Book pricing strategy for authors and self-publishers.
Book pricing strategy for authors and self-publishers. Let’s assume that most of your sales will come from Amazon, unless you have an existing website following. This means that you must allow enough room in your retail price for discounts and other fees.
Start by making a visit to a major bookstore
Gather some books that have subject matter similar to your book. You want to look at competitors! Check the copyright or the printing year if it is listed. The copyright page should follow the title page. You need to make sure you are backing into the retail price of your book using a recently book printing and not a title printing ten years ago when costs were lower.
Having a closer look at competitive books is a good exercise to finalize the style of the book that you are writing and / or designing.
- Look closely at books of similar dimensions and page count to the book you are printing.
- Is it hardcover or soft cover?
- Is there color throughout or is the book black and white?
- What special features or options does the book have?
- The thing you will not know is how many copies the author or publisher print for each run. The more copies you print, the lower the unit cost.
Printing in which country enters into book pricing strategy
Also found on the copyright page is the country where the book is printing. Star Print Brokers has been printing in Asia for over twenty years. We never print in China. Because we print many titles, we get lower pricing and have found the quality of the books is always higher than what is usual in the U.S.A. We also find the service to be superior with our select cadre of printers.
Since we are printing brokers, our unit cost is always lower. We have a handful of printers that we use. As in every country, there are great printers and there are poor printers. We have never met a printer yet who would not say that they are wonderful, but the test comes when something goes wrong.
How do they handle the problem? That is the core of what we offer to self-publishers and small publishers. We have many references for prospective clients to call and verify our printing services and customer service.
U.S.A. pricing and available options
As a side note, we would rather print in the U.S.A., but with higher costs and lower quality, it does not make sense. If that ever changes, we will certainly have another look.
One of the other challenges is all the options we offer when printing with our current overseas partners. The options are just not available with most printers in the U.S., and certainly not with on-demand services.
Many self-publishers start with printing the minimum which is 1,000 hardcover or 2,000 softcover books. We are one of the few places that prints board books. Our minimum for board books is 1,000 copies.
Quantity is important to know when planning your retail price. A small publisher may typically print 5,000 or 6,000 copies, particularly on a second printing. Their unit cost is less than a self-publisher starting out with the minimum print run. If they hire a designer for the initial print run, the design cost will not be repeated in a second printing.
After noting the differences and similarities between your new book and existing titles in the bookstore, know that dimensions, page count, binding style, and printing quantity are the big drivers in a retail price.
When you request a quote from Star Print Brokers, please feel free to request a quote for a larger quantities too, like 5,000 or 6,000 copies. We realize you need to plan for future runs as well.