Top 5 Considerations for Effectively Pricing Your Self-Published Book

“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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

8 thoughts on “Top 5 Considerations for Effectively Pricing Your Self-Published Book

  1. My price is $0.99 and I came up with that because it is a novella in ebook format. I love the fact that more and more people are finding and reading short stories and novellas on their ereaders. If someone is busy – aren’t we all – a novella is perfect. Curl up for a couple hours with a story you can finish.

    The second reason I priced my story at $0.99 is to get more readers. I’m new to this and plan to release a couple more stories – hopefully. If people liked my work I hope they will come back for more. I would much rather have 300 people buy and potentially read my story (we know that many times people buy and never read) and earn $100 on my sales than sell 25 books at $12.99. At this point I want people to read my story, tell me they liked it, encourage me to keep going, etc… The money – not interested.

    ~ Jenna

  2. I have a series of books lead by the book: Everybody Masturbates. They are children’s books which could also be gag gift books. But since I have been getting so many Kindle sales I’m no long sure who the market is. It would surprise me if parents are buying a copy on their kindle and then giving their kindle to their 10 or 11 year old to read.

    Anyway, I have been get respectable sales in both Kindle and paperback formats and my sales trend line has been very steep since I released them in Sept ’10. But I want more sales so today I reduced the books from $8.95 to $7.95. The key reason for my change is because the book Everyone Poops is priced at $7.95 on Amazon. So I’m hoping that by aligning the price with a conceptially similiar book, I will make up for the $1 price difference.

    Cristian YoungMiller

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