Is it okay to charge $9.99 for an eBook that is only a few pages?

45 replies
I always hated long books that go on and on about something simple. I liked short succinct ones that doesn't waste my time and I am willing to pay for shorter books if it was upto the point and more importantly actionable.

Can we even market it as quick guide etc. What is your take on this?
#$999 #charge #ebook #pages
  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    If someone had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and I had a surefire method of curing it....but it was only 2 sentences on a piece of paper.....how much would it be worth.

    That should answer your question ;0)
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    • Profile picture of the author S T E V E
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      If someone had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and I had a surefire method of curing it....but it was only 2 sentences on a piece of paper.....how much would it be worth.

      That should answer your question ;0)
      Exactly, as Helisell alluded to... If your guide solves a pressing problem that people really need to solve it can be as short as you like.

      I used to sell a 3 page guide telling people how to get a refund from a very big electrical goods retailer.

      Some of these people paid over $500 for cameras or computers which either never arrived or arrived damaged and the company would do everything in its power to avoid refunding.

      I know... It happened to me.

      Anyway after researching I found a number of things which when pieced together guaranteed a refund.

      I put it up as a guide for $14.97 and it sold like hot cakes even though it was only 3 pages.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author S T E V E
        Forgot to add... You can certainly market it as a short guide but tie it in to the solution.

        So in my case above...

        "Simple 3 Page Guide Reveals Exactly How To Get A Refund From Electronics Store Every Single Time... Guaranteed!"

        That's right if you follow the simple step by step instructions in my strait to the point... No bullshit 3 page guide you'll have your money back within a week.

        See how it works, I'm telling them that they are going to get a very short guide however this short guide guarantees that they're going to get their money back.

        So even though it's short it is solving their number one problem and that's all they care about.

        Just make sure that you actually deliver on your promise and you're going to quickly discover that it doesn't matter about the length of the content but rather the content itself.

        Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author princetotem
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      If someone had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and I had a surefire method of curing it....but it was only 2 sentences on a piece of paper.....how much would it be worth.

      That should answer your question ;0)
      I doubt the content in this Ebook is at all comparable in value. No offense, but so many genres are saturated with Ebooks that are full of the exact same information just written a different way. Call me cynical, but half of them aren't worth $5, let alone $9, and this guy hasn't even given a sentence to indicate what is included in his.
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  • Profile picture of the author gurutard
    That's actually not a bad price for an eBook that's only a few pages. If you're providing value it doesn't matter how many pages it is. I, personally, agree with you. I like eBooks that get to the point. If you drone on and on you loose me. I get frustrated and then I want to donkey punch something.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex A2Hosting
    As long as it is worth $10, yes. A long time ago one person had an idea to increase revenue for a toothpaste brand (I think it was Colgate) by up to 40% and he wanted to sell the idea for $100,000. After some time they agreed, what $100,000 got them? A small piece of paper saying 'Make the whole bigger' (or maybe a little more than that but you get the idea .
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    The value, for most people, isn't in the number of pages but in the content.

    Having said that, a lot of people write short guides but leave out important details. Or write short guides because they don't know what they are doing and so they can't write more than a few pages. Or they are selling it as a frontend product with a much larger purchase required to actually do anything.

    All these things reduce value.

    Ask yourself some questions:

    Is what you have to contribute unique?

    Can it really help others solve a pressing problem or reach an important goal? How do you know - have you used the information yourself?

    If you bought your own product, could you use it and accomplish the promise of the guide? What about someone that does not know the subject matter? Could they accomplish the purpose?

    If your answers are mostly no, it doesn't matter how many pages you have - it's likely junk and people will see it that way.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    I agree with basically everyone else here - it all depends on your pearls or wisdom that you are sharing in this eBook. Is it a revolutionary concept that is basically priceless? If so, charge whatever you like. I usually buy eBooks that interest me and I must admit I don't buy them based on the pages, I buy them based on the content and the concepts inside. I very interested to know what this book is all about actually
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    It isn't the length; it's the quality. (If only my wife agreed!)

    - Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author erolifestyle
    it is perfectly okay to charge that amount, just make sure the book is solving problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author gabrielrala
    well that really depends on the content of the e-book that you are selling , but It will be a tough battle for you in the market to have someone buy it for $9.95. because most e-book are being given away for free, for the sole purpose of either sales, recommendation with a hidden content of selling.but if you are confident enough that the amount reciprocate with the content then why not. hope for the best for you buddy.
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  • Profile picture of the author neshaword
    No, it's not. All warriors should put money where there comments are as a sing of appreciation for the great and life changing content. For your information, the original price of the Martian was $0.99 on Amazon. The last time I checked, although it was long ago, you could buy the Hunger Games trilogy for less than ten bucks. Again, I'm not sure about the last example, but the point is clear. My hat off to the writers who can sell a ten-page eBook for ten bucks. That's really something. Live long and prosper.
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  • Profile picture of the author topcoder
    I would just becareful, if a customer doesn't feel it was worth $9.99 and they do a chargeback it will cost you a lot more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Sathish Manohar View Post

    I always hated long books that go on and on about something simple. I liked short succinct ones that doesn't waste my time and I am willing to pay for shorter books if it was upto the point and more importantly actionable.

    Can we even market it as quick guide etc. What is your take on this?
    I DID pay five hundred bux for 5 pages of info...and from that info, I started a business for 50 cents and was making $1,000.00 a DAY within 90 days.

    I pay for quality info, if I wanted quantity, I'd be buying phone books.

    The "secret" is to write for the market that pays premium prices for hard to find (or requires time to find) or specific information which can be put to use.

    For fluff and stuff, even 50 cents would be too much.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Let me borrow a metaphor from nature. How much of your food
    actually remains in your body? You eat a whole meal and maybe only
    5% by weight of that meal becomes a part of your body mass.
    Why not take the nutrients from the food and save all that extra stuff
    that we put out in the toilet?

    The mind is the same. It needs mass to carry the nutrients. "Just the
    facts" will be one boring meal!

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author gurutard
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      Let me borrow a metaphor from nature. How much of your food
      actually remains in your body? You eat a whole meal and maybe only
      5% by weight of that meal becomes a part of your body mass.
      Why not take the nutrients from the food and save all that extra stuff
      that we put out in the toilet?

      The mind is the same. It needs mass to carry the nutrients. "Just the
      facts" will be one boring meal!

      -Ray Edwards
      I disagree with this entirely as far as this subject is concerned.

      This is not a sales page. This is an eBook. I don't need mass to carry the nutrients of an eBook. An eBook is not food. It is an eBook. It's fine to get straight to the point in an eBook. I've read seven page eBooks with more value in them than 200 page eBooks.

      The problem is people don't know when to expand on a point and when to keep it short and sweet. They're either too wordy or they just give you three sentences and go about their business.

      If something needs to be explained in detail, explain it. If it doesn't, then get to the point and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Sathish Manohar View Post

    I always hated long books that go on and on about something simple. I liked short succinct ones that doesn't waste my time and I am willing to pay for shorter books if it was upto the point and more importantly actionable.

    Can we even market it as quick guide etc. What is your take on this?
    IMO, what you charge is more around the content opposed to length.
    If it's worth the price, then why not?
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  • Profile picture of the author Gallag97
    the price does not matter is the quality of the content is very high. usually you pay for the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Burritt
    Sure it's ok if it works.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Since nobody is going to know how many pages are in your eBook unless you tell them in your advertising, it's not going to influence the purchase decision.

    Give the buyer a high quality product, deliver it quickly and cheaply, charge a reasonable price, and overwhelm the buyer with your responsive service after the sale. What more could a customer ask for?

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author fwe
    Originally Posted by Sathish Manohar View Post

    I always hated long books that go on and on about something simple. I liked short succinct ones that doesn't waste my time and I am willing to pay for shorter books if it was upto the point and more importantly actionable.

    Can we even market it as quick guide etc. What is your take on this?
    It is not important how many pages do you have. But it is too much important how much valuable the content is??? So if your content is good, the price does not matter. Thanks for your creativity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    It's important to deliver what you advertise. If your book provides answers or a solution to a problem that people are willing to pay $10 for then, of course.

    But if they think they're getting a 50 page book or a more detailed solution than you give; then you'll probably be giving refunds.

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author jamie3000
    its about the value rather than the length. plus if its sh*t i'd rather know its sh*t after 30 second than 30min :-p
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  • Profile picture of the author SamdarshiPaul
    You can charge as much as you like depending upon the value you provide. Nobody likes to read 100 pages of BS.
    If you provide valuable content in a few pages which solves the problem people are willing to pay for, then why not?
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  • Profile picture of the author DaveOnline
    Like many are saying, It's about the value of the eBook rather than the size.

    Like they always say... Size isn't everything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
    Hi Satosh, as many of the forum members have already mentioned: It's all about how much value you are adding, even if it's a few pages ebook. But here is a word of caution:

    Nowadays, bloggers prefer 1 fully information packed blog post instead of 10 short 500 words articles. . At least, the writers I am following have always created posts that are never less than a 20-40 minute read. So, even if the ebook is adding mediocore value, if it fails to create a long-time-reading effect, you risk failing.

    However, if it's something of great value (like curing cancer as one group member said lol), go ahead with $10. Or even more!

    Thanks
    Junaid Khawaja
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  • Profile picture of the author angelap999
    As most have already pointed out, it will depend on the perceived value to the customer. In addition, it will depend on the niche. For example, I don't personally like reading long winded dieting books. Just enough to give some background information/scientific inquiry and get straight to the plan.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Since nobody is going to know how many pages are in your eBook unless you tell them in your advertising,
    Back in the days of print advertising, it was standard practice to give dimensions and page count.

    i.e. 8 1/2 x 11, hardcover, 191 pgs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mehdib
    Now that you have created a buzz about your book, what is it about? let us see if it is worth it, don;t publish it here just let us know what is the topic and what issues are you addressing.
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  • Profile picture of the author jamescanz
    Originally Posted by Sathish Manohar View Post

    I always hated long books that go on and on about something simple. I liked short succinct ones that doesn't waste my time and I am willing to pay for shorter books if it was upto the point and more importantly actionable.
    I agree with you 100%

    Originally Posted by Sathish Manohar View Post

    Can we even market it as quick guide etc. What is your take on this?
    Of course you can (and that also answers your question in the thread title).

    You can also use the shortness of it as a benefit.

    Something like:

    "And it's only 7 pages long...

    Which means you quickly digest it and then start (getting whatever they want) as soon as possible"
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  • You could charge $1,000s for just a few sentences if the information had enough value.

    I also prefer information that is short and to the point. If I want to read a novel I'll buy an actual book.

    And for the record I have paid more than $10 for very short ebooks many, many times
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    • Profile picture of the author George Schwab
      Originally Posted by Zachary R. Skinner View Post

      You could charge $1,000s for just a few sentences if the information had enough value.

      I also prefer information that is short and to the point. If I want to read a novel I'll buy an actual book.

      And for the record I have paid more than $10 for very short ebooks many, many times
      Absolutely!

      actually its easy enough to find out what the sweat spot is
      start low, raise it until you get refunds. And of course watch
      the numbers at every price point change. Easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    What every you do... do not sell it on amazon. They claim that short e-books are a rip off as they do not provide a good user experience. Most people have to live on reviews. I made the mistake of creating short e-books early on. That is when kindle first started up. Do learn from my mistake as people asking for a refund can crush your rankings on amazon.

    Also, you can get kicked out of kindle if the content level is near zero. OK so my rule of thumb for creating e-books is one penny per page. Therefore a 99 cent e-book should have at least 99 pages. 450 words is said to be one page. Hey, we are talking about text now. Please also throw in some diagrams, interesting info graphics, and other images.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Schwab
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      What every you do... do not sell it on amazon. They claim that short e-books are a rip off as they do not provide a good user experience. Most people have to live on reviews. I made the mistake of creating short e-books early on. That is when kindle first started up. Do learn from my mistake as people asking for a refund can crush your rankings on amazon.

      Also, you can get kicked out of kindle if the content level is near zero. OK so my rule of thumb for creating e-books is one penny per page. Therefore a 99 cent e-book should have at least 99 pages. 450 words is said to be one page. Hey, we are talking about text now. Please also throw in some diagrams, interesting info graphics, and other images.
      I heard a similar story before, and it's probably exactly as it is.

      in my mind that is bad for the quality of all books on amazon, because the meat
      of the book will be inflated with waffle material just to fulfill the market metrics

      i would go as far as saying "this is the day when literature died"

      of course there are people that are able to work a year on a book and come out
      with 450 pages of a stellar story, fiction is easy, facts are precise and non-fiction
      with that many pages is BS because its full of fillers and non-essentials, what
      makes it boring to read, as any facts story can be told in 100 pages max.
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  • Profile picture of the author filiks
    it doesn't matter if its a 1 page ebook, as long as the content is helpful i don't see why you cant sell it at whatever price
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  • Profile picture of the author EmEm
    I think it depends on the content. Our culture is more and more geared toward getting more from reading less words â€" no filler or fluff â€" so I think a short ebook is okay as long as the content hits home and really solves the problem that the reader bought the ebook for. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author research
    Originally Posted by Sathish Manohar View Post

    I always hated long books that go on and on about something simple. I liked short succinct ones that doesn't waste my time and I am willing to pay for shorter books if it was upto the point and more importantly actionable.

    Can we even market it as quick guide etc. What is your take on this?

    If that is your price . . . then so be it.

    You really need to know if you will sell many copies, and discover if folks are prepared to pay your price.

    I feel a lot will depend on the information you provide.

    Time will tell.
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  • Profile picture of the author MValmont
    I have over 100 small books and i'm doing very, very well with them on Kindle
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  • Profile picture of the author rishwoj
    Value is the key, far too many guides are full of fluff to bulk them out, as long as you provide value to your buyers. Just be sure your sales page accurately reflects what your book covers if you are still worried you could even put on there "This short fluff free guide will have you up and running in no time" or "This laser target 5 page guide cuts out the fluff to get you up and running x times faster" etc
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    I am seeing a consistent change in this regard here lately. People constructing short but very valuable reports and selling in at these Prices.


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Sure, depending on what you're selling. I'm growing my hair out now (dreads). It's working too. But before i got on my hair regimen, if there was a book from a dude with super long dreads for $9.99 - and it was only 4 pages long in content... i'd buy it. That's how much i want to pursue the dreads.
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  • Profile picture of the author BellaZee
    As everyone has already pointed out, in non-fiction, it’s the content rather than the length. If you can teach someone in 3 pages to start making $500 per month in a few weeks, for example, then those 3 pages will definitely be worth $10 and even more. And yes, I purposely used a small income amount as an example because it’s more realistic and would still be worth it. After all, $500 a month is $6,000 a year and so on.

    However, angelap999 said something I think is even more important -> it depends on the perceived value to the customer and it depends on the niche.

    All the great folks who have chimed in here have been doing this online thing for quite a while and most of them are tired of reading the same old garbage repackaged under a new label. It’s pretty much BS fatigue, which is why they want straight and to the point stuff. To either get to the good stuff quickly or figure out if there is actually any good stuff just as quickly.

    However, consider a completely different niche. Maybe something like self-improvement. I’ve read numerous books that could practically be boiled down to a few pages, but that’s not what most people expect. They might complain about long, drawn out explanations, but those long explanations and thick books are perceived as having greater value than something short, like a blog post. Despite the fact that you can often find the same or similar information for free, posted somewhere as blog post. But people still pay for those books.

    So, in my long-winded way, what I’m trying to say is you first need to understand your target audience and what they’re expectations are. Like those here, they might think it’s awesome that you’re giving them the information without beating around the bush, while others might perceive it as a ripoff just because it’s so short.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardworker2013
    It depends on the quality information that is in that ebook
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  • Profile picture of the author EmEm
    I think it depends on the content. Our culture is more and more geared toward getting more from reading less words â€" no filler or fluff â€" so I think a short ebook is okay as long as the content hits home and really solves the problem that the reader bought the ebook for. Good luck!
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