Ebooks: The pricing conundrum

In Easy Steps publish books that perfectly suit the needs of digital publishers, and anyone who likes to keep up to speed with digital technologies. Recent titles include Windows 8 for Seniors, HTML5 and A Parent’s Guide to the iPad.

This year In Easy Steps have seen traffic to their book apps increase threefold, and by dropping book prices by 30% they have seen a 300% increase in sales. More can be read on: Finding the Best eBook, Print Price Point for Optimum Sales.

The pricing conundrum has been debated extensively. Essentially, if you price your books too high you can lose customers. However, if your books aren’t priced high enough it can have a negative effect on revenues and perception of price. In Easy Steps may have now found the sweet spot; the amount that customers will readily pay. It shows that consumers will pay for digital content if it meets their needs.

Most publishers seem to be adjusting their prices, moving them up and down to try to work out the best price for maximum return. We think it’s important to assess what has been learned – essentially, by anchoring pricing to print prices a publisher can price themselves out of the digital marketplace; a better strategy would be to review online competitors, perhaps?

Generally studies show that publishers make less net profit on ebooks than print books, and this can be a concern – but by hitting the market at the right price, high volumes can make up for those initial losses. Perhaps by taking focus away from the number of books sold, and focusing on revenue as the marker of success, then the transition will become easier. After the cost of creating an ebook has been recouped, any further revenue is profit (minus fees for distribution and royalties, of course) – the risk is actually lower than forking out for another print run, and this gives opportunities to experiment with different models.

We’d be interested to know your experience of pricing – what works best for you? What would you suggest to other publishers? You can contact us at ebooks@yudu.com.

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