This is a minefield. Luckily, as marketers it mostly works in our favor.
Would you pay $97 for a book on Amazon?
Perhaps – if it was a huge glossy coffee table edition, or a specialist trade manual related to your work. Most people have a $10 limit for book (real, physical books) in our heads and it’s hard to shake that.
But convert that thought to an ebook and suddenly we’re forking out the best part of $100 for a 30 page electronic publication.
Because of perceived value.
When you sell an ebook the value isn’t in the physical thing – it’s in the information it contains. Best of all, the value of information is impossible to quantify. For a start information is more valuable to some people than others.
It’s not to do with size either – if I offered you a 600-page ebook on how to make money from adsense or a 1-page document containing next week’s lottery results which would you go for?
But because e-products (which I’m focusing on because it’s what most of us deal with online) can’t be quantified it means we must put some value on them FOR our customers. This basically means telling them what it’s worth (great business eh?)
Now this isn’t as hard as you might think because most people involved with IM know that an ebook can sell from any price between $5 and $1000 (usually $997), but the normal range for an ebook is under $100.
There are some things we can do to improve its perceived value. An ebook of 300 pages is usually (but not always) perceived as being worth more than a 20-page ebook. Of course there are exceptions to this – if it’s written by someone who’s classed as a guru then they can probably charge a little more for it.
But when you’re reading down that sales page thinking ‘I want to buy this ebook’ you already have a rough price in your head. If it comes in between $19 and $47 chances are you’re going to buy it. Anything above this range becomes an obstacle and undoes all the work done by the sales page.
In short, the perceived value you give to your book should be the maximum you can get away with without it becoming something that the potential customer has to think about.
In terms of volume you’re going to have to get around 25 pages minimum into your ebook. Anything less and it becomes something (you guessed it) that the potential customer had to think about.
We don’t want them thinking – we want them to be rushed along in a sales whirlwind of emotion.
Some of my best selling ebooks have been between 30 and 40 pages in length. That’s because I don’t write fluff or padding – hopefully you can see that from reading this.
I could pad my books out to 100 pages and sell them for $97 instead of half that but I don’t because I have respect for my customers, and want to provide (no fluff) quality information, but mostly because I know they’re (you’re) not stupid.
People looking for quality information can spot padding a mile off and it doesn’t go down well.
So to improve the perceived value of your product BUT also to ensure it sells, you might want to do the following:
- Sell it at an ‘industry standard’ price – up to $49
- Make it over 30 pages if possible, but don’t increase the price based on page value alone until you get over 100 pages.
- Don’t make the pricing or (low) page number something that causes your customer to stop and think rather than buy.
Being different can be a real selling point when marketing your product but if you’re going to do it, make sure your product is flawless.
For example I’ve sold a four-page report for $37, but it was a list of resources that were almost impossible to find elsewhere, which is why people were more than willing to pay for it.
Also is was basically a four page list of websites, so the perceived value was actually quite high (four pages lists a lot of websites)