Book Pricing: Are you in it to win it?

Pricing of your book can be a difficult task, and if it isn’t done strategically, you can lose out on distribution and sales. There is more that goes into pricing your book than just making sure you are making big bucks for every book sold. Most authors only look at what it costs to produce their book when deciding on a price. However, this is the wrong way to approach pricing your book.

The biggest thing I try to help authors understand when working with them on their book price is that they must price to sell. Most authors feel their book is worth more than the price I recommend, but what they fail to take into consideration is what books are selling for these days. There aren’t many authors who can price their paperback book at $19.95 and expect readers to buy it. Since you are new in the publishing world, no one knows who you are. Therefore, they can’t be expected to pay top dollar for a new author.

If you price your book too low, you run the risk of devaluing your product and losing out on profits. Underpricing your book can limit you in terms of distribution. Most retailers and distributors only pay you 40–55% of the list price of your book. So if you price your book too inexpensively, you will fail to make money in this scenario. Therefore it’s crucial for you to pick the appropriate price for you book.

I recommend hitting the local bookstores and doing your research. Check out what books similar to yours are priced at. Go online and check Amazon prices. You want your book to be competitively priced with those that are similar. Otherwise, you can lose out on sales because you failed to meet readers’ expectations.

One thing I always advise authors to consider when doing their research is to think about the book they are looking at. Was it traditionally published? Is it a well-known author? How well is the book selling? These are things that can affect why the book was priced the way it was. If it was traditionally published, it most likely was printed overseas in large quantities, bringing their price per unit down significantly. If you are self-publishing your book, you will most likely be using print-on-demand technology, which is based off a quantity of one. Therefore, your price per unit is going to be much higher. So although you want to be competitive, you want to take into account all of the factors before deciding on a final price.