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3 Considerations for Pricing Your Self-Published Book

In the self-publishing process, setting the retail price of a print book is one of the last things an author does before going live (publishing) on Amazon and other online booksellers. Some universal factors should be considered when setting the best price, one that offers you a good return on investment while still being competitive. When an author asks for our advice on what to sell their book for, we advise them to consider the following:

  1. The cost of comparable titles. Books of the same genre, similar content, and similar dimensions often cost about the same. Knowing the average cost of books similar to yours gives you a better idea of a strong price point.
  2. The value you place on the content. . . . If your book informs or instructs based upon years of experience, training, and expertise, you’re selling the value of your knowledge and experience. In that case, pricing your book a little higher than other comparable titles is fine; you’re selling what you know to those that don’t have the benefit of your experience and expertise. However, if you’ve written a fiction or a memoir, you can’t necessarily claim that your story is any more valuable than another writer’s, so you’ll want to price your book a little closer to comparable titles.
  3. The royalty structure of your self-publishing platform. When you are self-publishing, the platform you use for distribution, such as Createspace or IngramSpark, should have a royalty structure available for your review. Usually, they deduct the cost of printing and distributing the book along with administrative fees; other fees might apply as well. Therefore, you need to be sure to set a cover prce for your book that’s high enough to cover those costs while still coming away with an acceptable profit. Factors that come into play with regard to printing costs include: trim size, page count, color versus grayscale, paper quality, binding (hardcover versus paperback), and print-on-demand versus offset high-run (commercial) printing.

Once you’ve considered these three factors, it will be easier to choose a price that allows your book to not only be competitive with other works on the market, but also offers you a fair return on your investment.

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