Aprice point of $14 or $17 is more expensive than a Kindle book – but notTHAT much more expensive. If the information in your eBook solves a press-ing problem, there’s a good chance that potential buyers will not be con-cerned with the differential between these price points and typical Kindlebook prices.Advantages: Using this model you generate greater revenues than the previ-ous model – and the additional cost probably won’t deter the majority of pro-spective customers. Especially if you’ve built an audience via your website orblog and you’re primarily selling your eBook to that audience.Disadvantages: Using this model you’re still not generating the full revenuethat a valuable eBook deserves. Pricing should be based on the value you’reoffering to customers, not on the archaic publishing model that Amazon hasincorporated into Kindle pricing.  |  © Paul Wolfe www.onespoonatatime.com
  • 5. How To Price An eBook In The Kindle AgeHow To Price An eBook 3 – The Stacking Value Price ModelThis is the pricing model I prefer. Done right, you not only get to price youreBook based on the value it’s delivering – but potential customers also don’tfeel that they are paying over the odds and are getting value for money.This ‘model’ is based on how companies like Warner Bros and Sony ‘justified’the greater cost of DVDs back in the day when few people had DVD playersand most of us used VHS.If memory serves, a VHS of a film used to be about £10 and the correspond-ing DVD would be around £18. To justify the differential in price, the DVDswould contain bonuses.These bonuses would be additional features like commentaries, deletedscenes, alternate endings, production drawings, interviews with the technicalteam, stunt analysis, etc etc.Now, these features are standard on DVDs – but notice even now that you canoften buy Single Disc versions of a film or versions with an additional discand extra features for a slightly higher price – but back in the day they wererevolutionary.And often persuaded people not just to buy the DVD, but to take the plungeand buy a DVD player too.You can do this with your eBook as well – and stack value onto your eBook sothat you can charge $37. Or $47. Or even more.Here’s how you do it:(i)Record the eBook in Audio FormatThe first way to add value is to create an MP3 version that people can putonto their iPods, iPads or iPhones. Or whatever MP3 player they use.Or they can burn the MP3 files to a CD and play it in their car.  |  © Paul Wolfe www.onespoonatatime.com
  • 6. How To Price An eBook In The Kindle AgeProfessional quality microphones are relatively cheap these days ($250 orso) – and so is the recording software that you need to record and edit yoursound files.The learning curve to record and edit your own material isn’t steep – so add-ing audio is a great way to add perceived value to your eBook package. Plusthere may be people who buy your package purely because of the audio ele-ment.(ii) Add A ‘Work Book’ or ‘Action Plan’ To Your eBookOne of the biggest faults with most commercial books is that they’re heavy onideas, but short on systems. Whatever topic you’re teaching/talking about inyour eBook, another easy way to add perceived value is to create a step-by-step system to actually implement the information you’re providing.Workbooks are often just a few pages long, but can greatly enhance the cus-tomer experience of your eBook. As an additional bonus, a workbook makesimplementation of your material that much easier for customers – if thatimplementation delivers the results that you’ve promised to customers thentheir opinion of you as an ‘expert’ in your field will raise. And it will be thatmuch easier to get them to buy your next eBook.(iii) Add Check ListsCheck Lists again are simple to put together and provide more value for thecustomer. These check lists – in conjunction with the workbooks – really helpthe customer’s implementation of your information.(iv) Add Related ReportsShort reports on related topics are another great way of stacking value to youreBook package. For example, if you had written an eBook on how to build anaudience via video marketing, you could stack value to that eBook by addinga report on how to correctly set up a YouTube channel page.Another example, I wrote a book of bass exercises called Bass Hanon. Therewere 240 exercises in that book (20 exercises in 12 keys) and I stacked value tothat package with a report called Hanon Variations – which showed 30 ways  |  © Paul Wolfe www.onespoonatatime.com
  • 7. How To Price An eBook In The Kindle Ageto vary each and every one of those 240 exercises.(v) ResourcesAdd a short report with detailed resources that relate to your eBook. In thevideo marketing example above, a detailed list of Video Aggregator sites witha brief description of each would make a great Resources Report.(vi) Expert InterviewsIf there’s a known player in the subject area of your eBook, and you can getthat known player to agree to an interview, then this is another great way ofstacking value. Especially as you can include the interview in audio formatAND get it transcribed and present it in PDF format.Advantages: The obvious advantage of this pricing model is that you cancharge higher prices for your eBook package. As the majority of the price isprofit, this obviously generates higher revenues for your business.Disadvantages: The obvious disadvantage is that creating the extra valuerequires the investment of extra time and energy. Often writing an eBookis hard enough – adding these Value Stackers on top increases the effort re-quired.There will still be people who balk at paying $37 or $47 for an eBook – despitethe amount of additionally value that you’re providing.There is a way of getting them onboard though:Getting The Best of Both Worlds – Kindle Pricing Combined With AnUpSellIf you’ve chosen to use Model 3 and stack value to your eBook package sothat you can charge $37 or $47 or more, my advice is that you should alsopublish just the eBook to Kindle and use Kindle pricing. But then in the in-troduction to the book you should make the purchasers aware that of theextra value you’re providing with reports, interviews etc.  |  © Paul Wolfe www.onespoonatatime.com
  • 8. How To Price An eBook In The Kindle AgeAnd give them the option of contacting you with their Amazon purchasenumber to get an upsell offer to purchase the items that you used to stackvalue to your package.Not every Kindle purchaser will take up your upsell offer – but if you’ve pro-vided great additional value some will. As these are people who’ve probablyfound you via Amazon rather than via your website, then this is a win-winscenario for both of you (You generate extra revenue, they get extra value).SummaryBack in the day you could create an eBook and charge $37, $47 or more for it.And people would buy.But along came Kindle – and the majority of Kindle eBooks are priced below$10. That makes an eBook priced at $37 look expensive.Your pricing options are: (i) Sell at Kindle prices (ii)Sell at just above Kindle prices (iii)Sell at ‘traditional’ eBook prices – but ‘justify’ this price point by stacking value.My advice is to stack value to allow you charge higher prices – AND publishjust the eBook to Kindle at normal Kindle prices, and upsell the rest of yourvalue package in the Kindle eBook itself.  |  © Paul Wolfe www.onespoonatatime.com
  • 9. If you enjoyed this report, you’ll love my FREE 10 Module course on how towrite an eBook: