Pricing Your Book

The second edition of I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? ships on Black Friday!  Yeah!  Watch the LinkedIn blog for more information.

I remember the pricing discussion I had with Happy About about my LinkedIn book.  It was more involved than I thought it would be, and we finally agreed on $19.95 for the paperback and $11.95 for the Linkedin ebook, with NO discounts (except for a short while as a promotional thing).

I’ve thought a lot about book pricing since then, as I’ve gotten various feedback from people.  Here’s a line from a comment on Amazon (this is from someone who gave the first edition a one star):

“The book practically does not offer more than I found myself within 2 hours.”

So what does that mean?  Is it overpriced?  Let’s assume that it’s not contentless, or that the issue isn’t that there isn’t any meat… let’s assume this LinkedIn book helps you avoid searching on your own for 2 hours.

What do you make in two hours?  If you have a job you probably make at least $15/hour.  If you are a consultant you probably charge at least $70/hour.

Would a $20 purchase… or an $11.95 purchase, be worth two hours of your time?  Or would it be better to sift through stuff online to find what you are looking for?

That’s a decision the reader has to make, but as I’ve thought about how this book should be priced, and if it’s overpriced, I keep coming back to this: there is value in the book, and I invested my time in providing the value, giving opinions, collecting information, and working on presenting it in a format you could use as a manual/guide to get more out of LinkedIn.

I think pricing it lower would be a disservice to me.  Pricing it higher would be a disservice to you.

I would love to hear what other authors/publishers think about book pricing….

4 thoughts on “Pricing Your Book

  1. Randi Bussin

    I recommend your book to all my clients just for that reason. Who has time to spend hours learning LinkedIn when you do a great job in your book.

    Looking forward to seeing the second book.

  2. Kent Blumberg

    I think it comes down to where sales volume is compared to your expectations. If you sold more than you planned of version one, perhaps you could price the next version higher. If not, perhaps you could price the next version lower. That’s the beauty of ebooks – you can reprice almost instantly, based on the market response you are getting.

  3. Jason Post author

    @Randi, thanks… I agree. It’s funny that we compare the price/value of a book against other books, not compared with what we get out of it, and how valuable that might be (that’s a general statement about all books, not just mine :p).

    @Kent – I sold a hecka lot more than I ever thought I would, but don’t guess that raising the price will be a better strategy for me… my goal this year is already set, and I’m guessing the success will be more in the social buzz and marketing rather than price adjustments…

    HOWEVER, when I was talking to online marketers they were wondering why I had an ebook that wasn’t $200… ! What that means, to me, is to create another product (instead of just adjusting the price).

  4. Jason King

    Don’t take the negative comment to heart. A few things I have known, but you have also enforced is: 1) Some people prefer to read a book. 2) If they choose to research online they may be disappointed, confused, not find points that you have found. 3) You’re a genius… at least you must be, you have a book.

    I get the similar comment all the time with my company… “I could create a website myself for free, why should I my community pay $50 a month, for your service?” To which my reply is: “So that you can take advantage of our expertise, all the time we have taken to develop the product, test it and collect feedback from hundreds of users.” That’s what your book is… it’s the accumulation of research, expertise and feedback.

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