Smashwords founder Mark Coker just released a presentation and related free eBook revealing the results of analyzing sales of more than 50,000 books over several years. Admittedly, what applies to Smashwords might not apply to Amazon, but based on what I’ve seen here and on the data I’ve seen from various writers (successful and not) who have been experimenting with Amazon eBook sales, this analysis does seem to reveal some basic truths about pricing, selling, and positioning eBooks.
Among the thought-provoking findings: the sweet spot for eBook pricing, as many of us suspected, is in the $2.00-$5.99 range. Books priced in the $1.00 to $1.99 range not only earn less money–they also often sell fewer copies!
It was also eye-opening to see what Coker did not find, including consistent patterns of eBook sales growth individually or in aggregate. Basically, past sales don’t predict very well what any particular title is going to be doing in future.
Coker emphasizes that books don’t sell well unless they’re great books, and that writing a great book is the hard part. With that said, selling a selfpubbed ebook is also no walk in the park, and Coker’s information helps selfpub authors to see the way a little more clearly.