Strategic discounting on eBooks can help raise sales rankings, but the competition is getting stiff. At least according to publishing experts who spoke at theDigital Book World conference in New York today.

As Marcus Leaver, CEO of The Quatro Group, pointed out, “We have to make sure that we aren’t just lowering prices for the sake of lowering prices. There has to be something more strategic about it.”

One way to discount strategically is to partner with retailers when you discount an eBook. Barnes & Noble promoted Nicholas Sparks‘ book Safe Haven on the Nook landing page when Grand Central dropped the price of the 2010 title in 2012. The book’s sales creeped up every time the publisher lowered the price. When it went from $7.99 to $5.99, the book’s sales ranking went up and when the price dropped to $3.99 its ranking got even higher. ”When a price drop is significant and the retailer gets behind it, it is almost always successful,” said Dan Lubart, principal at Iobyte Solutions. Read more