How to Price Your Book
How do I determine the price for my print book? This is a question we receive often! Pricing your book is an important decision that can impact sales and profitability. Setting the price too high may result in no sales, but setting it too low may result in very little to no compensation for sales. Neither of those are great! So let’s make sure you’re set up for success!
You’ll want to establish a set retail price for your book and try not to change it once you’ve published. Your price is a key piece of metadata associated with your book, so it’s important to get it right the first time. Sometimes outside factors force a change.
Here are some ideas to consider when determining the price for your book:
1. Research the market: Study the prices of similar books in your genre and niche. Look at both traditionally published and self-published books to understand the price range. This will give you an idea of what readers expect to pay. Your book should stay within the average range of pricing and should NOT factor how much money you’ve spent to produce the book. One author shared they priced their novel at $27 because they wanted to recoup the investment they’ve made. Yet, how many other novels (especially by first time or indie authors) are priced at $27? The answer is probably NONE. Production costs (editing, cover design, formatting, marketing) should generally NEVER be considered in book pricing.
2.Consider your genre/topic. If it’s a novel, the pricing is going to range between $10-$16. A business book or workbook, journal, or teaching tool will likely be in the $16-$29 range, again depending on the type of book and the value received.
3.Production costs: How much does it cost to print the book? Are there distributor fees or retailer discounts that need to be applied? Most companies (Lulu, BookBaby, Ingram, KDP) have some sort of print cost calculator so that you can determine the printing costs before you even get started with anything else.But the actual cost to print is generally not your only expense.
You’ll also need to consider distributor fees. Per the example below, you can see that the printing cost with KDP is $4.16, but the minimum cost once Amazon’s 40% and fees are added in makes it $6.94 currently.
If publishing through IngramSpark, you’ll need to factor in the 55% retailer discount (not dipping below 50) – which includes a 15% distributor fee for IngramSpark. Here’s the IngramSpark printing calculator, which will help you see what the cost of printing your book will be.
4.Format and edition. Different formats (e.g., hardcover, paperback, e-book) and editions (e.g., standard, limited, special) can have varying price points. Base the price on the differences in printing costs for each version.
5.Promotional periods. If you’re considering launching your book with an introductory price or running limited-time promotions, the ebook allows the most flexibility. While you can adjust your price on the print book on KDP, as long as it meets the minimum price, if you change the price of the print book on IngramSpark, you will have to change the price on the cover and reload that file. Otherwise, to run sales and discounts, send them directly to your website to buy it – where you’ll profit the most!
6.Author brand and reputation. The more popular you are, the more wiggle room you have in higher pricing.