I got started in this business because I truly enjoy helping people figure out how to move forward with their publishing projects. I try my best to answer questions as I receive them in different areas. Questions that I see more than once, I will publish on the blog under this new series, Advice to New Authors.

Today’s question came from a group I am in on Facebook. She actually had two separate questions, but these are asked a LOT. And they are good questions.

Thanks for asking these questions, S. Wishing you the most success.

Questions:

1.Any of you that have sold an ebook online, what was your price point and why?

2. Also, any authors… would you recommend to self-publish or go through a publisher and what are your reasons? I have a lofty goal of creating a literacy program and would love any insight people may have with this. The main audience for my ebook is parents, but I have had great feedback from teachers as well. The other stuff I am working on is more intensive and to be used for the teaching of reading. However, these books can be used both at home and in schools. TIA for any insight/guidance!

Answers:

OK, let’s break it down into pieces, because these are both big questions that people put a lot of time into figuring out.

1.Pricing… based on what you’ve shared, it doesn’t sound like an ebook on Amazon is the route to go for you. It sounds like you’re creating a system that will be multiple books to educate, right? So, where I would start with that is this: create a really solid, useful leadmagnet and give it for free on your website to grow your list. When your books are ready, you’re going to want to have a dedicated audience to sell it to, and right now, the email list is still the tried and true BEST way for authors to sell books and products.

Rather than worrying about the other questions, spend some time developing the content on your site (you can work on the books simultaneously, but you can never make up for the lost time in which you weren’t growing your audience) – give them something free – you can make a very nice pdf ebook in Canva for them to download for free in exchange for their email address, and grow and nurture that list. Then when you do publish, you’ve got people to sell to.

The answer to your question is that ebook pricing depends on your goals. Is it an ebook that goes along with a print book? Is it a workbook or a highly educational book in which they’ll be learning a valuable skill? Is it just meant to increase your credibility and position you as an expert? You’ll want to think about all of these things, but based on what you stated, I truly believe that a free ebook on your website is the best place for you to start.

If you ARE set on publishing on Amazon, you need to spend some time researching the competition and determining proper placement. Then look at the pricing on similar books and that will help you set your pricing.

2. As for traditional or self-publishing – I’ve got a post I’ll share with you that goes more into detail, but I’ll be honest. It’s ALMOST impossible for a first-time, non-famous author to get picked up by traditional these days. You need to have a massive platform, a really outstanding book, (which, first books are rarely outstanding… although there are exceptions!) and social proof that you can actually sell your book (ie the audience growth). So… that being said, nonfiction is certainly different than fiction and if you find an agent who sees the value of your books, they may take you on. IF you decide to go the traditional route, you’ll start by finding an agent that represents your niche, crafting a kickass query letter, and moving forward that direction. The agent will help you find the right publisher, but it may take years and lots of rejections. OR, you might get picked up immediately if your content is fresh and appealing. You’d want to look for agents and publishers that specialize in educational material.

I have lots of resources for you if you want to chat more… but I truly believe, based on my experience as an author, an author coach, and a publisher, that you will be best served by really developing your content strategy on your website and your email list, while working on your books.

here’s an article that will help you distinguish between self-publishing and traditional. http://writepublishsell.co/to-self-publish-or-not/