What’s the best price for an ebook? Obviously, free books shift the most copies, but if you’re looking at overall income rather than sheer volume of downloads, what price generates the best returns. In an interview with Forbes, Smashwords’ Mark Coker says that the band between $2.99 and $5.99 seems to be the sweet spot that delivers the best deal for authors.
Meanwhile, he argues that books prices at 99 cents and $1.99 underperform (relatively) in terms of how much revenue they provide. He also suggests that readers tend to prefer long works rather than buying novellas, which seems to be in line with traditional book-buying habits.
While the situation will be different at each retailer, there’s anecdotal evidence to suggest that earlier this year Amazon changed its algorithms in order to give more weighting to books at the $2.99 price point and above. In other words, if a book priced at 99 cents sells the same number of copies as a book priced at $2.99, the latter can now expect to get a significantly higher ranking. It’s a policy that kind of makes sense, and it’s likely that most other retailers are doing something similar.