I just wrapped up a 10k reference related to crime fiction I plan to self-publish through Smashwords. Anyone have experience with non-fiction pricing for e-books at this length? Any rules of thumb?

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Take a look at Untreed Reads. They have a nonfiction catalog.

Thanks for the tip, Albert, I'll check 'em out.

I think most authors are generally pricing both fiction and non-fiction at $2.99.  I published a short self-help book called Finnegan's Way: The Secret Power of Doing Things Badly, on Amazon and Smashwords and priced it at $2.99.  I'm also planning to self-publish a VERY short article about an American detective named Grace Humiston, who solved a highly publicized murder case in New York in 1917.  That is, of course, non-fiction.  I will give that one away free to draw attention of my ebook novel, Grace Humiston and The Vanishing, which I'm pricing at $2.99.  How to price ebooks continues to be an issue.  Some authors contend that it's better to price them higher than $2.99, asserting the material is high-value.  But I still think $2.99 is the best price point for now.


Good tips all around, thanks, Charles.

I write fiction only, so cannot speak to non-fiction.  The price depends on a lot of things.  Length is one. Whether or not the author is an established writer is another.  Subject may be involved.  If the author wants to use the title to attract sales for other books, that may be a third.  Or perhaps the book is just a loss leader to get attention and raise the ratings.  In which case it would most likely be free.

A follow-up: Amazon didn't allow me to give away the 12-page article, which is called The Crime Lawyer: The Truth About Grace Humiston.  I had to price it at 99 cents.  However, I signed up for Kindle Select, so people with Amazon Prime can borrow it for free, and I'll give it away free for five days out of the month. 

Yes.  Right.  Amazon doesn't do freebies, except as brief promotions.  If you sign up for Select, you must have an Amazon exclusive.  In other words, you cannot publish elsewhere, though there are ways of reading Amazon pubs on other devices.

It's weird, but I can't get my self-pub to NOT be free. Ever had that happen?

No.  Don't you set the price when you upload?

I did, at 99 cents (it's just four flash fiction stories). Even tried taking it down and republishing it. Still stuck on free. Ah well, wasn't supposed to be a money maker. At the time, I just wanted to learn how to create an e-book.

Weird.  Moneywise the 99 c. deal isn't advantageous. Anything under 2.99 isn't worth the trouble it takes.

You're right about that. It breaks down to about 25 cents a pop once it finally hits my bank account. But it wasn't supposed to be anything other than that.


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