Try pulse-pricing to boost book sales

Once you set the price of your book, it need not remain that number forever. In fact, keeping a static price actually may hurt book sales.

The magic amount that what will pay for you title changes seasonally and is affected by the quality and quantity of competing titles, factors that are constantly evolving.

Most authors who’ve studied book pricing will read that launching your title at a discount is a solid strategy. Doing so can help get your book on a bestsellers list, which in turn can boost your sales. This strategy also is especially beneficial if you have older, related titles. If readers like your new book, they are more likely to purchase your older titles.

You can get your book back on the bestsellers list by lowering its price at a time when people tend to purchase books. Seasonally, this typically means just before Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. But also think about the kind of book you write and how it might relate to specific holidays. Romance novels sell better in the couple of weeks leading up to Valentines Day while horror novels and books about ghost stories sell well in October before Halloween. Once the season is over, return the price to its usual cost.

Other times to drop your book’s price is in conjunction with other promotions. For example, if you were delivering a workshop or breakout session at a trade conference, that’s a perfect time to lower your price. Another possibility to simply bump down the price then promote it heavily with social media. After the promotion is over, raise the price.

In the short term, price pulsing may adversely affect your profit margin. But in the long run, the strategy will greatly increase sales by keeping you on bestsellers lists. The more frequently you can hit such lists and the longer you can stay on them, the more visibility you have – and in marketing, half of the battle is just being in front of people’s eyes when they come looking for exactly what you have to offer.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.