What Should I Charge for Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race…And Step Into a Career You Love?

I SO appreciate the many comments I got on the three potential cover designs for Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race…And Step Into a Career You Love. I’ll be posting the final design when it’s ready.

And if I can impose on you a little more today, I have a very important question to ask you.

I’m trying to decide on a price for Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race, and thought that instead of taking a wild guess, I would ask what you think.

I’m torn between charging low — like under $10 — and charging a more premium price like $29. Here are my thoughts.

The higher price:

  • The book will include exclusive bonus downloads from Copyblogger, Jon Morrow at Boost Blog Traffic, Bamidele Onibalusi at Writers in Charge, and many more thought leaders.
  • Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race has the potential to help readers break free of the 9-5 and make a full-time living as a writer — that’s a lot of value!
  • I’m expecting the Kindle version of the book to be 200+ pages packed with information, with links to many additional resources — some free (like e-books and blog posts) and some paid (like books).
  • My target audience is writers with 9-5 jobs, so I’m assuming they can afford the higher price for the value they’re getting.

The lower price:

  • At $10 or under, I’ll be helping more people.
  • Truthfully, I know that at prices over $10, you get a lot of pushback from potential readers.
  • At under $10, I can sell in volume instead of selling a more expensive product to fewer people.
  • If you charge more than $9.99, Amazon takes a way bigger commission.
  • If I charge less, I can get more readers and hopefully those many readers will be interested in taking one of my e-courses.

So…what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the pricing. What would you be willing to pay, and why? Please post your thoughts in the COmments below.

Thanks so much for all your help with this book. I’m so excited about this project I can’t even say!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
148 comments… add one
  • kari

    personally, I wouldn’t pay $29 for a book. There are other books out there with similar promises that would cost less. I’d be drawn to them first if your book was $29.

    • Thanks, Kari! So what price WOULD compel you to buy the book? 🙂

    • Morning Linda,

      I believe that $29 is a good price for the amount your giving. I also believe that you should make it available in PDF so people can print the various chapters at home.

      Any book that will help people secure their livelihoods or at least give them confidence in this day and age is worth it’s weight in gold. And, it’s been my experience you offer a good value.

      Bill

  • Heather

    This question is a little problematic since I know the advice in that book would be awesome and worth the money, but I’m familiar with your work. Maybe something in between $10 and $29? Sorry if that’s not helpful!

  • Lisa

    Why not charge something in between? $29 seems high for an e-book and $10 seems a little low. What about something around the $13-$15 range? That’s more in line with a paperback price.

    • Gwynneth

      Lisa beat me to it. Why waffle between ends of the spectrum? You’ve already established yourself with the Renegade Writer books, you’re a known quantity but you don’t want to turn off potential customers–definitely go with the compromise. If I were a newbie starting out, $29 would make me hesitate. However, $15 – well, that’s a sum I’d consider investing. If I liked the book then it would be great value for money. If I hated the book, then it’s only $15, or a couple of coffees at Starbucks. 🙂

      • Thanks, Gwynneth! Of course I’m open to prices in between…I didn’t mean to lock readers into the two choices! But if you do go over $9.99, Amazon takes a 70% cut instead of 30%.

  • Can you clarify why it needs the higher price to be associated with some of the influential bloggers out there? Sorry, I don’t follow that part.

    I’m not a fan of giving away commission so I’d lean towards $9.99. Yes, your target readers can probably afford more but as Kari said, there are many books that cover this topic. And you’d spread your reach at the lower price.

    • Thanks! My point was just that I have a lot of QUALITY freebie bonuses.

      Can you tell me the names of some other books that cover all the aspects of leaving your job to freelance — such as whether and how to tell your boss, how to make time to write when you work a 9-5, etc. — as well as the details of how to break into different writing niches? Or, any books that just cover the “leaving your job to freelance” aspect? If there’s competition out there I want to read it to make sure my book is different and better! Thanks so much.

  • I would pay $29 for it; the content alone is worth that much. The premium add-ons put it over the top.

  • Janet

    I would definitely go with $10. You’d get more volume, as you said, plus Amazon will take a smaller commission. Those are pretty good reasons. Also I think people still look for bargains at Amazon. Good luck, Linda – I’ll buy it!

  • Paul

    Yes Linda,
    That is the numbers’ game. With your kind of audience and products, I would suggest a lower price,reaching many. These will be potential for the other products on offer.Good strategy, I bet
    PaulM

  • First question: Is Amazon your target marketplace? It’s a great place to be and has a ton of automated marketing. If so:
    $10 X .7 = $7.00
    $30 X .3 = $9.00
    With a $2 difference in what you’re making per copy, the benefits of the cheaper price far exceed the benefits of the higher price.

    If you’re looking at affiliate marketing the book, then Amazon income isn’t a factor. Affiliates aren’t going to bother marketing a book at $10. Even if you’re giving them 50%, they’re marketing for a $5 commission. As an affiliate marketer, I’m not putting that much effort into it.

    Going Amazon? Go cheap.
    Going affiliate? Go higher.

    A final thought: Would it be possible to have a separate add-on purchase for the downloads (which could be another 70% commission? Or better, “write a review for the book and get a bonus download””

    -Stu

    • Yes, I had the same thoughts…I could affiliate sell it, but then I’d probably have to ditch the Amazon idea because I’m assuming my affiliates wouldn’t want the competition. But Amazon is where I’d attract readers who haven’t already heard of me.

  • That’s a tough one. Although I’d be very hesitant to spend $29 for a book (as the mother to 3 kids–every penny counts), you make a strong argument for charging that much with your bonus content. (But as a subscriber to Copyblogger already, I’m not sure that would personally sway me.)
    Under $10 seems low considering all the work you are putting into the book, especially if the reader can really benefit from its content.
    I’d say anything under $16 would get my attention.

    • Thank you! About Copyblogger…would you believe they’ll be offering one of their Authority lessons to my readers as a freebie? I’m not sure what they’ll be charging for the full course but I think that’s a pretty epic bonus!

    • Lynne

      There’s no question in my mind that the book will be _worth_ $29.

      Also, I have personally purchased many books in this topic area in both price points. In the case of some of these books, I’ve purchased several copies to give as gifts to other people.

      That said, I agree with Christina that $16 or below would work in your favour.

      Why? Most of the $29 books in the freelance field I’ve seen are short pieces of fluff and quackery. The books in paperback range (say, $8-16 or so) tend to be more serious and useful.

      If I were not already familiar with your work, I’d be leery of buying another of the $29 books, and I can’t imagine that I’m the only one whose experience is like this.

      • Ooh, I know what you mean. There are a lot of “premium” e-books where self-proclaimed experts spout platitudes they leaned on blogs. They know more about launching than teaching/writing!

  • MJ

    Disclaimer: I have NO idea what the sweet spot is. That said, I don’t particularly like either option. I’m with Heather: somewhere in between. You have a name and a following, and you can command more than $10. I think people would think long and hard before plunking down $29.

