Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant and David Wright, co-hosts of the Self Publishing Podcast (SPP), this week encouraged self-published authors to keep ebooks prices low.
Speaking on the January 24 episode of SPP, their podcast that's been downloaded over 1,000 times, Johnny Truant said $2.99 is the perfect price for a novella length ebook.
Truant explained keeping ebook prices low helps authors attract more readers to their self published books.
"You may charge nine dollars for a book and get some customers," Truant said. "But you may be able to sell four times as many books at three dollars. And that's win-win. You get more readers and more money."
Truant made the comments in response to a question from a regular listener to the SPP who wanted to charge over $20 for his ebook.
"You'd be crazy to charge that much, because Amazon slashes your royalty rate if you charge over $9.99," Sean Platt said. "Overpricing your ebooks mean you lose, and your readers lose."
Platt believes authors are best to follow Amazon's incentives on pricing.
"For ebooks between $2.99 and $9.99, Amazon pays a 70% royalty to authors," Platt said. "At all other price points, the royalty drops to 35%. That's why we believe $2.99 is the optimum price for short to mid-length ebooks.
"In any case, most readers are reluctant to spend more than ten bucks on an ebook. David Wright and I charge $9.99 only when we can offer massive value to our readers, such as with The Combined bundle of Yesterday's Gone Season's One and Two."
Truant agrees. "Once you get above $9.99 you're screwing your commission structure on Amazon," he said. "That's lose-lose."
David Wright said authors must pay attention to readers' opinions on pricing.
"The value is what your audience thinks it's worth," Wright said. "We've found a pricing structure that's right for us and our readers."
Platt and Wright soared to fame on Amazon with their serialized thriller, Yesterday's Gone, which has received over 500 five star reviews on Amazon.com and Amazon UK.
They have since gone on to write five more serials, including Z 2134, Monstrous, WhiteSpace, Available Darkness and ForNevermore.
Johnny B. Truant, meanwhile, is the author of the Fat Vampire series of novellas. He is also co-author of the Unicorn Western series, together with Sean Platt.
The Self Publishing Podcast is broadcast for download every Thursday on iTunes and atselfpublishingpodcast.com.