A Beginner’s Guide to Pricing your eBook

Understanding how royalties work is the first step to effectively pricing your eBook. All books fall into one of two categories – 35% royalties and 70% royalties. You want to make sure that you are in the 70% section because that’s how you make the most money. The percentage of royalties you receive is based on the price of your book:

  • Book less than $2.99 will fall into the 35% category.
  • Books listed at $2.99 – $9.99 fall into the 70% category.
  • Books listed above $9.99 will fall back into the 35% category.

The key is to make sure that your book falls under the 70% category and that you continue to get sales. I’m making no promises here but books that are priced between $2.99 and $4.99 make the most money.

Here is a case study that was written in regards to book pricing. Even though it was done back in 2015, most of this information is still accurate.

Let’s Deconstruct the Pricing Beast

While there are a ton of other book publishers, we’re going to focus on Amazon here since it’s the leading online bookseller. Most of your book sales are going to come from Amazon. One of the first choices that you’ll have to make is whether or not you want to enroll your book into the KDP Select program. I have written a post describing that here.

As I mentioned earlier, there are two royalty options on Amazon and your goal is to take advantage of the 70% royalty option that Amazon generously offers. Seriously, publishers with as much marketing clout as Amazon has never offered authors such a high royalty rate so you must take advantage of this. Price your book between $2.99 and $9.99.

When to Break the Pricing Rule

Life is not about ultimatums so there are going to be certain situations when books fall out of that standard pricing structure that Amazon has created.  Here are some possible reasons why you might price your book outside of this range:

  • It’s not worth $2.99. This would be true of short storybooks that are only a few pages long.
  • It’s part of a book series. A popular marketing strategy for book series is to price the first book at $0.99. The idea is to get people to start reading the series, and then they will be compelled to pay full price for the next book.
  • It’s a promotional price. You can also drop the price of your book temporarily as a promotion.

Basic Pricing Models

This section will look at some basic pricing models that are used by experts for pricing their book. To quote Pirates of the Caribbean, these are more guidelines than actual rules.


  • Flash to Short Fiction (less than 5,000 words): $0.99
  • Short Story (5,000 – 10,000 words): $1.99
  • Novelette (10,000 – 20,000 words): $2.99
  • Novella (20,000 – 40,000 words): $3.99 – $4.99
  • Novel (40,000 – 120,000 words): $4.99 – $7.99
  • Epic Novel (more than 120,000 words): $7.99 – $9.99


  • Small Book (less than 10,000 words): $1.99
  • Medium Book (10,000-30,000 words): $2.99 – $4.99
  • Large Book (more than 30,000 words): $4.99 – $7.99

A Guide to Pricing your eBook

So now that we have gotten the basics out of the way, let’s take a step-by-step look at pricing your book.

1. Find comparables within the same category as your book. How much are bestselling authors charging? Write these down.

2. What is the recommended price of your book based on the pricing models listed above? Write this down.

3. Compare the recommended price with the price of comparable books. If they are close, then you have your price.

4. Never be afraid to test out new pricing models to see if they work.

This guide was meant to show you a simple method of pricing your book and is geared toward individuals who are publishing their first book. This is a good place to start but as you gain more experience in the publishing world, you’ll be able to test out more advanced pricing strategies.