A few weeks ago, I began to look at my ebook prices. There are just some countries where I do not sell books, even though English is a common secondary language or there are large populations of English speaking immigrants.
I took the time to actually look at my pricing, like most authors, for countries outside of my own, I just check the little boxes that say “base on US prices”. I began to wonder if those little check boxes were hurting me. Currency conversion rates flex every day, so it’s hard to change prices based on the fluctuations that occur there.
But I can price based on cultural information. I’ll use India as my example; My $0.99 ebook is priced at 69 rupees when based on the US price. Today, that’s $1.06. I only make $0.35 when I sell it in the US, why am I making so much more when I sell it in India? The truth is, I shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, 49 Rupees is the lowest I can set my ebook in India, so I changed all my $0.99 USD to 49 Rupees instead of the 69 Rupee default on Amazon.
That was in June. Today, if I sell an ebook for 49 Rupees, I’m making $0.75. That’s more than I’m making on it in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia… but that 20 Rupee difference is even bigger in India. Big enough, that once I dropped the price, I started to sell a few ebooks in India. I’d only sold 6 in the last 3 years in India. Suddenly, in a month and a half, I’ve sold 21.
Noticing an uptick in sales in India, I began to evaluate my prices in other countries. I dropped the price in Japan and started selling more ebooks there. I also dropped it in Canada and Australia and saw a decent rise in sales in those countries.
For some of these, I’m not making $0.35 on a $0.99 ebook, but quantity is making up for the exchange rate. In other countries, I’ve dropped the price, the exchange rate and minimal price is still higher than my standard $0.35 and yet, I’m making more sales.
The other thing to keep in mind if you are writing a series, if you check that box, book 2 might be priced a whole lot different than book 3, because the exchange rate was different when the books were published.
The moral of the story: don’t be afraid to lower your prices in other countries. Just because the retailer has a suggested price, doesn’t mean you have to use it.