Basically, I would like to know what's the optimal price for ebooks published at Amazon (via Kindle Direct Publishing.) By "optimal" I mean the price that is more likely to generate sales.

I'll try to be as specific as I can:


  • 60,000~70,000 words
  • Literary Fiction
  • Self-made cover


  • 20,000~25,000 words
  • Literary Fiction
  • Self-made cover

Short Story

  • 9,000~10,000 words
  • Literary Fiction
  • Self-made cover

How much should a new author charge for the cases described above?

(I published a 7K word short story before, and left it as $0.99. But I heard somewhere you should never sell yourself too low?)

  • It depends a lot on your marketing strategy, and on your particular niche. A common strategy is to price "reasonably" (compare to other, similar books), but on occasion offer a significant price drop (spurring surges of interest).
    – Standback
    Oct 1, 2013 at 9:59

4 Answers 4


Dean Wesley Smith famously advises against pricing anything at $0.99. That's the discount bin. It tells buyers that it's a cheap read, not that it's a good read.

Why not price your book as if you expected readers to want it?

Here is a bunch of advice from Dean about indie pricing: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?tag=pricing


Your short story $0.99 - the minimum Amazon will allow. Make sure purchasers know it is a 'short story' or you'll end up with unhappy readers and bad reviews.

Your Novella - $2.99 - That gets you a 70% royalty less a delivery charge. You'll probably get around $2.05 royalty per ebook.

Your novel - $3.99 - At that price you have room to make special 'short term' offers of $2.99.

Note the magic '9'. This won't fool people. They will be aware that $3.99, $2.99 and $0.99 are the same as $4, $3 and $1 but research has shown that that last '9' makes people more likely to buy. For that reason books priced $3.19 sell better than books priced $3.10.


I was testing out different theories regarding the right price, and I used different strategies for several pen names that I have. There were some variations from time to time, but this is what I found works best https://katherinemilkovich.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/setting-the-price/ I was never into selling my novels for $0.99, because I think it's important to value your own work. And it works for me, I make a lot more money than before.

  • 2
    Can you please summarize what's at the link here? We're looking for answers, not just pointers to answers. It's fine to post a summary here and link to a longer explanation elsewhere, but we're looking for that core nugget of answer. Thanks! Aug 15, 2016 at 18:36

I don't see many people paying even $0.99 for a single short story. There are many very good novels for $5 or less. More than people have time to read. OTOH, a collection of good short stories can be better than a novel. But maybe I'm cheap. I don't understand why anyone would pay $1 for a single song off an album. Yet lots of people do.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.