  • How about doing a ‘pay what you will’ like you did with your e-course and suggest a pricing range you would appreciate folks paying for your hard work helping them out? If your book is informative and has actionable pointers that will help me in my career then paying under $30 for it does not seem like too much really.

    • Y’know, I was thinking that myself! Amazon won’t let you do that, but if I charged under $10 on Amazon, then when I sell the PDF and e-book versions through my site I could make it “Pay what you want over X price.” Could be an interesting experiment.

  • Doreen

    I’d never pay $29 for a book, personally unless it was an obscure academic text.

  • I think $19.99 could be a good compromise.

    • Bingo! I’m with you on that price. I agree that the content will be fabulous, and the freebies make it even more so, but in the current e-book and hardcover book market, $29 seems like A LOT. I’d pay $19.99 (and that’s the most I would pay), but as Doreen said above, I would not pay more than that unless it was for an academic textbook, Bible, etc. I also believe offering an extra freebie for a review is a excellent idea.

  • I’d probably stick with the $9.99. I wouldn’t want Amazon cutting into my profits. Also, I wouldn’t necessarily count on full-time workers having more cash to spend. If someone is contemplating the leap from security to the unknown fate of their heart’s desire, they may look more favorably upon the lower price as a valuable, affordable investment. What have they got to lose?

  • I def think 9.99 is better. At any income level the lower price is more attractive and will sell more books. Better to get some money from more people than none at all from many at 29.00. You could consider breaking the info into smaller chunks of information and selling for 9.99 in separate volumes or with less features.(not good for your best customers).
    You could also create 2 levels of service, 1 for ‘premiere’ clients and 1 for ‘regular’ clients. Premium paying less and regular paying more.
    I would still consider less than 29.99 to 19.99 instead if u can afford that.

  • Linda, what you are offering is truly wonderful, and you have many good ideas. However, there are so many works out there that cover this topic, and unless you have something like a guarantee of success, these days folks will not pay much for advice. I agree with Stu, above, re: keeping things low and affordable. In this case, charge as little as possible and keep this at a price high school kids can afford. IMHO. Cheers!

  • Christine

    I wouldn’t pay $29 for a book. I think you will sell a lot more at under $10 and help more people.

  • I have a hard time paying more than $9.99 for an ebook, no matter what it promises. I’d definitely run for the hills at $29.

  • Tanya Adams

    I really think something in between $10 and $29 is a good option since you have all the bonuses. I’d say $14. I’d buy that!

  • Originally, I was thinking that mid range, around $15 would be acceptable. Then I read some of the comments in this post. I’d like to point out that Stu makes excellent points.

    The conclusion? Please everyone, and give it away at a steal for $9.99 and optimize both your profits, your readers, and your reach.

    Remember, times are still tough, for many people, and those who’d be buying your book obviously want to learn how to earn. Think of your readers, Linda. They’re number one!

    • Yes, my readers are definitely number one! At a lower price I would reach more people. At the same time, of course I want to earn from the book too!

  • My vote is $9.99. Since I know you, I know it’d be worth a lot more, but if I didn’t know you, then I’d never consider an ebook on Amazon over that standard price.

    However, I do NOT think you should go below $9.99 on Amazon. I always assume anything listed below that is self-published crap (and I don’t at all mean to imply that self-published = crap…but on Amazon with authors I don’t know, I tend to assume that because, well, there’s just too much selection and I’m usually looking for reasons to talk myself out of buying more books. Plus I’ve bought way too many $3.99 and $5.99 books on Amazon that WERE crap).

    Oddly enough, if I saw it on a landing page instead of Amazon, then $27 would sound like a steal. But that’s because I’d be a warm customer — I landed at that page somehow through a recommendation I trusted.

    On the other hand, how many cold customers are you likely to get via Amazon anyway? I may have just talked myself into thinking you should go with a higher price. 🙂

    • Haha…I DO plan on also having a landing page where people can buy the book in PDF format or in .mobi for their Kindle…and I can also direct them to Amazon if they prefer.

      I think I could get a lot of cold customers via Amazon…if I have a good launch that can push the book close to the top of the rankings where more people will see it.

  • Linda, just want to make your target clear: Your readers who do freelance writing on the side but want to do it full-time, correct?

    I gather they are exposed to many similar resources out there. All of them promise building a full-time income, too (not a side business)

    I guess what I need to know is what makes your book different or if you are targeting a different market

    • That is right! My experience is that there a lot of books on making a living writing (I’ve read most of them), but none that give the nitty gritty on actually writing while you have a job, how to decide whether/when to tell your boss, how to save up the money to make the transition, etc. — as well as the details on how to break into different kinds of writing. But if you know of any books that cover the former for writers, I want to know so I can make sure mine is different and better!

      • Linda, no I don’t. I just made the jump. Heh.

        But in this case, I think 29.99 is a bargain. Our generation is so spoiled. That the information is there is not enough anymore…

        We want it laid out, in order, and stuffed into our brains. Looks like that’s what you have. 🙂 That to me, is the value in the book; not the interviews, the 200+ pages, or the fact that they can afford it. 🙂

        So yeah, if the benefit is clear, I think 29.99 is totally fine.

  • Barb Johnson

    So many great comments on here already. I agree with many of them. I’d never pay $29 for an ebook.
    The only book I’ve purchased for more than $29 is my Bible, print edition.
    $9.99 is so much better and you can get it in the hands of people who really can use it.

  • Tee-Dub-Ya

    Quite the Quandary. I think most would hesitate to pay the $29. Just because someone has a 9-5 job doesn’t mean that they are making good money, nor that they have extra cash.

    I like the idea of a “pay-what-you-will” setup… above $10, of course! Or an extra charge for the add-ons. If one reads the book, likes what they’ve read and want more, then they may be willing to pay for the additional info. Good luck!

  • Oh wow, I just saw someone else’s comment about a guarantee of success. Linda, you should totally think about offering some kind of guarantee (more than the standard money-back guarantee). I don’t know what exactly, but you are such a BRILLIANT teacher…I feel like there’s definitely something you can guarantee readers will achieve/accomplish/learn if they read the book and do the work. At the very least, something like they’ll be generating salable ideas and they’ll have a list of 10 great markets to target, something simple like that. After a year in the Den under the tutelage of you and Carol, I feel like anybody who joins the Den, takes the classes, and does the work can’t fail to succeed. The only possible exception might be people who don’t have a basic grasp of English grammar — hard for them to succeed writing in English. Maybe you could have an intro quiz. Lol. Take this quiz to see if you have basic writing skills — and if you pass the quiz, then I guarantee you can succeed as a writer, and here’s what you’ll have when you finish this book. Something like that. Sheesh I’m running away with this idea, aren’t I? 🙂 Lol, sorry! Feel free to ignore me, I’m a nut! I’m also a little high on cold medicine. 😉

    • Thanks, Lisa! That’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure what I could guarantee since readers will be starting out with such different circumstances, skill sets, motivation, etc.

  • I’m in agreement that something in between $10 and $29 would be inline with many people’s budgets. I generally don’t buy books that are $29.00 even if I think the content is well worth it. A mid-range price appeals to more people and then they would most likely recommend it to their writer friends. Looking forward to the final product!

