How to price your fiction book

Fool-proof steps to becoming a bestselling author and retiring from your 9-to-5:

  1. Write awesome book
  2. Package awesome book
  3. Go to publish awesome book
  4. Think to self…

Oh, crap. What the heck do I price it???

Personally, I love experimenting so I recently raised my first novel from $3.99 to $4.99 and enrolled in Kindle Select as well. Since it’s only been a few weeks, I’m not certain of the long-term effects yet. However, I can tell you without a doubt that there were IMMEDIATE effects (for me):

  1. Increased profit
  2. Increased visibility

Anyhoo, this reminded me of a fan-freakin’-tastic article I came across months ago. It’s an oldie from 2011 but a goodie nonetheless. I mean, I bookmarked the darn thing so that must mean something, right? Riiight??

And one more thing. I also discounted my book to $0.99 as a part of two group events last month (shall post detailed promo results at a future date) and experienced the exact same “negative review phenomenon” as Elle Lothlorien (a successful romance indie and author of this week’s article):

“Something else intriguing that I noticed when I lowered the price on THE FROG PRINCE to $0.99 was the way it affected the reviews and refunds. Up until that point, about two percent of customers who purchased THE FROG PRINCE returned the book for a refund. One, two, or three-star reviews were very uncommon. When I dropped the price, the refund rate went to almost zero, and the number of negative reviews (between one and three stars) went up.”

Here’s the full article:

Why Your Novel is a Tall, 6-Pump Vanilla, Breve Latte Grande, Extra Hot, Heavy Whipping Cream, Extra Dry Cappuccino (Or It Should Be)

Let us know your thoughts! Hope it helps you as much as it did me!!


Mistress Ann

P.S. – Yeah, I know bestseller status doesn’t actually equate to retirement but that’s another discussion for another time haha!

7 thoughts on “How to price your fiction book

  1. It’s an interesting thought! I’m always resistant to raising my prices because a) I know what I am like as a reader, and I buy WAY too many books to be buying them at $5 or $6 bucks a pop, and I know many other romance readers are the same, and b) I want my books to be accessible to as many people as possible – not everyone can afford higher priced books. I find that writing is “easy” for me (I mean, it’s not. It’s stressful and time-consuming and occasionally awful. But compared to what some people say it is like? It’s easier for me) so maybe that makes me devalue my writing a little more? Who even knows.

    Given all that, I also want to make a long-term career out of this. So. Tough decision.

    1. Yeah, it’s tough to decide, eh? And writing is pretty easy for me too but I’ve never even considered that when it comes to pricing…


      Thanks for that perspective, Miss Aislinn!!

    1. Me too, Queen Amanda!

      I was shocked cuz Lothlorien actually writes (contemporary) romantic comedy, which I never guessed would do so well at a higher price point. But hey, what the heck do I know? LOL


  2. Super late to the party but still… fabulous article! Thanks for sharing it.

    I recently participated on an author panel and, as the representative for self-publishing, I discussed the many nuances involved in book management, and I specifically brought up the subject of pricing and how just that one subject alone is fraught with diverging opinions and thoughts.

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