Pricing the Kindle Indie bestsellers

Pricing the Kindle Indie bestsellers

I was just kind of curious about this one. :)

Not too long ago, Amazon started a separate storefront for books published using their Kindle Direct Publishing:

http://www.amazon.com/b/?node=3059252011

Among lots of other things, it gives us bestsellers (updated hourly) for those KDP books.

That let me do a bit of analysis on the price points in the KDP store.

Out of the top 100, what’s the most popular price point?

I’m sure this is no surprise, but it’s ninety-nine cents.

Seventy of the top 100 are at that price point.

The second most popular price point (with 16 titles of the top 100) is $2.99,. That’s also not much of a surprise: that’s the lowest price point at which books are eligible for the seventy percent royalty plan. You need to sell six times as many books, roughly, at ninety-nine cents to make more royalty in the aggregate than you do at $2.99…but I’m sure many people do that.

Next in line $3.99, with nine titles. Not sure why that point, in particular…maybe it’s just that extra buck over $2.99.

After that, there were some odd price points: $3.97 with two titles, and the following each with one: eighty-nine cents, $3.79, $5.99.

Those odd prices may be intended to stand out…or they might be a result of a formula to make it the requisite 20% (for the higher royalty plan) below a print edition. Let’s see…no, that doesn’t seem to really work out.

So, no question, ninety-nine cents is the most popular price in the top one hundred…but $5.99 for an indie isn’t an absolute barrier to popularity.

The weird one is the eighty-nine center…KDP publishers can’t set their prices below ninety-nine cents, but that doesn’t mean Amazon can’t. The digital list price on this one is $6.95.

I was also interested in how the pricing affected the sales.

One way to do that is to get the average ranking at each price point. The lower the average, the better that price point is doing. If you had all top ten titles at one price point, the average for the top ten would be 5.5. If you had the bottom ten of the top hundred, the average would be 95.5. Lower is better in this case.

Price Avg Rank Count
0.99 45.97 70
5.99 46.00 1
3.99 58.11 9
2.99 60.00 16
3.97 64.00 2
0.89 92.00 1
3.79 83.00 1
100

Not counting the outlier eighty-nine center, the lowest price is also the most popular of the top 100 KDP indies.

There isn’t a linear relationship between lower price and higher rank, though. The $3.99 books are more popular than the $2.99 price. That could be because of perceived value…or just because my sample is so small. :)

For those of you who are interested, here’s the entire list:

Rank Price
1 0.99
2 0.99
3 0.99
4 0.99
5 0.99
6 0.99
7 0.99
8 0.99
9 2.99
10 0.99
11 0.99
12 3.99
13 2.99
14 0.99
15 0.99
16 0.99
17 0.99
18 0.99
19 0.99
20 0.99
21 0.99
22 0.99
23 0.99
24 2.99
25 0.99
26 0.99
27 2.99
28 0.99
29 3.99
30 2.99
31 3.99
32 0.99
33 0.99
34 0.99
35 0.99
36 0.99
37 0.99
38 0.99
39 0.99
40 0.99
41 0.99
42 0.99
43 0.99
44 0.99
45 2.99
46 5.99
47 0.99
48 0.99
49 0.99
50 0.99
51 0.99
52 2.99
53 0.99
54 0.99
55 0.99
56 0.99
57 0.99
58 3.97
59 0.99
60 0.99
61 0.99
62 0.99
63 0.99
64 0.99
65 3.99
66 3.99
67 2.99
68 0.99
69 2.99
70 3.97
71 0.99
72 2.99
73 0.99
74 3.99
75 3.99
76 0.99
77 3.99
78 0.99
79 0.99
80 0.99
81 0.99
82 2.99
83 3.79
84 0.99
85 0.99
86 0.99
87 2.99
88 0.99
89 0.99
90 0.99
91 0.99
92 0.89
93 2.99
94 3.99
95 2.99
96 0.99
97 2.99
98 2.99
99 0.99
100 0.99

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t give us a similar list for just traditionally publisher or Agency Model books (those aren’t exactly the same…I consider Amazon’s imprints to be traditionally published, but they aren’t Agency Model).

I checked the New York Times bestseller fiction hardback equivalents:

Price Avg Rank
14.99 2.00
9.99 4.00
12.99 11.33

That’s not as clear-cut: the outliers, both high and low, beat the most common price.

Rank Price
1 12.99
2 14.99
3 12.99
4 9.99
5 12.99
6 12.99
7 12.99
8 12.99
9 12.99
10 12.99
11 12.99
12 12.99
13 12.99
14 12.99
15 12.99
16 12.99
17 12.99
18 12.99
19 12.99
20 12.99

However, it does seem clear that at least popular indies cost less than popular tradpubs. I know, I know…you already knew that, but I do like to see the data. :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in theĀ I Love My Kindle blog.

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