This is a period of real growth for indie authors, with expected ebook sales rising to $30Bn in the U.S. through 2020.

But indie and hybrid authors will have to be careful when it comes to pricing. We are up against some very capable players.

Traditional publishers are pricing their front lists (recently published ebooks) high to stop Amazon becoming their number one channel and the dominant market player. But publishers are also pricing their back lists (books they published in previous years, mostly by well know authors) low, and dominating some of the online channels, to help them push less knowledgeable indies out. 

Indies are now competing not only with current titles but also with those traditionally published back lists. Traditional publishers are also using Amazon daily-deals emails, where ebooks are sold for $1.99 or 99c, and BookBub, the largest email special offers service globally, to fill the reading public’s Kindle devices with books from well know authors. The days of indies doing well with high ebook prices are gone.

Here are our recommendations on how you should price your Kindle/ebook to fight back:


We recommend this only if you have a closely linked series, and book number one can be priced at free to get readers started on your series. The only other exception is for review purposes.


We recommend this ebook price point only if you are using email and/or social media promotion services, from sites such as BookBub and BooksGoSocial, or if you want to build a readership for a series or future books. This price can also be used for a short period to get your book onto a best seller list and then you can move the price up. When deciding a price do not consider the effort put in to write and produce it, consider what total earnings you want in the long term. 

99c can also be used during a launch period, for a relaunch with a new cover, or for when you add a new book to your series. How long you stay at 99c will depend on total sales and whether you are continuing any email or social media paid promotion periods. It will also depend on if you have a new title coming out in the near future and what level of buzz you already have for the title. If there’s a lot of media attention on the title your period at 99c may only be a day or two after launch.

Moving pricing up and down is called “price pulsing.”  


This price may be appropriate for other books in a series if the first book in the series is 99c to get people reading through into the next book. 

You may wish to test higher price points occasionally, falling back to $2.99 if sales are affected enough to reduce total income.  

$3.99 or $4.99

If you are writing fictions and are using Amazon ads we suggest you price initially at $3.99 and then after a one month period move the price up to $4.99 and assess your total income from sales and reads if you are in Select over the two months.

Because of the increasing cost of clicks on Amazon and on Facebook, if you are using paid ads on these sites, it is a good call to increase your ebook price to these levels to ensure you are making a profit. 

You may wish to test even higher price points occasionally, falling back if sales are affected enough to reduce total income. BooksGoSocial provides a support service for people who want to do Amazon ads or Facebook ads, including guidance on optimum pricing for ebooks.

See details on our Amazon ads service here and email us – – with details on your book if you want us to manage your Facebook ads. You can also complete the chat questionnaire on the right.

Testing Your Pricing

Pricing is no longer fixed in stone. As retailers are allowed to run sales you are also allowed to drop your price for promotions and to put it up afterward as well. Testing the best ebook prices to earn you the highest income is a good idea. You could adjust your prices each week or month, based on income in the previous period, not on units sold. Having special offers during the Summer and in January are the minimum price changes we recommend. 

Other Considerations  price-tag-374404_1280

You may not have control on your Kindle/ebook pricing, in which case you may be the victim of outdated thinking, where your publisher is seeking to protect sales of paper or isn’t aware of where the industry has moved to. Traditional publishers are locked in a slow-motion war with Amazon for the future of publishing. Your ebook sales may be collateral damage in pursuit of your publisher’s higher objective, protecting the paper publishing industry.

Some smaller publisher also insist that Kindle ebook prices should remain high. When your ebook sales remain low you might ask them for an opportunity to test our pricing suggestions above.

Non-fiction also usually attracts a higher price too. We recommend testing at $6.99, $7.99 and $8.99. The length of your book will also impact your pricing as will the real value provided.

If you are in KDP you will still have to choose the 30% royalties option on Amazon to price below $2.99. 

price-tag-374404_1280Your print book pricing should be set so that you make a small profit on each copy. 

Pricing used to be a decision of specialist analysts at traditional publishers. They knew when to run a front of store discount, when to offer two-for-one deals, and what price to remainder your books at. The headline price you see in an online bookstore is only one price point in the life of a book. You can change your pricing regularly, just as book stores do.

If you have experience of ebook pricing and would like to add anything please comment below. The decision on whether to price your ebook low, for email and social media marketing or higher for Amazon ads depends on the type of promotion you do.

For details of our book promotion services, with a money back guarantee, click here.

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