You can’t always price your book at 99c on Amazon

Typesetter

There’s one simple rule authors have to follow in order to have complete pricing control over your book at Amazon. It is especially helpful to be aware of this rule for Children’s book authors, graphic novelists, and books with multimedia content (many nonfiction books) as it can affect launch and pricing strategies.

I recently bumped into this rule, even though I write novels, and here’s how I discovered the need to watch for this rule.

I recently did a large box set that included eleven fantasy novels from ten authors as a way to cross promote series starters and experiment with bundle services. The bundling publisher let me know after it had been compiled that it had a minimum price of 1.99, even though it was really only text files.  The boxset had a wordcount around a million words and I wasn’t thinking in terms of file size. We wound up north of Amazon’s pricing rule.

Here’s the rule:
With ebook file sizes under 3mb you can price .99 to $200 for a 35% royalty
With ebook file sizes 3mb to less than 10mb you can price 1.99 to $200 for a 35% royalty
With ebook file sizes 10mb and more you must price between $2.99 to $200 for a 35% royalty
Ebook file sizes have no size restictions if $2.99 to $9.99 and they get a 70% royalty
–full breakdown of the rule with nonUS market prices here (https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200634560)

This is one of those little rules that we kind of know after a few times through setting up books for online sale and distribution, but it is easy to forget, make assumptions, or just overlook it when creating book launch plas or pricing strategies. For example, one of our bundle participants had said that 99c books move especially well on her mailing list, but anything higher tends to do very poorly and so we were setting up an initial book launch period of 99c for the first month.

Luckily, not all platforms follow this rule and the book bundle remains 99c in all other markets (B&N, Kobo, etc.) as it is a wide release, but it’s something you will want to bear in mind if you are planning a title that might end up with a larger file size, especially if it’s something that can be anticipated, such as a children’s book or other title that will have large graphic components as those will dramatically increase your file size.

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