Big Kindle Pricing Error to Avoid When Publishing
With the advent of the new year I was noticing that my Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park eBook was getting a lot of attention. I have Kindle ad campaigns going for most of the books on my Kindle Site it which show me what my potential customers search terms are, plus a small fee for any clicks my ad might to the book. What I noticed in particular for the RMNP book is that while the ad was generating impressions, it wasn’t getting any clicks or generating any income. This of course got me to wondering if there might be an adjustment I could make that would correct the issue.
A Massive Discrepancy
The first problem I noticed was that I wasn’t charging enough for the book to raise my limits on what could be spent per click to get the views. Simple problem, raise the price of the book so I can raise the level of advertising. That’s when I discovered the massive error I had made. The 70% royalty rate in Kindle comes with restrictions and fees. The book must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99 and there is a delivery fee of .15 cents per megabyte for your file.
Well, obviously my books are picture books, so high quality was utmost in my mind when preparing my InDesign files for publishing the book in paperback form. There is a checkbox called “optimize for web” on the PDF generation menu, which I assumed would result in a much smaller file that was web ready.
I Was Wrong
I was inside the dialog to change my price on the book when I noticed that my estimated revenue for the 70% royalty rage was zero. That’s odd I thought, no revenue on a large ebook? That’s when I discovered that Amazon provides you with your file size, and my file was massive. The .15 percent delivery fee on the massive files were more than I could charge for the books!
After a bit of research I discovered the problem was an overlooked set of dialog boxes on the second page of the Adobe InDesign covert to PDF procedure. If you don’t get to the compression section of the conversion all of your images will be left at 300dpi and max quality. You have to manually go in and tell InDesign to covert the images to72 dpi low or mid quality versions more suitable for web viewing. As a result my Rocky Mountain book went from 50mb down to 2mb. In other words, a delivery fee of $7.50 vs 30 cents. Now that’s still a significant chunk if your book is priced too low.
Recognize Your Books Value
Conventional wisdom on pricing eBooks is that the low end of the pricing is better. Well that might be true for low content books like journals and day planners that require little effort to produce. But a large “how to book” full of high quality images is not an easy to produce “low content” book. These require a lot of work to produce and significant value to the reader. The Rocky Mountain National Park book is one of my smaller books too! The larger ones I discovered were generating a 7mb file, down from over 200mb. In other words the large books are going to cost over a dollar in delivery fees alone.
The moral of the story is charge what your books are worth. We are after all in the business to make a profit! It was quite a project, but I have gone back into each of my books and downsized each file.All have been republished with the smaller file size and pricing commensurate with their size and value.
A Couple More Things
There are a couple more items to consider when converting your document to PDF. Don’t forget to click the optimize for web and preserve hyperlinks under the general tab on the conversion dialog. Also, it might be a good idea to consult the InDesign user manual or do a web search to understand what each setting is and which ones might apply to your exact document.
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