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 the book (real, physical books) in our heads and it’s hard to shake that.
But convert that thought to an e-book and suddenly we’re forking out the best part of $100 for a 30-page electronic publication. Why? Because of perceived value.
When you sell an e-book the value isn’t in the physical thing – it’s on 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 e-book 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.
Now this isn’t as hard as you may think because most people involved with IM know that an e-book can sell at any price between $5 and $1000 (usually $997), but the normal range for an e-book is under $100.
There are some things we can do to improve its perceived value. An e-book of 300 pages is usually (but not always) perceived as being worth more than a 20-page e-book. 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 e-book. 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 e-books 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 may want to do the following:
1. Sell it at an ‘industry standard’ price – up to $49
2. Make it over 30 pages if possible, but don’t increase the price based on page value alone until you get over 100 pages.
3. 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.