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Pricing Your Self-Published Book


You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your book has been written, rewritten and rewritten. It’s been through Beta readers and professional reviewers. Even the final proofread is finished.

It’s ready!

Now it’s time for the big decision. Query traditional agents and editors or self-publish.

How to decide is a topic for another day. For the sake of discussion, this blog is for those who have chosen self-publishing. Writing your book was a lot of work. You want to be compensated fairly. Your product is ready to sell and you want people to use their hard-earned money to buy it. And now you are at the crossroads of self-publishing.

How much should you charge for your book? If you charge too much, potential buyers might be put off. Too little makes your book seem like it’s not worth buying. It’s hard, but not impossible, to find the sweet spot that leads to sales.

First, sit back and decide what you are really trying to accomplish. Just income from sales? How important is it that you get your book into as many hands as possible. Is the message more, or equal to, the value of your royalties? Be honest with yourself.

Next, look at other book prices. Consider the genre, page count, trim size. Visit bookstores and be sure to include those that are locally owned. Amazon.com is one of the best known book distribution sites but it’s not the only one. Check out: http://www.bookch.com/, http://www.smallpressunited.com/ , http://www.openroadmedia.com/ and others.

Take the time to look for similar books. Focus on the style of book you want to print. If you aren’t interested in hardcover, there’s no need to spend your energy looking at them. The same goes for ebooks and print books. Investigate the relationship between ebook and print book prices. And check the publication dates. A book that sold yesterday will have a very different pricing structure from one that is three years old.

Choose a price that is close to, or identical to, traditionally published books in your genre. It’s perfectly acceptable to bring your price down a little. This might encourage readers to choose your book over one that is more expensive. But don’t overdo it. Have confidence in your book and expect your readers to pay for its quality.

If you are concerned about your royalties, take a step back and look at your book’s format. There might be a way to reduce the cost of production that would lead more of the profit for you. Just a caveat, don’t stray so far from your genre’s traditional design that your book looks like it doesn’t belong.

Think beyond your home country. Exchange rates between the US dollar and foreign currencies like the British pound and Canadian dollar fluctuate on a daily basis. But taking the time to create a global pricing strategy can substantially increase your sales. Amazon is available in 13 countries, many with English as the first language. They include Canada, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Spain and more. A global pricing strategy is tricky. You will need to consider not only the monetary exchange rate, but typical incomes of those who read in your genre. What percentage of their disposable income would they spend on a book? There’s no shame in getting help with this. There are a number of online tools available like https://www.ingramspark.com/

Many authors (including me) get so excited about getting their book out there that they don’t spend enough time thinking this through. Pricing is important. It will impact your sales just as much as the quality of your work.


You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your book has been written, rewritten and rewritten. It’s been through Beta readers and professional reviewers. Even the final proofread is finished.

It’s ready!

Now it’s time for the big decision. Query traditional agents and editors or self-publish.

How to decide is a topic for another day. For the sake of discussion, this blog is for those who have chosen self-publishing. Writing your book was a lot of work. You want to be compensated fairly. Your product is ready to sell and you want people to use their hard-earned money to buy it. And now you are at the crossroads of self-publishing.

How much should you charge for your book? If you charge too much, potential buyers might be put off. Too little makes your book seem like it’s not worth buying. It’s hard, but not impossible, to find the sweet spot that leads to sales.

First, sit back and decide what you are really trying to accomplish. Just income from sales? How important is it that you get your book into as many hands as possible. Is the message more, or equal to, the value of your royalties? Be honest with yourself.

Next, look at other book prices. Consider the genre, page count, trim size. Visit bookstores and be sure to include those that are locally owned. Amazon.com is one of the best known book distribution sites but it’s not the only one. Check out: http://www.bookch.com/, http://www.smallpressunited.com/ , http://www.openroadmedia.com/ and others.

Take the time to look for similar books. Focus on the style of book you want to print. If you aren’t interested in hardcover, there’s no need to spend your energy looking at them. The same goes for ebooks and print books. Investigate the relationship between ebook and print book prices. And check the publication dates. A book that sold yesterday will have a very different pricing structure from one that is three years old.

Choose a price that is close to, or identical to, traditionally published books in your genre. It’s perfectly acceptable to bring your price down a little. This might encourage readers to choose your book over one that is more expensive. But don’t overdo it. Have confidence in your book and expect your readers to pay for its quality.

If you are concerned about your royalties, take a step back and look at your book’s format. There might be a way to reduce the cost of production that would lead more of the profit for you. Just a caveat, don’t stray so far from your genre’s traditional design that your book looks like it doesn’t belong.

Think beyond your home country. Exchange rates between the US dollar and foreign currencies like the British pound and Canadian dollar fluctuate on a daily basis. But taking the time to create a global pricing strategy can substantially increase your sales. Amazon is available in 13 countries, many with English as the first language. They include Canada, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Spain and more. A global pricing strategy is tricky. You will need to consider not only the monetary exchange rate, but typical incomes of those who read in your genre. What percentage of their disposable income would they spend on a book? There’s no shame in getting help with this. There are a number of online tools available like https://www.ingramspark.com/

Many authors (including me) get so excited about getting their book out there that they don’t spend enough time thinking this through. Pricing is important. It will impact your sales just as much as the quality of your work.

Write on!









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