10 Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices

How much should you pay for an ebook? $9.99? $0.99? $0? And how much should you price your ebooks? I’m going to tell you what people have actually paid for their ebooks, based on some hard data from Luzme. You can set the price of your book to be anything you want; what really matters is what someone will pay for it! This article originally appeared on TechCrunch. Last year, Luzme captured a large amount of ebook price data and reader pricing preferences. I am analysing this data and will share any interesting results. I do not claim that this is representative of the whole ebook industry, but I hope that some real data might contribute something useful to the debate. So here is my analysis of the actual prices that people have paid at Amazon in 2013, when they bought via Luzme. USA For the US data, I have normalised it against the “standard price” of $10. Here is the way the various prices worked in terms of units sold. The most popular price points are at the low-end, with a local peak around the $10 mark, and then tailing off as the price increases. This does not surprise me. But what I did not expect, is how much people will actually pay for an ebook (well over the $10 price! How much do you think the most expensive one went for? I will tell you later…) Now look at the revenue over the same price points. See how the $9-10 range shows a spike of revenue? I suggest this validates the industry viewpoint that there is a...

It’s going to be harder to sell ebooks in Europe in 2015

I’m working on a project to enable a UK-based author do direct worldwide ebook sales of their own works. Selling ebooks in Europe is an important part of that worldwide market. And, given that this is a UK-based project, we need to comply with the relevant VAT rules. If the customer is in the EU, we add the VAT. If they’re not, we don’t. If we add the VAT, it’s the UK rate of 20% and we pay it to the UK HMRC. Relatively straightforward and easy to implement. So obviously, we can’t have that! So the EU is introducing a change to the VAT rules on 1st Jan 2015 so that the VAT will need be based on the place of the buyer, not the seller. So. add 20% if in the UK, add 3% if in Luxembourg, etc… And at the end of the VAT quarter, do we pay those amounts separately to each countries’ equivalent of our HMRC? Or pay it just to the UK HMRC? Who knows? Apparently, full guidance on this hasn’t been issued yet. Which makes it rather hard to implement… What madness is this! Wasn’t the point of the EU to make it easier to do business with each other? not more complicated? In which case, why have they decided to make it so much easier for a non-EU company to sell into the EU market; than for someone to do it from...

UK ebook bestseller prices trending down?

I’ve started to do some historical analysis of the ebook price data I’ve been collecting. In honour of the fact that I’m now going to be blogging for the Bookseller magazine, I decided to look at the UK market first. So I took the most recent Futurebook Top 10 from the Bookseller, and looked back to see what the price you’d have paid for this set of 10 over the last 3 months. Here’s the result, a definite trending downwards. What this doesn’t show, however, is the cause and effect – did these books get in the Top 10 because their prices were cheaper than the competition? or did the bookstores/publishers drop the prices because the books were selling so well? I also looked at one other set of books, the 8 books which made up the Richard&Judy selection for Spring 2011. This doesn’t show such a definite trend. but the average cost of the books starts above £5 and ends below it. I’ll do the same for the Summer selection; it will be interesting to compare the two sets of...

O’Reilly are just the best

In January, I bought an ebook from them (“Search Patterns” because I have it in mind to improve the way searching is done on this site). And then in a fit of enthusiasm and disorganisation, I bought the same book again last month, because I’d forgotten I’d already got it 🙂 One email to O’Reilly customer services later, and they immediately refunded my card. They really do have it right when it comes to selling ebooks: no DRM, all formats available, any number of downloads, discounts of future ebook versions of physical books you’ve already got. Thanks, O’Reilly!...