  • Hi Linda,

    While I’m not a prospect for this book, I thought I could add some perspective. A quick browse through my(ancient-but-still-useful) library revealed hardcover books such as Cameron Foote’s classic for copywriters, “The Business of Creativity” at $40, down to trade paperbacks on writing at $16 for straight text. Heavily-illustrated books on commercial design were similarly priced.

    Unfortunately for writers, Amazon has trained everyone to view books as essentially worthless, regardless of the caliber of the writing or value of the content. I’m guessing newbies might be willing to pay $15, tops, for your new book (but it’s only a guess).

    I read my first Kindle book this summer and to say that I found the user experience unpleasant is putting it kindly (no reflection on the author or the content). If I have to receive a book electronically, I much prefer to be able to download it as it better resembles a real book (with page numbers, formatting, etc.).

    That being said, I’m writing an ebooklet that I plan to sell as a Kindle. It’s just the way the market is right now.

    Hope this helped,
    Lois

    I will be hard-pressed to read another

  • Emily

    I buy a fair amount of ebooks to read on my Kindle, and I’ve never paid more than $12. If I were to pay $29, I’d want a hardcover book.

  • Hi Linda, As a enthusiast who is disorganized, I can suggest you charge $9.99. I signed up for your course, but haven’t read it yet. I’ve bought Amazon books that I haven’t read yet. And I’ve been planning to sign up for another writing course by an author I’ve simply heard great things about. She promises apt of feedback and only charges $150.
    I’m a deep believer in “the more you give, the more you get.” I don’t know what affiliate sales are :-).

  • Hello,

    I think the reasons for going for the $9.99 are stronger than those for the higher price. Mainly you could go for volume, and help more people, still making money.
    Best,
    Pedro

  • What about selling it for 9.99 on Amazon without or with less extras & sellong it aa a download from your site with all the extras for a higher price perhaps pay anything over $15 or $20

  • In my experience, lower-priced ebooks sell in greater volume and you receive a larger percentage of the sales from Amazon ? as Stu rightly points out.

    I sometimes have a hard time paying even $9.99 for ebooks (especially from self-publishers), because the overhead rarely warrants that amount – and this is as an indie author myself.

    I’m not advising you price yourself down to $2.99! Most of the business ebooks I’ve been benefiting from lately have been priced in the $5-10 range, if that’s any help.

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I have to say, I HATE hearing people want to pay less for e-books because the overhead is lower. You’re not paying for overhead, ink and paper, or even the author’s time in compiling the book — you’re paying for the VALUE the book will bring you. If a novel entertains you for six hours or a nonfiction book gives you the skills you need to land the job of your dreams, what is that worth to a reader?

      Just my two cents…

  • I’m in the “somewhere in between” camp. The Amazon commission is definitely a consideration but you also want to provide value and perceived value by charging enough.

    As for the exclusive bonus downloads, I care less about those. My personal experience for the most part is that I find out about “thought leaders” from their peers, perhaps do an e-course, get on their mailing lists, read a few newsletters, and then start deleting without reading before I finally unsubscribe due to overwhelm and repetitive content – though Copyblogger remains fresh and I often refer people there.

    That said, it is nice to get referrals to other experts and the option to unsubscribe is always there. I realize I’m being a little “stream of consciousness” here but it’s part of the feedback.

    Don’t assume that people with 9-5 jobs can afford more. We have bills too, and having returning to full time from freelance in the last few months, I’ve been on both sides recently. Maybe 2 options are the way to go? (Though Chris Guillebeau says that if you give 3 levels people will most often go with the second.) It’s absolutely something I’m interested in – and yours is a mailing list I’ve stuck with since at least last December, even though I don’t read every single email.

  • I see $29.99, I think “No thanks, I can do without.” I see $9.99 and I’m interested.

  • Alison

    Hi Linda,

    In doing a search on Amazon for “Freelance Writing” I get a ton of results, most way under $29. (And sadly, I’ve bought so many of them, and then found I had no time or couldn’t really get into them.)

    I’d love to jump into a freelance career, but I’m fighting my significant other, as he thinks my job is perfect. (It’s cushy and there are a TON of benefits.) If your book even briefly touches on how to deal with people who tell you that you should feel lucky to have a job nowadays, then I’ll be all over it, no matter what the cost.

    However, if you’re interested in getting new readers, I’d suggest $10 on Amazon. That would open up a great amount of people who do a quick search on Amazon and find new books on the subject to buy.

    Whatever you choose, good luck!

    • Oh my goodness, I have a whole section on getting your friends and family on board — and what to do if you can’t sway them! Email me and I’ll send you just that section.

  • Based on my reading and the discussion here, I think the book should sell for $9.99. Digital books are about selling in volume; the “sweet spot” for digital books, to my knowledge is $2.99. I would never recommend offering this book for $2.99! The content offered holds too much value.

    I think that many of your readers will belong to the ranks of the underemployed, professionals who have returned to the workplace and recent graduates. At $9.99, you get the benefit of making the book accessible to more potential buyers. We’re an economy in recovery, but working families and recent grads still need to count every penny.

  • AK

    Why not experiment..in a very simple way? Put the bare bones Kindle download up on Amazon for $9.99, and also offer a “Platinum” version that can be downloaded from YOUR site for $29.99. See which one gets the most interest…

    • AK

      If you can customize the Kindle purchase receipt to include a discount code…maybe do an upsell there too… “Like the book, get the platinum download with this $10 off code: [Code]”

      • AK

        Oh…and so what if the code gets shared and you sell a boat load of platinum downloads at $19.99…still big “win win” right?

  • Denise

    I’d pay up to $19.99, but with something in the $9.99 to $14.00 range, I wouldn’t have to think about it. Anything below $8 – $10, if I didn’t already read your blog, I might think was not quality.

    Also, my choices for the book cover – 1st is DREAM, 2nd is CAGE, and a distant third is ESCAPE.

  • The book and bonuses sound incredible.

    There are some excellent comments. For my two cents I prefer $9.99 (or “9.99 as I’m in the UK) as that would be a bargain for what you are providing and give you the higher commission and larger reach. However, I would still purchase up to $19.99 (not more than “16 in the UK).

    I think if you are trying to increase your reach then a lower price point will achieve that and show that your writing is excellent quality. This will build your reputation particularly in the Kindle store.

    There is too much on Kindle that is poorly written rubbish. You will outshine them by far:)

  • Jamie

    $29 is too much for me–I would want a hardcover for that, and I expect ebooks to be cheaper. Besides, like others have mentioned, there are too many other resources available for a cheaper price. The fact that there are freebies included would not motivate me at all–if I plunked down money, it would be for YOUR book, not the freebies–the freebies really just sound like gimmicks (so they would undermine your credibility and professionalism in my mind and make me LESS likely to buy).

    On the other hand, if it was priced under $10, that might also be a turnoff to me, because I would assume the book didn’t have much value.

    My guess would be that your sweet spot is somewhere between $12-15.

  • So many good comments here already. Here’s my two cents, if it’s worth even that much.

