Yet another decision involved in authoring a book is selecting a retail price for your final product. A great deal of thought should go into this decision. Most authors hope to, at the very least, recoup any funds they’ve invested in producing their books, and turning a profit would be even better. However, you don’t want to price your book above what potential buyers are willing to pay. Factors to consider when determining your book’s price include:

  • Book size (trim size and number of pages)
  • Book content, genre, etc.
  • Target audience
  • Number of copies being produced
  • Overall cost to produce final product
  • How you plan to sell most of your books (i.e., individual vs. bulk sales, retail vs. wholesale)

If you plan to wholesale your book, be aware that you will most likely be expected to sell your book to wholesalers and/or distributors at a substantial discount off the retail price. These discounts are typically in the range of 40% to 60%, but may be higher or lower depending on individual retailer or distributor policies. You can read more about wholesaling your book in the Sales and Marketing section.

Most traditional publishers will determine the price of your book. However, when using a self-publishing company, be sure to read its pricing policies thoroughly. Be especially careful to choose a company that allows you to determine the price of your book. Some self-publishing companies not only choose a retail price, but also choose a higher price than that appropriate for your book. This is especially true of companies that provide you with books by allowing you to purchase them from the company at a percentage discount. The higher the retail price, the higher price you pay to obtain copies of your own book.