Ebook Pricing and Professionalism in 2013: Think Apple Quality

Writing Ebooks

This article, The New World of Publishing: Pricing 2013 |, discusses the reasons that ebook prices will go up in 2013.

Dean Wesley Smith makes some suggestions on pricing. The suggestions are reasonable. Whether you follow them or not is up to you. I won’t be following them… I like to plan my prices, and pay attention to the market. 🙂

I did agree with these thoughts on perception:

“If you have a cover that looks amateur, a passive and dull sales blurb, and a cheap price, no one is going to pick it up or buy it. You are screaming over and over that your book is bad, no matter how good it is. You have told the reader subconsciously to stay away. So learn how to do professional-looking covers where the only quibble with it is taste. Learn how to do active sales copy. And then get your price up to match your quality cover and blurb, to tell the buyer subconsciously that they are looking at a quality product. It really does work that way.”

Your ebook is a product: it must look professional

You need a great cover. One of the benefits of self-publishing is that you can do your own cover. By that I mean, you can get the cover art you want. No one else has a say, and that’s HUGE.

Beyond the cover art, pay attention to editing.

I’ve just finished reading Toni Aleo’s Taking Shots (Assassins). It’s a wonderful book, I was totally engrossed, and finished reading it in a couple of sessions.

The version I read was fine. I didn’t have problems with the editing at all. However, the editing is mentioned in the reviews:

The author (and alleged editor, if he or she really exists) had serious issues with tenses and proper word usage throughout the book. For example, the author uses `in less’ instead of `unless’ multiple times, does not know the difference between `to’ and `too’, `than’ and `then’, `your’ and `you’re’, `their’ and `there’, and apparently refuses to use plurals where necessary for proper sentence structure.

That review was published in November 2011, ten months ago. It’s prominent. The book’s description mentions the editing, and that the problems have been corrected. However, the reviews which mention the horrible editing are still there. As I read the book, I was watching for editing errors.

Please get your book professionally edited. Then read the results yourself. Can you find errors? Get someone to read it who knows grammar, if you’re shaky on it. You don’t want reviews to mention silly mistakes which could be easily corrected before your book’s published.

Aim to polish your book like a diamond. If you’ve ever bought an Apple product — iPad, iPhone, Mac computer — you know that when you receive your product, the packaging is a work of art. It’s just elegant. You know that immense care has been taken with the design of the packaging. You need to take just as much care with the presentation of your ebooks.

You must sell your ebook professionally

In 2013 and beyond, ever more ebooks will be published. I spend at many hours on Amazon each week, reading ebook cover blurbs. Most are woeful. No one’s paying attention to the copy (the sales material).

Your blurb sells your ebook. Learn to write a good blurb. Also, learn how to create the meta data — that is, choose the correct categories, and include keywords in your book’s description and the tags.

Yesterday, I suggested that you make the most of the tools Amazon gives you to promote your ebooks. Pay attention to your author page. Create a blog, and add the RSS feed to the page.

As far as pricing goes, the “99 cent” ebook pricing fashion seems to have stopped, thank heavens. Of course, if you have a reason to, you can still publish an ebook at 99 cents. However, if your ebooks aren’t professional, low pricing won’t save them. Use “free” as an incentive, and when you do, make sure you promote the heck out of it.

Going forward, many authors will worry about their pricing. They shouldn’t. Readers want a great experience. They’ll pay a little more for a book they MUST have, because the blurb draws them in, and because you give them a great reading experience.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.