    I hesitate to spend $29 on a hardcover, print book and there is no way I’d spent that much on an e-book. I would pay that for an online course, but as instructional as I’m sure your book is, it is still a book and is being marketed that way. The $29 price tag would be an immediate turn off for me.

    That being said, I know that you should be able to make something out of it and don’t want to “give away” too much. With Amazon taking a bigger chunk out of your cut at a higher price than $10, all things point to the $9.99 in my view.

  • One of the good things about Amazon is that you can play around with price. A friend of mine, Jeff Korhan, recently published his 1st book about social marketing practices for small businesses – he did not self-publish. The ebook price is $11.99 and the hardback price is $21.27. Koran gave me a promotional copy but, I would have purchased the hard copy at $21,27.

    As a subscriber to both your list and Carol’s, I “discovered” John Soares – the 2nd edition of one of his books is $27.00 – and, that’s my next purchase.

    Whatever decision you make, knowing that you’re not locked in is a nice feature of selling on Amazon.

  • It sounds like a valuable project that would be worth $29 as many have previously said and maybe some would pay that. The idea of giving an option to pay what you will would allow those who want to support your hard work by paying the full price and those who NEED it but can’t afford or won’t pay that price could also purchase it.
    I would pay 9.99 (possibly 14.99) only because I live on a strict budget and always look to get “more for less” but here is the biggest thing in my thinking…if you write to get paid MORE than to “help” people charge the BIG price. If you write because you feel that you have information of value that you want to SHARE with others BECAUSE you want to help them…charge less and sell more so you can HELP more people. 😉 THAT I’m positive is what I would do.

  • HI Linda,

    If this is available as hard copy, 12.99 to 14.99 may be conceivable, but digital is (I believe) most people’s preference, especially freelance writers. I think its a matter of competition. If someone sees your book at $29 and sees other books with similar topics and subject matter, they will purchase the less expensive books. I know, because I purchase several books for my kindle and expect to pay $7.99 or NO more than $9.99. It seems a shame for all the hard work that goes into the book, no doubt. But better to sell three copies at 9.99 then just one at $29. 🙂 You have enough following that you’ll sell plenty!

  • Laura Boeberitz

    Hi Linda. I have greatly enjoyed your morning motivation for writers. I am taking baby steps toward this endeavor. I would not pay $29.00 for a book. I agree with the others who suggest you sell the book for $9.99 and sell add-ons for a different price. People from all walks of life, not just people working nine to five would benefit from your experience this way.

  • David Williams

    I’d go for the $9.99 as the higher price would make me think twice. I’m a struggling writer who is very short of cash and wouldn’t think of paying much more than $9.99 or “15.98 as it would be here. That’s a good price for a book in the UK.
    I think volume is what you should be after as your name would be spread wider and your reputation would grow. Then offer the extras via your website for anybody whose interested therefore making more profit on the extras by cutting out the middle man.

  • Doreen

    Hi Linda,

    As someone who’s already left the rat race but is still in the beginning phases of a freelance writing/editing career, I would be unlikely to pay $29.99. But I would pay as much 19.99 (which is a lot for me right now), because I would view it as an investment.

    Hope that helps!

  • I’m terrible with decisions Linda! All I can tell you is that I def wouldn’t pay 29.99 for it. Unless it’s something that would be updated constantly, because this kind of information (I’m guessing) changes quickly. I don’t know – I’d really have to review the book more closely. I might pay up to $14.99 or something like that. I do like the idea of selling for less to more people…wish I could be more helpful! Good luck
    Amy

  • It seems the problem hinges on Amazon’s commission point. Another blogger who provides content similar (kind of…he wrote Refuse the Rat Race) charges something like $37 for each of his books, but doesn’t sell them through Amazon, only on his own site. Your content is always useful, and I feel that $10 is too low, but $29 seems a bit too high. Of course, if the bonus content is worth it, I’d pay it! However, that’s more than the cost of most hardback titles today. What if you aimed for a price point around $15? Of course, if that means Amazon is taking a 70% commission, that kills your earnings.

  • I’d say go for $9.99 or $10…. At that price, it would be a no-brainer purchase for me. And I think lots of others would feel the same.

    I don’t think I’ve ever bought an eBook for more than $20… It’s not that I don’t value the content, but the pricepoint gets tricky if it seems to go over what I’d expect to pay for a physical book in a bookstore. Or maybe some of us are just cheap… EIther way, I’d recommend the lower price point. You’ll make less money per book, but I think you’ll sell a LOT more copies…

  • Hi – I would definitely purchase it for 9.99 on Amazon. I think that is your best bed – quantity and at that price it will be affordable to more people. Don’t think just because you have a 9 to 5 job that the more expensive book is affordable. Been there, done that, got t-shirt. It isn’t – I would suspect money is very tight.

  • Cindi Kerr

    I think the answer depends on what you’re reasons for writing the book are. If your main objective is to reach and help more people, then the lower price point is a better choice. If your main objective is to establish yourself as an authority to a new market, then a higher price may help to do that – perceived value tends to increase with the price. Personally, I would rather pay the $9.99 price for the book with a “special invitation” to your e-courses at a discount for readers who provide a code included with the purchase of the book. This way, you reach a greater number of people and those who are interested in following up with you after reading the book have an immediate way to do so. Not to mention, you get the advantage of having a new audience for your e-courses.

  • I’m not sure if this Smashwords analysis will help http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/05/new-smashwords-survey-helps-authors.html?et_mid=616946&rid=3001824

    Bottom line the top sellers are ebooks priced $2.99 and less and romance leads the way.

    I bought the paperback versions of The Renegade Writer and Query Letters that Rock shortly after they were released. They weren’t available in ebook version and if they were I probably would have still bought the paperback back then.

    I have bought ebooks for $9.99 and that is about as high as I would go for an ebook. Even at that price I’m probably leaning toward a paperback, and paying that $9.99 I’m buying books from authors whose work I already like and have been reading for years. An author unknown to me, I would not pay that much for an ebook.

  • Even though I’m a writer and bibliophile, I would hesitate to spend $29.99 on a book. I generally don’t buy hardcover books unless I’m desperate to read them right away (or it’s an art book with gorgeous plates). I’ll almost always wait for the paperback version to come out before purchasing.

    In general, I think people have become more frugal since the 2008 crash because there were massive layoffs. Instead of finding one job, lots of former full-timers are now working several part-time jobs and are making less money. This makes me think that your audience is not only full-timers who want to break into freelancing as their living, but the vast number of new part-timers who want to drop their other jobs and focus on writing as their main gig. This group would pay $9.99 but probably not $29.99.

  • Mary Ann Bella

    Thinking this will be a paperback, between $10 and $15 seems reasonable to me.

  • How about offering a two-tier option? You could offer the low price w/out the downloads, and the higher-priced version with the extras. (My experience with e-books is as follows: I get the e-book, and if I find it very useful, I order a hard copy whenever it’s available! So I end up spending more money, but I never regret my purchases.) I agree with Cheryl that $9.99 is top price for an e-book, and you’ll likely make up the difference in increased sales. This also widens your audience, as Cindi pointed out, which is of course the most important part.

