Self-Published Authors Say ‘Don’t Overcharge for E-Books’

Keeping your e-book prices low can help you attract more readers. That was the key theme of the January 24 episode of the Self Publishing Podcast hosted by three entrepreneurial authors: Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant and David Wright.

SPPodcastLogoTruant believes $2.99 is the perfect price for a novella length e-book: “You may charge $9.00 for a book and get some customers. But you may be able to sell four times as many books at three dollars. And that’s win-win. You get more readers and more money.”

Truant made the comments in response to a question from a regular listener to the SPP who wanted to charge over $20 for his e-book.

“You’d be crazy to charge that much, because Amazon slashes your royalty rate if you charge over $9.99,” Sean Platt said. “Overpricing your e-books means you lose, and your readers lose.”

Platt believes authors are best to follow Amazon’s incentives on pricing: “For e-books between $2.99 and $9.99, Amazon pays a 70 percent royalty to authors. At all other price points, the royalty drops to 35 percent. That’s why we believe $2.99 is the optimum price for short to mid-length e-books.”

“In any case, most readers are reluctant to spend more than ten bucks on an e-book,” said Truant. “David Wright and I charge $9.99 only when we can offer massive value to our readers, such as with the combined bundle of Yesterday’s Gone Season’s One and Two. Once you get above $9.99 you’re screwing your commission structure on Amazon. That’s lose-lose.”

David Wright urges authors to pay attention to readers’ opinions on pricing: “The value is what your audience thinks it’s worth. We’ve found a pricing structure that’s right for us and our readers.”

Platt and Wright soared to fame on Amazon with their serialized thriller, Yesterday’s Gone, which has received over 500 five-star reviews on and Amazon UK. They have since gone on to write five more serials, including Z 2134, Monstrous, WhiteSpace, Available Darkness and ForNevermore.

Johnny B. Truant is the author of the Fat Vampire series of novellas. He is also co-author of the Unicorn Western series, together with Sean Platt.

The Self Publishing Podcast is broadcast for download every Thursday on iTunes and at


About Self-Publishing Podcast

Yesterday’s Gone: Season One

Fat Vampire


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