Ebook pricing is a tricky issue. Unfortunately, the wave of ebooks priced from 99¢ to $2.99 has led to many readers not expecting to pay too much for ebooks. The reasoning seems to be that because the publisher didn’t have to pay for printing, the ebook should be much cheaper than the print version. But should it really be that cheap? Of course not. Printing only accounts for a small percentage of the price of a book, so the fact that ebooks don’t need printing doesn’t mean they should be $2.99. What you’re predominantly paying for in a book is the information that it contains. You’re paying for the skill and knowledge of the author, and the skills of the publisher in putting the book together. And in an ebook you’re still getting these.
But arguing about the logic (or lack thereof) in ebook pricing is pointless. The fact is that people expect them to cost significantly less than the print book, and you’ll just have to accept this. If you want to be stubborn and charge the same price for your ebook as your print book, you’re most welcome to, but you’ll be rewarded with very few sales.
As with pricing anything, the best place to start is to see what similar products are selling for. This will give you an excellent guide as to what the market will pay. And if you notice the sale price for similar ebooks seems to be increasing, you can price your ebook accordingly.
Significant research has been done on ebook pricing and how it affects sales, and going over $10 seems to see sales drop. So, on this basis, you should have a good reason to go over $10 for your ebook. If your book is highly specialised or you’re aiming for a higher end market, over $10 might be fine.
A great advantage of ebooks is it can be very easy to change the price (depending on the service you are using). You simply log into your account and change it! Is it better to sell fewer copies at a higher price or more copies at a cheaper price? Just don’t adjust the price too often, or you’ll annoy lots of readers.
If you are using an ebook aggregator service or self-publishing company, changing the price may be more problematic. Also keep in mind that many ebook sites require you to list the price in US dollars, so be aware of the effects of exchange rates.