How to Price Kindle eBooks – KDP Royalties and Pricing Explained

Kindle Ebook Pricing – Healthy Market Competition Will Position Amazon Kindle as #1

You may have noticed that the price of Kindle books published by mainstream publishing houses is substantially higher than self published books.

This is mainly due to restrictions these publishers put on competitive pricing for their book. Since the recent e-publishing revolution much attention has turned to the pricing of eBooks online.

In March the US government began pressuring publishers to adjust pricing policy on E-Books

While many online self publishing platforms such as the Amazon Kindle encourage self publishers to price their Kindle eBooks below $9.99  by awarding the highest royalty option for this price range (see royalty structure breakdown below), traditional publishing houses eBooks are priced substantially higher.

Many would argue that a significant appeal of eBooks are reduced prices since there is no printing or shipping overhead involved, thus making digital books more accessible to the general public. However publishing houses are keen to retain their uncompetitive model, without it they stand to loose substantial market share.

Amazon Kindle Publishers Dominate the Market

Amazon has been positioning itself as the digital eBook consumption and publishing platform for sometime, and now Amazon threatens to corner the entire market should the Department of Justice Lawsuit against Apple and other publishers to reduce eBook prices succeed..

Amazon appeared poised to drop prices on e-books in response. Andrew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon, said in a statement about the settlement, “This is a big win for Kindle owners, and we look forward to being allowed to lower prices on more Kindle books.”  source Justice Dept. Sues Apple and Publishers Over E-Book Pricing; 3 Publishers Settle

It is increasingly obvious that Kindle Publishing is the way to go! Read on to better understand how to price Kindle books.

How to Price Kindle Books

When you publish your book to the Amazon Kindle you determine the price of your book.

The big question is; how much should you charge for your Kindle eBook?

There are several elements to consider before pricing your masterpiece.

  1. The royalty you will receive per sale or per borrow
  2. Competitor pricing
  3. Value of the information in your book
  4. Book / article length

1. Kindle Publishing Royalty Basics – How Much Will You Pocket?

There are two basic Royalty price points you should be aware of when pricing your Kindle book. Books priced between $2.99 and $9.99 will earn you 70% royalty whereas any other price will awards you only 35% of the list price.

It is easy to see that it makes the most sense to go for the 70% royalty. No author would ever price a book between $10 and $25, and few authors with any confidence in their product would ever price a book below $2.99, except in the case of very specific promotional campaigns.

Withing the $2.99 – $9.99 price range there are a few internal psychological milestones:

  • $2.99
  • $4.99
  • $5.99 and above

To better understand how royalties are calculated within the Kindle Direct Publishing platform see the below is an example of the royalty breakdown in this photo of a Kindle book priced at $2.99

Kindle Direct Publishing Royalty Pricing Calculation

When Should You Charge Less?

 You may decide to charge only 99-cents for your Kindle eBook. While this may not seem intuitive, you stand to benefit from this special price for several reasons:

  1. Many sites publish the feed of 99-cent Kindle books
  2. 99-cent Kindle books are a daily purchase
  3. Selling more copies will increase your Amazon Sales rank
  4. Get more people to review your book

2. Competitor Pricing – Scoping Out The Competition

 If you are new on the market it is a good idea to check out what your direct competition is charging.

Research the similar books per category in the Amazon Kindle Store. Try to position your book in the same price range until you have more reader feedback to go on.

3. Value of the information in your book

You may find it hard to be objective on the value your book provides. Try to assess your book value relative to other similar books on the market. Ask your reviewers what they would be happy to pay for the book.

4. Kindle Book (or Kindle Article) Length

A good formula for pricing an article presented by Harper, Kate (2011-02-04) in How to Publish and Sell Your Article on the Kindle: 12 Tips for Short Documents

  • 10 pages (3,00 – 5,000 words) or more = 99 cents
  • 20 pages (5,000 – 10,000 words) or more = $1.99
  • 30 pages (10,000 – 30,000 words or more) =  $2.99

This calculates to about 10-cents per page. ‘Beyond 30 pages, the formula starts to break down, since you are then entering into the territory of books. It is not reasonable to attempt to sell a 300 page book for 10-cents a page since a $30 book is way and beyond the typical price of $9.99 for a Kindle book.

I believe the biggest opportunity in publishing articles is the price point of $2.99 because you royalties more than double once you reach that price threshold. Anything priced under $2.99 only offers 35% royalty.

Changing Your Kindle Book Price Post Publish

You can always change the book price at any time. To do so:

  1. Log in to your KDP account
  2. Go to your bookshelf.
  3. Click on edit book rights and pricing
  4. Edit the book price and republish.

You will receive a message notifying you that your price change is under review:





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Shira Gal is a Bestselling Kindle author, Internet Marketing Consultant, Kindle Publishing and Marketing coach, who has helped dozens of aspiring authors realize their dream of becoming a bestseller. Schedule your free "get published" consultation by clicking here now!

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