Pricing Your Books and eBooks
When you have made up your mind which media you want to use to publish your hard-written book and where you want
it published, you will be asked how much you want to sell it for. This sounds an easy question to answer: as much
as I possibly can - right? Well, in this article, we will look into pricing your books and ebooks.
For the purpose of this article, we will assume that you are going to publish on Amazon's Kindle and CreateSpace
and on Lulu, because they add the extra dimension of a hardbacked book, although this is almost totally irrelevant
in the case of unknown authors.
The first medium is the paperback, which is traditionally the highest-selling book format, although Amazon
reported last year that its ebook sales had overtaken its paperback sales for the first time ever. This trend is
sure to increase for several reasons.
Paperbacks are considered the norm for most people still, but there are different genres of books and some are
deemed to be less expensive than others. It is expected by readers that the slushy romantic paperback will be
cheaper than a 'teach yourself maths' book, for example.
In the absence of a publisher or literary agent, the author has to judge the price level him- or herself.
This is not so difficult as it sounds. Most authors who write in a genre, also read that genre, which means that
they will know how much they would expect to pay for a book like theirs. Amazon and Lulu will also suggest a
minimum price and show you how much you will earn at that price level.
Beware pricing your book at a level that will give you what you would like to earn per book. If you go down that
route, you will earn very little, because people's conception of their own worth is usually higher than other
Sad, but a fact, so it is better to go with market trends and then knock off a little more because you are
unknown (or you would not be self-publishing). Think about the second book, price the first one to sell and build
your reputation and then the second one can be priced at market level
Most of the above can be applied to pricing ebooks too, but ... there is a big difference, isn't there? If
someone buys your paperback or hardback they can give it away, lend it to a friend or even resell it; and
meanwhile, it will sit on their bookshelf to show their erudition. They have to pay for those additional benefits,
but the ebook-buyer has none of that.
Some authors are selling ebooks at $0.99! However, one guy sold a million copies on Kindle in five months at 30%
take and got on the New York Tmes best sellers' list. Who would turn that sort of money down? The minimum price is
set by the printers, but don't be worried about going for dual pricing on your books.
Severe dual pricing is the only way to deal with pricing your books and ebooks successfully.
by Owen Jones