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Pricing Your Book

Just as with any other products, pricing is a key factor in the success of your book. You do not want to price too high and chase away potential buyers but at the same time, you do not want to price too low and sell at a loss. So how do you determine the right price for a particular book?

The pricing decision is crucial and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for it. However, there are general guiding factors in setting the right price for your book. These include book length, subject matter, perceived quality, royalty percentages, and the prices of similar books in the genre.

Royalty Percentages: If you are selling your book on Amazon, for example, you might want to familiarize yourself with their pricing guidelines. If your book is priced within the Amazon price box, then you get to retain a much higher percentage of the money but if you price outside their price box, they take the larger share. Familiarize yourself with the pricing guideline of your retailer before you set the price.

Length: Except for technical books and other special publications, readers will generally expect shorter books to be priced lower than the longer ones.

Your Book’s Genre: Your book should generally be priced in the same range as other books in the genre. Keeping other factors in mind, look at how much other authors are selling their books for. This will make the pricing task easier for you. A price that is too low might give people the impression that your book is not good enough while pricing too high will chase them away. 

Fan Base And Author Status: If you are a known author with an already established fan base, you can get away with pricing your book higher than less established authors. This also applies to celebrity authors whose fans will willingly pay much higher than normal.

Price Experiment: This works particularly if you are selling an eBook because you can easily adjust the price. It is also applicable to hardcopy books sold online. You can adjust the pricing any time depending on the market reaction. It is, however, harder to change prices if your book is sold as a hard copy in a physical bookstore. The experimental prices should still be within a reasonable range otherwise you risk scaring customers away for good.

Production Costs: This is a helpful but very tricky pricing consideration for authors. Pricing based on production costs means you predict how many books you will sell and then set a price. This is risky because you cannot be sure how many books you will actually sell and even more importantly, your readers really do not care how much you invested in the book. It is prudent to keep your costs in mind when pricing but do not make that the main pricing factor.

Multiple Books: If you already have other books out, use them to push sales on your new book. Offer discounts to those willing to purchase your new book with an old one. If you are to sell them separately, which is often the case, price the new book a bit higher than the old ones to give it a feel of being more valuable.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Faridah Nassozi