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How Do You Price Your Book?
So, what is a fair price for your book...?

What is the Goal?

Pricing a book isn’t just a cavalier thing you do – it takes serious thought – and a defining of your goal. Ask yourself some questions: “Why did I write this book?” “What is my goal? Is it to make money or to get the story out there?” 

Reason to Write

We write books for various reasons and, if we are realistic, we will come to the understanding that we are not going to get rich on one book unless we have a humongous fan base which probably means you are already a celebrity. But for those of us who are John Does with little following, we have a long way to go to become the wealthy author we all dream of being. The reason for having written the book will play an integral part in how you price it. 

Evaluating Your Book

How long is your book? Is it a short book of a few pages? Is it a long book of well over 300 pages? Does it fit somewhere in between? Have you compared your story with other authors to determine how many ‘like’ stories have already been written? What success have they enjoyed, or not? Writing a book is almost on an equal footing to birthing a child. It IS your baby – you dreamed it, you researched it, you wrote it but now you have to decide how you want to introduce it to the reading world.

Researching Your Book

Consider the real estate business as an example. If you know a realtor then you know that before they put a property on the market, they do their research. They will choose ten properties, most like yours, in your neighborhood. They look at the asking and selling price and then add them together and divide by ten to come up with a realistic price for your listing. You need to do the same in the literary world. 
What is the subject of your book? Is it a research, technical manual that only people in a certain field will understand? Is it a true story? A memoir? A novel? A mystery or a romance or a children’s book? All of these will play into what you ask for the book and how you market it.

Technical Books and Novels

If it is a highly researched book with technical knowledge for a given profession, then it most likely will sell for a higher price to a much smaller audience. However, you will need to have the right credentials to support your claim of expertise in this field. Even so, a new author that does not have a following will have a harder time marketing their book, therefore you want to price it so that it is appealing. 

Moving on to novels. There are multitudes of novels out there, all of which are in competition with yours. If you go to Amazon, you will be able to do research on the length of the books, maybe on the story line, what reviewers are saying about it, the covers, and all things about the book. Be honest with yourself. How does it compare to yours? How is it priced? Is the author well known? 

Listing the Price

Wisdom says you should not put the price on the cover of your book. There are reasons for this. You may want to change the price at some time – if it is already printed on your cover you will not be able to mark up, only down. 

So, what is a fair price for your book? The average price for a paperback is $10 to $15, depending on the length of the book. Consider pricing your book at a lower price to begin with and make it available as an ebook as well. Or, if you want it to be more noticeable, you might want to make a special offer for a given holiday- say Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. You could make it available for a very low price for a short period of days – say three to five and then put it back to its original price. On KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing, which is Amazon’s publishing house – you can even present it free, as a gift to your readers, for a very short period of time, then take it back to the original price.

Pricing is a challenge that we all have to learn to deal with. If this seems to be too difficult or stressful for you, don’t let it be. 

Remember, We Make Publishing Easy and we are here to help you!

About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge

Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.
40 Day Media LLC, PO Box 950794, Oklahoma City, OK 73195
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