  • I’d be hesitant to buy the $29.99 version. Not because it won’t be fabulous, it’s just that I never spend that much on books. I think $9.99 is more in line with what others are charging and will allow you to reach more people…

  • I’m an avid reader of both ebooks and physical books. And regardless of the subject matter or author, I just can’t bring myself to spend $29.99 for an ebook. Like Catherine, I even wait for the paperbacks instead of plunking down $30 for a hardcover.

    And to add to Catherine’s second point, a lot of writers nowadays are either gearing up to go freelance or “on guard” for the next round of layoffs. Either way, they’re more likely to be pinching their pennies until the next time they’re in between jobs.

  • MH Berg

    Go with the lower price.

  • Leann Griffiths

    I think if your target audience is people with 9-5 jobs, you should charge less than 10. If your target audience were journalism students or people taking writing workshops, then I would set a premium price. College students and workshop attendees pay more bcause thats required for the class. They can’t get the instruction, networking, or credit without paying the premium price. The only thing a 9-5 person is going to pay more for is a writer workshop, how can they do it with less time, and where can they publish at. Or atleast thats what I have seen as a librarian, person working in academia, 9-5, and now full time writer.

    Good luck with your book.

  • I believe the best price is right at $9.99. You will reach more people this way. It’s the right price for this type of publication.

  • Looks like $10 price is the winner. I agree with nearly everyone above. As soon as I read your email asking about the $29.99 price I thought, “Oh well, can’t get the book.” I’m employed, but like many people can’t justify paying the higher price.

    Given that your sales would be lower and Amazon would eat a greater portion of profits, and your ability to reach larger audience compromised, and the net affect of establishing your authority minimized by lack of exposure….seems like the sweet spot is $10.

    What about offering the downloads as an affordable e-book (e-pamphlet) on your website? You might be able to garner more sales that would compensate for selling the main book at the lower price point, you’d drive more traffic to your site, and you’d still be able to feel that you’re helping more people in more ways.

  • Hi Linda!

    I’m the person who wrote you in such detail about Kindle covers. Just wanted to tell you that the consensus out there among the experts is that you can’t charge for an e-book like a regular book.

    The top, top price for an e-book is $11.99. Most fiction books are less, because as you pointed out, Amazon takes quite a chunk out of the more expensive books.

    I do know that while fiction the sweet spot is $2.99, business books can charge more. Unfortunately, when I see an author wanting more than that, and I’ve seen some charge as much as $19.99- then I feel positively offended. I think, what, is he trying to make money off of me? And half the time I don’t even know who the author is.

    What I would do is not give the free downloads, but make them available for people who go to your site and sign up to your e-mail list. That why you can get a ton of leads – which are probably worth more than the extra $10.00 you would have gotten from them anyway.

    You can use the list to upsell them on another product of yours, and since you know they bought the book, you know exactly what they’re looking for.

    Also, you should do some research into the whole Amazon premium thing. I don’t want to make this comment too long, but the stats show that it makes a huge difference – it’s very good for boosting your rankings, etc.

    There’s a whole thing that if you time things right, giving your book away (through the Amazon link so they can post reviews) and asking people to post reviews right when the book is released can shoot your book to the top of its category.

    If you Google it you can find out more.Be sure to check out about what keywords to use; this also makes a huge difference in ranking your book. Check what keywords the best-sellers in your category use, and use those too.

    Well, this is definitely more than you asked for, but hope it helps. Feel free to e-mail me if you want more specifics 🙂

    It’s also

  • Steven Solum

    I am old fashion when it comes to books–I like to hold them and turn the pages and if I want to, mark important parts. I have read e-books for pleasure but not to study them, like I would be this one. I find it easier for me to actually turn to the page or chapter that I want rather than scroll to it. I am apprehensive about hitting the wrong button or have something else happen to the e-book I am reading and it be lost in cyberspace.

    That being said, if this book were to come out in paperback or be downloadable, I don’t think $10-15 is to much to ask. If you are seeking to reach the most people(and potentially have more students for your courses), then maybe you should consider a lower price. Personally, I like round numbers like $9.00 instead of $9.99(by the time taxes/shipping are added the cost of the book could possibly be in the $15 range or above.

  • Valerie Benko

    You could go mid-way and offer it for $20.

  • I think the commission percentage tips the balance to the under $10 price point. At least it would for me, if I were the author.

    If you really want to go for a higher price, what about making it a series?

    For example, I was looking at books on writing fiction, and I saw two authors who had ones I really liked. One was 4-5 books at $10 each, the other is a series of 6 (maybe more still coming?) priced at $4.99 each, and one was free when I first stumbled onto it (though I was already familiar with the author). I’ve now purchased 2 from the $10 series, both of which I had a coupon for, and 3 of the 2nd series. But I am definitely going to go buy the rest of the 2nd series, and it was a much quicker decision to buy those. The first series I did a “sample” and I compared other similar books and waited several weeks before getting one (and the coupon pushed me over the edge).

    If you broke it into 3 topics and had covers made that have the same graphic design, just different titles, and released one every month for 3 months you might be able to benefit from the low-price benefits and still have those of the higher price point too.

  • Some great comments ? I’ll try not to repeat things already said.

    I also think that a middle range would work better. I think $29 might be a bit too high as well. Here’s my thinking.

    I worked in a bookstore for 4 years (through 2011). Hard cover books rarely sold when priced higher than $19.99, even with a well-known author and even though we had some who preferred hard cover. The difference between the $18.99 to $19.99 and the $21.95 to $22.95 price range was huge. At $21.95 to $24.95 the book often sat on the shelf. A book may have a “suggested retail” of $24.99 on the back of the book, but it never sold for that. It was always 10 to 20% off ($19.99 to $22.50).

    What does that have to do with e-books? I know that there are some different perspectives online with regard to reputations of certain writers online. Some people would gladly pay extra for the premiums you mentioned, but some may not. I may, but I know how much work goes into a 200 page book and I believe in supporting writers.

    In my experience, people expect an e-book to cost less. I had a friend on Facebook say that she would not pay $15.99 for a John Grisham e-book. I have also worked in printing so; I tried to explain that the same work, research, editing, typesetting, layout and formatting went into an e-book. The printing process is about as streamlined as it can be. It’s a small fraction of the cost of the book. She understood, but still insisted the publisher was saving a ton by not printing the book, and so the cost should be lower.

    There is a difference between the value of non-fiction instructional book and a fiction book, but my point is that even with a following at the higher price you’d have to work harder to overcome the “perceived” value, and the “perceived” less cost of producing an e-book.

    I hope that helps.

  • Janice

    Hello Linda,

    Since I have your other books in my library and paid $14.95 for them, I would suggest that price or lower for your new book. Your books are so valuable for all the tips, resources and examples that they provide that I like to keep copies of them next to my work area.

    I’m not into e-books since I like to highlight or otherwise mark sections that appeal to me. I also find books easier to read.

    Good luck with the book. Hope to read it soon.

