eBook Pricing – How long is your book?

publishing.pngThere seem to be – at least for the consumer fiction market – some shaking out price points for eBooks. Short story to novella length seems to be $0.99 to $1.99, novels are an accepted price anywhere from $4-8, and the occasional big release as more than that. We saw this with [LINK] The Wise Man’s Fear – the eBook cost nearly $15 on release day, but it’s a thousand-page book instead of a 200 page book.

And that gives us a problem, namely:

Communicating the size of the book when it’s a digital file. While prepping The Crimson Pact for a print release, I realized that with a 5.5″ x 8.5″ size it was four hundred and forty four pages. Most of the anthologies I see in this book size are half to two-thirds as long. This is a big book.

But when it’s a digital release, you can’t really communicate that. We’ve tried with “over X hours of reading enjoyment!”, but that’s not a way folks seem to normally think of reading books. Page length seems to be a great way to communicate length to the general public – but what trim size? The Crimson Pact would be even longer if it was the smaller paperback size! And “page count” is meaningless with eReaders.

Obviously, there’s a general correlation between how much the average person is willing to pay and the length of the book. But right now, the general public (and people watching pricing) don’t have a lot of ways to signal anything other than “novel length” or “less than novel length”. One of the most awesome things about digital publishing is the ability to not have to worry about the length of a book – it’d be crap if we find ourselves limited by our pricing structure.

I’m leaning toward the “trade paperback” page size (5.5″ x 8.5″) to give a sense of page count. What do you think?

One thought on “eBook Pricing – How long is your book?

  1. On our website, for each short story (and in the table of contents for the ezine), I list the word count first, followed by an estimated number of pages.

    You'd be surprised how many people (especially avid readers) can guestimate how long something is by the word count. They may not know exactly how many pages "10,000 words" is, but they'll recognize it as a short story, 100,000 words as a short novel, and 300,000 words as a long novel.

    I haven't had any feedback (positive or negative) on using the word count & page count numbers, so I can't really say how effective it is from a customer's perspective.

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