August 29, 2012
Kelly Speaks, Self-Publishing
Book Marketing, Kindle, royalties, Self-Publishing
Whether you are a regular visitor of this blog or this is your first time here, something led you to us. Maybe you are interested in self-publishing or some of the specific topics discussed on this blog (like book reviews or book marketing).
In many cases, our readers come to us because they searched a particular term on Google or another search engine and that led them to one of our helpful posts. Below are the top 5 questions readers ask that bring them to our blog. Perhaps you will find answers to some of the questions you have about self-publishing (each question is conveniently linked to a post that discusses the individual topic in more detail):
- How much do authors make? – This post discusses what self-publishing authors can expect to earn in royalties and some of the considerations when it comes to successful book sales.
- How much does it cost to publish a book? – Read this post from Wendy Stetina as she advises on what self-publishing authors can expect to invest in the publication of their book, including professional cover design, copyediting, production and marketing.
- How do you market a Kindle ebook format? – This guest post from Dana Lynn Smith has been a top post for months. As the publishing industry shifts from hardcopy to ebook formats, authors want to know how to increase their ebook sales. Dana tells us just how to do that.
- How can you use tags to promote your book on Amazon? – A post by…yours truly about how to use Tags to help customers find your book on Amazon.
- Where can I find self-publishing advice? – This one doesn’t have a link because you’re already here! If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to the Self Publishing Advisor blog (top right corner of the page) and you will receive our posts directly in your email inbox. We’re glad you’re here and hope you’ll come back for more.
I would love to know, what other questions do you have about self-publishing?
||ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at
February 3, 2011
book pricing, royalties, Self-Publishing, trade discount
“Is my book too expensive?”
“Am I selling myself short?”
Traditionally-published authors usually don’t have any control over the price of their book. As a self-published author, though, how can you make sure you have priced your book appropriately? There is no hard and fast rule, unfortunately. However, here are a few things to consider while coming up with a pricing strategy for self-publishing a book:
- How much royalty will you earn from every book sale? If you’re planning on writing full-time, you want to make sure you’re making a sustainable amount per book ($1.50 – $2.75 is reasonable).
- What is your target market? Is your intended reader a teenager or an affluent attorney? You want to keep your audience in mind so that you don’t price yourself out of the market. You won’t be very successful if your ideal reader can’t afford to buy your book.
- Where do you want to sell your book? Trade discounts often determine where a book is sold. Most online retailers are fine with a short trade discount (less than 40%). However, big box stores, such as Borders, Barnes&Noble, etc. require at least a 50% discount (in addition to a solid marketing plan and full return-ability) to consider carrying your book. If you can’t imagine self-publishing your book without it being stocked on the shelves of your nearest B&N, you should consider going with 50% (though it will cut down on your royalties).
- How has your competition priced their books? Research books similar to yours. Make sure the page count is similar, it was published recently, and hopefully self-published. You don’t want to price your book too high above (or too low beneath) these books.
- Have you asked an expert? Now is not the time to guess. This is your livelihood. Your best bet is to employ the services of someone who is already familiar with the self-publishing industry, like a Publishing Consultant. These people know the book business, and they can help you with questions like these.
DISCUSSION: How did you decide on a price for your book?
October 13, 2010
Choosing a Publisher
on-demand, POD, royalties, Self-Publishing
The royalty percentages your publisher pays on retail is an important, somewhat complicated, and too often overlooked consideration when selecting among the many self-publishing service providers available.
Royalties are only one of many pricing considerations to make during the production and book pricing phase. Examine also whether or not you earn a royalty on copies of your book that you buy directly.
Here is where many self-publishing companies play the smoke and mirror game.
“How great is this!?! We’ll even pay you royalties on copies you buy directly!”
Sounds good – getting money from yourself on books you buy for your yourself. Wait…
Here is my advice: Always calculate the exact dollars and cents it is costing you to buy your book, and if you receive a royalty for it, simply include that amount in the calculation. Book publishing the right way requires some math. A good publisher will offer a variety of resources for you, including a dynamic pricing calculator and personal book publishing representative to help explain those pricing specifics.
November 10, 2009
Book Marketing, Book Promotion, Choosing a Publisher, Self-Publishing
creative control, ISBN, rights, royalties, Self-Publishing, Tips, wholesale
This posts and blog exists to help you make the best informed choices for the future of their books. Whether you’re still in the conceptualization phase or searching for a publisher, these are tips, each worthy of careful consideration.
For example, take a moment and write out your personal publishing goals…
For many authors, these 7 are the most important:
1) Keeping 100% of your rights and creative control to your book
2) Keeping 100% of your author royalties
3) Unlimited wholesale and retail availability
4) Additional marketing support and services
5) Publishing imprint and ISBN flexibility
6) High-quality book design
7) Complete print-run flexibility (1 to 1000s)
What would you add to this list?
September 18, 2009
Choosing a Publisher, Networking, Self-Publishing
publishing, royalties, Self-Publishing, Writing
1 – Authors are required one-time only upfront investment…
Yes, quality self-publishing services will require a one-time upfront investment. While not as important as your book pricing structure, distribution, and royalties on the back-end. Upfront service prices deserve a quick look.
Here are a couple of red flags.
1. HUGE DISCOUNTS! PUBLISH NOW AND SAVE XX%!!!
There are more than enough self-publishers offering HUGE savings. Always. That usually indicates that the savings aren’t real. Instead, packages and/or services are artificially inflated. This is true in any business across every industry. You’ve worked hard. You deserve what you pay for. I was born in Vegas. Ever been? Be wary of the bright, flashing lights.
2. GET PUBLISHED FOR FREE!!! (the opposite end of the spectrum)
Business 101. Nothing is free. It’s worth taking a look at the contract and asking, what am I really getting here. Not a good time to fall to instant gratification. You’ve worked hard and deserve a publisher that works for you in return. Again, make sure your get what you pay for. Well worth it is the time researching a publisher that will partner with you to publish your book as successfully as possible.
A quality self-publisher will value you, and upfront prices will stand by that.
have fun and keep writing…