  • Pat

    I am an avid reader. I have a Kindle so I always pay lower prices for books. I also have an ecard at the Boston Public Library so I can borrow books for free on my Kindle.

    Linda, you are a wealth of information that I have found extremely helpful. I am a newbie at freelance writing and as of yet have not published anything. I am researching and reading everything to learn the ins and outs. I believe your new book would be very helpful but I have to admit that I would be more likely to buy it if it were under $10.

  • I’d go with the lower $9.99 price because yes, it’ll sell more so volume will bring higher ROI, but it will also introduce more people to your e-courses and other offerings. A lot of folks out there are desperate to find work and transition, $9.99 fits their budget and their mindset–I deserve this for the lower rate–but it also introduces them to all that you offer. From the first book they should realize you’re a thought leader/expert in your field and will gravitate toward you for more writing and mentoring–that’s your goal I believe.

    I’ll buy the $9.99, just to have the book on hand and read it to gain insights I might have missed. And I’ve a friend who would by the $9.99 Kindle version, but never the higher priced one.

  • Gary Jones

    Hi there
    I think 10 to 13 dollars is fine,
    I’m gonna buy it
    Many thanks
    Gary

  • Tough question! As a newbie writer, I might hesitate to pay more than $20 for the book. While the added links and info is nice, when you start freelance writing, it might be wise to keep it simple, so that you focus on establishing a network of publications and editorial contacts. As a beginning writer, I spent a lot of time on searching for leads and then getting quality stories written. I didn’t have time to learn about a large number of other writers and what they were doing, so that extra info may not be used. Also, as a newbie, it’s sometimes counterproductive to review info about too many different kinds of writing before you have established yourself as a successful writer. Even now, when I read or study what others have done, I’m careful to consider my resources, experience and ability to step into a different writing realm and do it well before I make changes to my work routine.

    So, after that long-winded spiel, I’d say between $10 and $20. You have valuable experience to share – no question. I would guess at $10 the sales volume would be significant.

  • Rosella LaFevre

    I would personally never pay $29 for a book, paper or electronic. It just seems like a lot to me. That said, I always would pay more for a paper book than an ebook. I wouldn’t pay more than $9.99.

  • lena

    Hi,

    I would say go for the $9.99 price. I believe that you will make more overall and with the fantastic value in the book and the bonuses, this is your best chance of going viral within the community of would be writers. Are you planning a big product launch? It would also leave room for a future paperback publishing deal.

    All the best for the launch

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Linda! Most of the previous comments have expressed what I was going to say. I do agree that the lower price, $9.99, is the way to go; as well, I would rather see you get the extra $ than Amazon as far as a commission. Rachel’s suggestion of offering the downloads to subscribers to your list is spot on, too.

  • I’d spend $19.99 for print and $12.99 for e-book. 🙂

  • Harriet Weinstein

    Under $10.00

  • Cheryl

    Not having a regular income since 2010,I have taken to writing while starting a business that is still in red. What is fair and a good value is a moot point when would be consumers struggle to buy food and gas.

  • I want some of Lisa’s cold medicine. Oh, on the book: Like many here, I think the $29.00 price is an automatic “no” for so many readers conditioned to the generally narrow range of ebook prices, no matter the quality of the information. You might entice a somewhat wider range at $19.99, but in my view, that price is close to an automatic “no” as well.

    I think the widest range of audience appeal would be at the $9.99 price and the most sales, so if your cut goes considerably down even at $14.99 (I won’t attempt to do the math), $9.99 is persuasive. I see books with a lot of great info (Guy Kawasaki’s APE, for instance) at $9.99, so you would be in good company.

    The book is undoubtedly a bargain (I know your work) at that price, but if a higher price stops sales, then you’ve lost a possibly significant portion of your audience. Good luck with it!

  • I would definitely go for the under $10 option but not much below it. I think whether or not someone is in a 9-5 or not, they will be tentative about this whole writing game and won’t want to spend a lot of money on something that might be a waste of time and effort. This book isn’t pitching to the kind of person who has already made that firm decision and will become a writer come hell or high water. They want assurance that writing is the way forward and part of that assurance comes from not needing to spend a lot of money to get there.

    However, charge like $5 and I think the book will seem cheap and tacky and not so many will believe it was worth the money. They’ll see it as a ‘get rich quick’ book.

  • Hi Linda. Thanks for connecting and asking for this type of advice. I read through most of the answers here, and have to say I agree on the $9.99 price point. As attractive as it may initially seem to price your book at $29.99, and you know the value is there, but you already know you’ll cut out a lot of potential readers/buyers at that point, which isn’t what you want. I liked the idea of a two tiered option, which allows readers to decide how much they are willing to spend for the information you provide. The problem is convincing people to shell out hard earned $$ for a second book, which can be tricky. Personally, I’d pay between $9.99-$12.99 for a really top notch e-book that I thought was going to give me real value for my money and my business, but no more than that.

    Also, keep in mind the Wal-Mart credo; sell for less, and therefore sell much more than your competitor. There’s a reason they’ve become the retail giants they are, especially in these financially challenging times.

    Hope all this input helps. It was also great to see what others think about this subject. 🙂

  • Go less than $10, even if only to $9.99 which could work for a 200+ page book. The additional downloads would not change my mind. You will sell and earn far more at the price level. No way would I pay $29 for an e-book. I’d hesitate to pay that for a hardcover.

    A lot of other books on this topic have been written so you have competition, some from people who may be better known than you are. As you mentioned, the book is a good intro to the other services you offer and the lower price is perfect for that.

  • jerri

    Psychologically, under $10 always makes me wonder about value of contents. Over $25 is usually a luxury many don’t allow themselves. Hope this helps.

  • Hi Linda. I agree with $9.99 for all of the good reasons everyone else suggested.

    One thought. Would it be possible for you to price the book at something like $19.99, but for the first 90 days price it at $9.99? Then when it jumps to $19.99 you can offer a $5 off code for folks that sign up for your email list or an ecourse? Or something like that? Given the commission structure that might not make sense. But it would be nice to offer a tangible discount for students or email list peeps, and it would be super if you could get a price for the book that better reflects the value.

  • I am with most of the other readers — I rarely spend more than $20 on any book, especially not an ebook. Of course, it will have a lot of value, but I think an under $10 is a much better idea — grow your fans!

  • Steve

    I might be a bit hesitant to pay $29 for a book. I would probably spilt the difference and charge around $15.00 (I’d pay that). Depends though on how much more Amazon takes from you (i.e. can you raise the price enough to decently compensate for Amazon’s increased cut or would the additional you take in be minimal? If minimal, go with $9.99).

  • Kay Ledger

    I agree with the two-tiered idea – interesting to see how many people would take the lower price; I’d likely pay the 9.99 for an ebook, but as much as $15, even $18 for a paperback option.

  • Sandy in St Louis

    I don’t like to read online and don’t have an e-reader. That said, fiction books sell best at about $2.99 for e-versions which I think is kind of sad. I’d think for this book, $7.99 – $9.99 would be a workable price point. If you do a paperback version, I’d buy in the $12.95 – $14.95 range.

