Pricing is a critical aspect of marketing your book effectively, but I’ll admit it’s not always an easy decision! Pricing can influence how readers perceive the value of your work and impact your sales. Here are some smart book pricing strategies, along with insights into the psychology of pricing, to help you maximize their book's success:
1. Know Your Target Audience:
I see this a lot. Authors who don’t really understand the pricing constraints of their target reader. But understanding your readers' preferences, demographics, and willingness to pay. Tailor your pricing strategy to align with their expectations and budgets.
2. Launch Discounts:
Offering a promotional launch price can create a sense of urgency and excitement. Readers may be more inclined to buy if they believe they're getting a special deal. But launch discounts should be a short window only, 48 hours at most.
3. Tiered Pricing:
Offer multiple formats and editions of your book at different price points. For instance, you can have e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers, and even special collector's editions, each with its own price. This caters to a broader audience. But be mindful of the fact that tiered pricing doesn’t always work well for first-time authors. Tiered pricing tends to get more traction if you have a base of readers who know your work.
4. Price Anchoring:
Similar to my first point, price anchoring happens whether you want it to or not. So compare pricing in your market because your consumer will be “anchored” to an existing pricing model. For example, let’s say you have a cookbook and a lot of hardback cookbooks retail for $19.99 and up – if your book is priced significantly higher than that, you’d better have a good reason – like a gazillion reviews or a very strong brand.
5. Psychological Price Endings:
Creative price endings are fun. We all know that $9.99 instead of pricing your book at $10 can make it feel significantly less expensive. But did you also know that using a price ending like .97 or .95 can make your book seem like an even better deal? Yes, consumers often focus on the first digit, which is why pricing at .99 is powerful (consumers focus on the number 9) but .97 throws the consumer mind off and tends to get more attention.
6. Free or Low-Cost E-books:
I think the free eBook bandwagon has seen its day, but there’s no harm in discounting much older books. Let’s say you’ve been writing for a while, maybe 5-10 years and you have older books that you’d like to see do better, a pricing discount may just give them the boost they need!
7. Limited-Time Discounts
Similar to the launch sale, this is a short-lived pricing strategy that you can promote on social media, email newsletters, and book promotion sites to create a sense of urgency.
8. Price Testing:
Don't be afraid to experiment with different price points and observe the impact on your sales. A/B testing can help you determine the optimal price for your book.
9. Perceived Value:
The more books you have out, the more reviews these books have — and the stronger your author platform the more you can sell your books for. But it’s also your cover, your book description on Amazon. It’s the package that sells the book and, it also lends itself to higher pricing. Not suggesting you price yourself out of your market at all — just you know, it all matters!
10. Seasonal Pricing:
If your book has a tie-in to a seasonal event, maybe that’s a great time to create a price adjustment or a limited time discount. Or maybe your book ties into the holidays, that could be a fun way to offer readers some smart, strategic discounts, too!
As a final note, if you’re planning on doing a Black Friday or Cyber Monday discount for your eBook — better grab those ad spots early. Places like Kindle Nation Daily and the like fill up fast!
The buyer psychology of pricing can significantly impact purchasing decisions. The way you price your book can influence how readers perceive its value and quality. Experimentation, market research, and a deep understanding of your target audience are crucial for finding the perfect pricing strategy for your book.
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a bestselling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. She was named one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine.
Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Amazon visibility campaigns as well offering national media pitching, online book marketing, author events, and other strategies designed to build the author/book visibility.
She is the author of 23 books, including the soon-to-be released: "The Amazon Author Formula," "Revise and Re-Release Your Book", "5-Minute Book Marketing for Authors," and “From Book to Bestseller.”
AME has had dozens of books on top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.