Chris A. Baird | May 6, 2020
How do authors who sell eBooks on Amazon for 99 cents justify the time invested in writing the book?

It may sound confusing but authors are doing it on purpose. Find out the reasons why they are selling out their ebooks for just 99 cents.

Today's question is how do authors selling ebooks on Amazon for 99 cents justify the time invested in writing the book? So if I understand the question you are asking me today, it is how exactly if you are selling for 99 cents are you able to make any money?

This is an excellent question and a question that a lot of authors who are just getting started wonder, maybe even some people who are a little more experienced and just getting started with Amazon.

So, you have the issue of where exactly because on Amazon you can sell your books for free. You can sell them for 99 cents. You can choose to sell them for $100 or I think up to $200 or $300. Something along those lines.

You have an awful lot of options and it can be very confusing. Especially selling ebooks for 99 cents, how are you supposed to make a profit off of that? So, you spend all of this time trying to get your books onto Amazon only to make very little money.

Selling your ebooks for 99 cents seems completely crazy and we're going to explore that today. You can also check out my free Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. It covers all of the basics of getting started. 

Even if you are a little more advanced, you may still find some use out of this particular checklist. There are a couple of issues that you might be ignoring. That you maybe should spend a little bit more time with. So that's a little bit of that.

I'll start with my story. When I first started self-publishing, I also had no idea what exactly the price should be. Now, one thing is on the ebook side, the other thing is also on the paperback side.

Check out this related article: More Money With Paperbacks Or eBooks?

So I figured, well oh my goodness! Who is going to buy my books at all? I should only maybe make just a little bit of money off of each one. The question would be, well maybe I could go lower and lower and lower, right?

On promos, you can set them up even to go on for free. I originally was looking at the $0.99 option, the free, and these other options. We are exploring what exactly should be done on that.

And also in the paperback options, that a lot of the things pricing is one of the ways that people determine the value of something. It may be one of the most important things you do.

Setting a price that is too low is not going to exactly bring you the greatest profit. I set my prices way too low and that's again back to the issue of maybe all of these authors who are selling their ebooks are setting their prices at 99 cents are all making mistakes. It could be but it is not necessarily the case.

Find New Readers

Let's get on to what is the answer. Well, the first thing is, it is impossible to win at $0.99. There is no way you can sell at $0.99. And $0.99 on Amazon, I am assuming, of course, we are talking about your Kindle ebooks, if they are at $0.99 you are going to make 30% of that. So that's $0.30 per sale.

Maybe if you are making an awful lot of sales at this price, you might be able to make some sort of profit. But nothing that you could live off of. So I would not suggest setting at $0.99 to do that. However, there is a good reason to do $0.99 and that is what we can get into now.

The first thing is you are trying to find new readers. People who you have got a series of books out. When you are coming out with these books, if they read your first book then maybe they are going to be tempted to read your next book.

Another issue is ranking. On Amazon, when somebody types in, you have a how-to, or even fictional series or some sort of a book along the lines of where they are giving you information that you're looking for.

Then, you want to get them started on your books. Because obviously, as a new author or even if you are already an established author, we are always looking to bring new people in.

So we may even bring the book with the price down to free, right? Having a free promo so that these new readers can get in cheap and then after they have read, they want to continue to buy other books that you've come out with.

Another issue is the ranking of your books on Amazon. So the more people who buy your books particularly in the old days, it would be the free ones. But nowadays, it is more so the paid books that move you up with the rankings, to bring your book to maybe number one.

It is predicted in the category that you have chosen for Amazon. That can then bring in more sales because they'll see that oh it's the number one.

Check out this related article: How Do You Publish A Book On Amazon?

Also, it will go higher up when somebody is searching for your topic or your book. Your books are going to show up because Amazon can see in their algorithm that there are a lot of sales moving through on your book.

Best-Selling Authors' Strategy

Another one is to sell more paperbacks. This is the primary reason for even selling ebooks in the first place. It all comes back to paperbacks and those audiobooks.

I can say for myself personally, I make double as much money off of the paperbacks as I do the ebooks. So the ebooks in many ways are just lead generation. They are bringing people in and they are getting people to consider.

Then they see an audiobook. They can see a paperback. They can see a hardback book. And all of these, they pull a percentage of the audience out.

Some people just prefer that type of book but when they see $0.99 and maybe it's even reduced $0.99, so it's a discount. Then, that causes them to think that it's a really good discount.

They are like, "wait, you have a paper version? I want to buy the paperback." and that is where we make our money. It is actually on the paperback versions but the ebooks are outstanding as well.

Like for example even right now, during this quarantine that we find ourselves in, a lot of people are looking at ebooks as a good option. There are also avid ebook readers or maybe they are reading pages on KDP Select, the KIMP series.

They are buying it or they are checking out the books and just reading pages from the book. So I make some money that way as well but that's not by far, not as much as the paperback books.

Check out this related article: Can I Self-Publish as an eBook and then later Approach a Publisher for Paperback?

By dropping the price, we can do that. Like I mentioned before in the fiction front, your first book in a series, that may be free. There are tricks for getting it to stay permanently free or you may just choose to go for the $0.99 option and you'll make the money in the back end.

Maybe you're selling other products through your book. By coming out with your book and then people buy the book, they see that you have other products. So you are willing to actually sell at a loss or maybe sell break even.

We should never underestimate the fact that if you are selling at $0.99 that you may be able to make a profit. These are just a few of the reasons that many best-selling authors do, sell their books at $0.99.

It is not really about making money off of that $0.99 though in the front end on those books. So tell me a little bit about what you have found in the comments below. I would love to hear, are there other methods that you have found?

For setting it to $0.99, are there other good reasons you know? Maybe a countdown timer or something along with the countdown deal on your books.

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