  • Caitlin

    Hi Linda, $29 would definitely make me think twice about buying the book and might prompt me to shop around for a better value; whereas $10 is almost a no-brainer if I like the topic. Personally, I’m part of your 9-5 target audience, but I’m trying to save up to make the career transition, so money’s definitely an object! I agree with the earlier comments about growing your fans too. Good luck!

  • Lisa

    I have a problem with e-books over $9.99. I’ve been with Amazon since the beginning and every time I see a book priced over $9.99 I refuse to buy it because usually you can get print versions for under $15.00. I just am prejudiced against ebooks over $9.99. I agree with others who said they would accept under $15.00 for paperback.

  • $9.99 (under $10.00) would probably be a “why not!” auto-pilot purchase for me. I’d need to think a little harder about $29.99.

  • Hi Linda! I just read an article discussing the issue with Amazon and their 9.99 price point for Kindle books– the whole lawsuit with Apple and all.

    I think as authors who self publish we are unfortunately bound to this price point if we want to get our publications into the largest online retailer. My book went through an independent publisher, had over 1000 full color photos and 300+ pages, and Amazon still priced the Kindle book at 9.99. It’s unfortunate, but what can we do at this point?

    So to answer your question, if you were just launching this product on your site and through affiliates, I would go with $29. But if you are entering the mainstream market place– including Amazon- the 9.99 is it.

  • Joan Di Masi

    I believe the price should be $9.99. You will reach more people – and you may even make more money in the long run because so many more people will want to buy it and/or be able to afford it.

  • I get your logic on all of it. But I would probably be most likely to pick it up if it were $10-15.

  • Linda Schneider

    I’d like to see it go for $10 so that I can afford it. Thanks.

  • $9.99 for all the reasons you said in your blog.
    The premium price will only be paid by a few.
    The volume on the lower price will get you more sales, and help a lot more people too.
    You’ll build your audience and potential students much faster and bigger this way

    good luck.

  • Crisologo

    Lower price attracts more clients while higher price is the other way around. However, there are some ebooks worth buying even if the price is high. People don’t mind the price as long as it’s worth reading.

  • One of my non negotiables is minimalism and simplicity and I choose to do things that I love or believe are worthwhile instead of working for a wage. Thus I do not have the available funds to purchase your book, although I would like to. My suggestion is this; why not charge the higher price and allow those engaged in earning to contribute to your income AND offer a well thought out freebie challenge to allow those who are not a chance to benefit from your effort. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  • Linda, I think $9.99 is a good price and more affordable for a lot of people. That’s a good price for an eBook. You’ll probably get more buyers for the lower price. 🙂

  • Lynn Jarrett

    I have been writing for a hobby for years. Just over the last year or so, I have been preparing to attempt to write for a career. I appreciate all of the assistance writers (such as you) give to newbies such as me. That being said, I tend to agree with some of the other commenters in that I would not pay $29.00 for an e-book (and probably not a print book) (with or without the added bonuses). About as far as I would go is $10.00. If Amazon takes a larger chunk if the price is over $10.00, go with $9.99. For some reason, folks always think they are getting a good deal if there is a .99 included in the purchase price. Besides, Amazon has taken a recent hike in its prices, so a lot of folks are getting a little peeved at it. I understand that you do not want to undersell yourself, but from what I can see, you have a HUGE audience of followers and if even 3/4 of them purchased the book at $9.99, you would be doing well. As I mentioned above, I do appreciate how quickly you reply to e-mail messages. It makes little people like me feel important.

    The best to you. I look forward to the new read.

  • I’d agree with most comments about the lower price. But please please please make it available in real paper. I like to fold your books back to certain pages, photocopy portions for my bulletin board, write in the book, underline and use sticky notes on them. Alas, as much as I love ebooks, a book I USE, like a travel guide or a writing book, I want in paper. But no matter how you issue it, I know from your blog I’ll learn a lot from it.

  • Michelle Bunt

    Hi Linda,
    While I’m sure your book is very deserving of the higher price tag, I can only really speak for myself and say that I would be unlikely to buy it at the higher price. For me, who is on a restricted income, there has to be an absolutely compelling reason for me to purchase an ebook for more than $9.99 especially given the fact that I am not even receiving a physical copy of the book. I can count on one hand the number of times I spend more than that on a book during the course of a year. I’m a huge fan of making knowledge and art accessible to the masses.
    Of course I will honour whatever decision you make, but I do think it was very thoughtful of you to ask for our opinions! 🙂

  • Glenyss

    I would love to buy the ebook but never pay more than $10. As a writer I understand all the work you’ve put into it but with the lower price you will get a much wider audience. All the best for the launch!

  • Alison

    Before you commit, I highly recommend you look through some of these articles http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/pricing-strategy in particular, listen to the podcast ‘are you charging enough’. It’s very interesting and rather surprising! You may need to register for access, but its free and its a great resource.

    • Thank you, I will check it out! Looks like free members get access to only the last podcast…which this one is!

  • I agree with most of the comments others have posted — $9.99 for an e-book would the be maximum I’d pay for this type of book. I like print books for this type of reference because it’s easier to refer to certain sections and find random or accidental re-inspirations by flipping through pages. I’m not suggesting you not do the e-book — definitely you SHOULD do it and at the $9.99 price — but if given a choice between the two and if both were affordable, I’d get more use from the print than I would the e-version. As others said, $29.99 may be a reasonable Return On Investment figure from the publishing side but it exceeds the buy-worthy price point most people are willing to pay, including me. $14.95 would be a good price for me for a paperback copy. $19.99 would be a maybe if I felt pretty sure I’d get a lot of use from the book.

    Could remodel the $29.99 layout/plan to bring the print price down for the main body of the book and then offer supplements — booklet-style extra sections for a separate price so people could say okay, I want the core book at $17.99 and I’ll buy the so-and-so extra section at $4.99 because I can really use that but I don’t see a need right now for the such-and-such section at $3.99 so I’ll skip it … but maybe buy it later. If you could break the book into chunks with one main text and a few extras/supplements, you could offer a special rate to buyers of the main text — buy any additional supplements within 30 or whatever-X days of your original purchase and you’ll pay 5- or 10-percent less than the list price; buy later or buy separately without purchasing the main text and you’d pay full price.

    Also, how about a future book on using tools like this (email, blog, comment forum, etc.) to crowdsource-refine projects before you put them on the market?

  • Danae

    Well, I think the $9.99 price tag is easier than the $20+. I wonder if the by paying more for the book, one feels its more valuable. Readers that know your work and appreciate you, will pay the higher price. Those that don’t know you may have two reactions; one they may wonder if its worth the $20+. While others may feel, that it must not be that great if it is only $10bucks.
    Gosh it’s a hard decision either way.
    I really want a copy!
    Danae

  • I look to Bernadette of ” Story of telling” who has had a no. 1 amazon best seller with ” Your ideas matter” Paperback version under $10 Kindle 3.99

    Now her second book “The Fortune Cookie Principle” follows the same pattern.

