ebook pricing

How to Price an eBook on-Site – Pricing Tests

When we think of an eBook these days, we might have two poor conceptions: one, a dime-a-dozen guide which is offered as a carrot to get opt ins, or two, a poorly-edited ebook cheaply made and thrown onto Amazon in the hopes of sales.

So how do you create an eBook of worth and stand out when 1,500-odd ebooks are loaded on Amazon every DAY? And the pundits at Mill City Press are saying:

“ebooks shorter than 50,000 words are generally expected to be priced under $2.99″(!)

How do you get back your time and money, when the average self-published ebook is priced around $3, shared 70:30 with Amazon?  Many are wondering the same. The answer lies in finding the sweet spot in pricing, with a sales page or video page full of benefits and NO OTHER COMPETITION.

Why Run Price Tests at all?

Let’s examine the Ted Nicholas story. Born 1934, Ted was a copywriter who adamantly tested every mail piece. He spent (apparently) over $100 million in advertising tests and was the first to bring the number 7 into play in pricing. “Magic Words That Bring You Riches is one of his top-selling digital books. (It’s $37)

One test was an ebook that sold for $19.95 – he tested it at $77, and it out-sold the sub-$20 price!  The great thing about testing is: you never know which price will sell better until it does, and you could well earn twice as much as not testing.

So… if you have a valued topic, it’s well-written and formed, and all of it is reader-focussed, you can probably ask for more. I’m going to try this myself, with books sold from solo sales letters.

Design your eBook

Don’t forget to design your eBook well, using Adobe InDesign… From here, export to ePub or PDF (for smaller tomes).

You can also opt to use MS Word (using STYLES*), then converting at Draft2Digital.com (or whichever platform you use which outputs ePub). Or again, save to PDF. If you offer an ePub also give instructions for how to read it — e.g. with iBooks or Adobe Digital Editions.

How to Create an eBook Pricing Test

Create yourself a test, but not with Amazon (best not to muck around on there with pricing).

First, get yourself two professional images made (3D book and a header with your brand/smiling face) and a Landing Page (a website template all set up). Then try split-test advertising with eBooks — you will need LeadPages for this. (You will need to mind your delivery too, this usually involves uploading to a secure page and have a link to it from an email built with an email marketing service). Sorry, life wasn’t meant to be easy and neither is selling online.

When experienced, you might also test pricing with your Book or complete video course.

Test these prices at your own site or landing page – eBooks  150 pages+:

$19      $27       $37

eBooks  below 150 pages:


$3.99       |  $7 (novice)  $15 (nearly pro)    $23 (wizened expert)

Test these prices – Book and a letter, hand-signed – 150 pages+:

$19.97      $27      $37    (a hardback would be at the higher end)

Test these prices – Course – Templates, a handbook, videos (depending how extensive and how valuable the information):

$147                $199                $247          $347            $447

Include postage if it’s possible to get it in the document rate, or add a flat postage like $5. The pricing is in US dollars for Retail and Australian dollars for ‘own site’. If selling only to the US (which I very much doubt) it still would pay to do competitive research on Clickbank beforehand, state which currency it is, and whether this rate is a discount from final launch price. (Be Honest!)

With a higher price tag, you can independently market your ebook (using PPC or newsletter ads), or pay affiliates 30% to get you the sales for you. I know novice indie authors today who spend a lot on Amazon ads, Goodreads, or Facebook ads, for the sale of a $3 to $10 book (which is shared). Their intentions are good but chances for a fat Return on Investment are somewhere near zero.

* If you don’t use Paragraph Styles for the body text and headings, you will be a sacrificial lamb when it comes time to convert. Don’t use text boxes, but you can use tables.

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