    So go with the lower price for paperback and have an even cheaper kindle version.

    Have an add on price for any expensive extras.

  • Jackie

    When things are too cheap, they aren’t usually valued or used properly.

    You can always do the cheaper price as a driven incentive with a cut-off date to jump-start activity. Or, once it’s aged and sales drop, you can then reach the wider market with the lower price. And, as Carole says, use an add on price for the extras. I like the way Chris Guillabeau prices his things – three tiers. You could try that too…

  • Sheryl

    Go for the lower price. Then drive all that new traffic you get from the book to your website for say an infographic or something, then offer a $15 training/newsletter membership based off the book or something new you would like to share. I think in the long run you would profit more by increasing your list of potential long term customers.

  • You listed out a lot of good things there, but for an e-book anymore than ten dollars is excessive. You will gain more traffic by selling for less anyway. If people want everything else and can afford it you could make it an option to get the other things, but for the rest of us we would be happy with the bare minimum.

  • I would go for the lower price and more readers.

  • It’s a tough call! The lower price point is appealing because you would reach a bigger market that could easily afford that price. If they like what they read chances are they will seek you out through a website or social media to find out how to order more books or take an e-course or two from you. In the long run the lower price point could generate more business than the higher price point option.

  • David Alexander

    I think that you need to ask yourself if your goal is to simply sell the book, or is the ultimate goal to use the book in order to steer people into other things: webinars, seminars, newsletters, etc.

    I think the best option would be to somehow link the two things. Being technologically challenged myself, I have no idea how to achieve this. To somehow get a coupon into the book to give you 50% off a seminar, etc. Or more simply, if someone signs up for a seminar, give them a free book.

    My personal feeling is to get the book out there to the maximum number of people possible. So I would price it at $0.99 or $1.99. Simple math does not work in sales, except on necessities like gas and food. You cannot simply say that if I sell the book for $10 and project 10,000 copies, then if it were $20 it would sell 5,000 copies thus you would earn the same amount. More likely the breakdown is not linear but almost logarithmic. If a $5 book selling 10,000 copies, you would assume that a $10 price would sell 5,000 copies and a $20 price would sell 2,500. This simply is not the case in sales. Much more likely is that the $5 / 10,000 copies would give the $10 one 2,500 copies, and the $20 one 500 copies. In publishing paper books, there is a big difference between the cost / profit vs. the quantity sold, as there is a significant cost of materials, printing, shipping, and returns. Therefore in pricing paper books the idea is to maximize the price that people are willing to pay at the expense of the quantity sold in order to minimize the production overhead.

    With an e- book there obviously is no overhead, which is kind of the beauty of the thing. There are exponentially more people that will buy it at $0.99 or $1.99 than at even your low end estimate of $10.00. I feel that using the minimum price will have the maximum desired effect, which is to direct people to your other ventures; and that you should strongly consider taking this approach.

    • David, that is a VERY interesting argument. I wish there were some way to predict how many sales you would get at each price. It would make the decision so much easier!

      I remember Guy Kawasaki saying, though, that people don’t take an e-book seriously if it’s under $10. So there’s that to think of too.

      What a DIFFICULT decision! Good news is, I can always experiment and change my mind.

  • I think that a lower price will lead more readers your way. And more readers, means more sold courses. So I agree with you on that one. Also, I don’t like buying ebooks of over $15, don’t know why. For $29 I would like a print book that I can lend to friends and family. So, if you price it under $10, I would buy it. If you price it over $25 I won’t buy it.

    … and the zone between $10 and $25 is a gray area. To have me buy in that pricerange, you will need very compelling arguments.

    Based on your description, I think your book is worth more than the $10. That is why you will sell a lot more if you prive under $10: the deal is to good to ignore!

  • Why not make it halfway, like 19.99? Or 23? For some reason 23 sounds good for a book (don’t ask).

  • Hello,

    I feel the $29.00 price is acceptable. There is countless information that will be vital to writers at any stage to help them. I am poor. I just became an online freelance ghostwriter in June of 2013. In addition, I open my small business in June of 2013. I am willing to pay for a book that will have valuable information to enhance my career. It will be a valuable investment into my career as a writer. I can increase my profit in my business. Therefore, the $29.00 is a worthy investment, regardless of me counting pennies.

  • There are very, very few books I’ll pay $29 for, and I’m including print. I buy so many of them that I just have to look for bargains. I’ll pay a higher price for vintage copies or art books — things I will be passing down to my kids.

    If you do decide on a higher price, consider offering a discount code or limited time special for your regular readers.

  • I love to read about self help anything, from writing to meditation and personal health and finance, and have a huge library of it all. I rarely if ever have paid more than $20. For me it’s about percieved value and perceived result. If I give someone more than $20 and it isn’t worth I will be furious, with myself mostly but also for the vendor who promoted more than he actually had. !9.95, 17,85 14.95 are all small enough amounts to make me care less if I make a bad deal. Teh answer for you is volume vs quality. so why not have both options. The basic “here’s my book for 14.95” and a premium pack worth double, but offering 5 times more value.
    Starving start up writers will still take a chance on the little one, employed business minded writers or wannabees will opt for the bigger deal.
    Less than ten dollars fro a 200 pager is wrong it makes the work seem less valuable. $10 is less than a Starbucks coffee with a friend and is almost throwaway in value. Too good a deal to be of real value might cost you some buyers.

  • apologies for typos
    I’m off to a meeting.

  • You make compelling arguments for both price points, but I know personally I won’t be buying those premium product ebooks any more. I have done in the past but I truly think the publishing industry is changing. I no longer expect to pay more than 9.99 for an ebook. In fact I expect to get a good quality short(shorter than yours, admittedly) niche ebook for less than $5, and while there is some cheap tat out there at that price point there are also well-written, properly edited, informative ebooks selling at less than $5.

    Now when I pay $30 I expect interaction and feedback (ie I might pay that for a course, workshop or conference but not for an ebook).

    Best of luck, whatever your decision.

  • Manisha Upare

    I would like to buy it for charges under $10. I am sure it will help you to increase the audience crowd.

  • Elizabeth Warkentin

    I rarely pay more than $15 for a book anymore because even though I have a 9-5 job that is paid well by the standards of my profession (librarian), the cost of living has become so high that I can’t afford rent, let alone “luxuries”. Sadly, this now includes buying books for myself.

    Also, I think that part of being stuck in the “rat race” could imply, for many employed people, being stuck in a low-paying job so paying $30 for an ebook could be too steep a price to pay.

    Of course you don’t want to undersell yourself and all your hard work, but I think that at $10 to $15 a lot more people would buy your ebook, and so your efforts could pay off.

    Good luck to you, whatever you decide!

  • Ifeoma

    I agree with the reasons for a high and low price. I am new to freelance writing. I left the rat race on July 26th to write full-time. I did not put money into my savings account. I am working without a financial safety net. Although my husband works full-time my check helped ends meet. I am one of the people you would be helping by offering the e-book at a lower price. This book will be a great resource to add to my library. An e-book priced under $10 is within my budget.

Leave a Comment