#Question 1: What is the worth of my book?
This does not imply that you should calculate the number of hours spent working on your manuscript. Instead, consider the market value of books that come under your genre. Is your book a novel, novella, fiction, non-fiction? Is it an autobiography, fantasy novel, historical fiction, romance, or thriller? Then consider the number of pages in your book, its size and format, and the total number of copies you wish to print. This will help you determine the tentative cost.
Do ensure to avoid pricing your book beyond the prevalent market price or undermining its value to garner more reads.
#Question 2: What is your ultimate goal?
Genre in place, let us talk about your ultimate goal for publishing. Do you want to gain more readers, become a best-seller or promote your primary work? Your goal is an important deciding factor for setting the cost of your book and may also affect how you want it to be perceived by your audience. Remember that your motive behind self-publishing the book will also have a significant effect on your later books.
If this is your first foray into publishing, avoid being too fixated on the profit margins. Attempting to break even is a good place to start
#Question 3: What’s your selling strategy?
How are you planning to sell your book? Will it be as an ebook, print-on-demand or do you see yourself in stores? Your selling strategies will determine the division of costs.
If it is an ebook, it will include basic costs such as designing, editing, and proofreading. However, if you are planning to distribute it via bookstores, you will need to figure out the store’s margin. And if you are planning to sell it through your website, the costs covered will involve postage, packaging and transportation costs depending on the weight of your book. Research the available options carefully, before making the decision.
#Question 4: Should the price be printed on the book cover without any prior research?
Printing the price on the book cover adds a touch of professionalism to the book. But deciding the price in a hurry will result in losses due to unforeseen expenses. Do prior research of all costs you are likely to incur such as book cover designing, editing, marketing, printing and other expenses. Prepare a tentative pricing chart to understand all the expenses you may incur, factor in your profit margins and then fix the price of your book.
#Question 5: What other factors should be considered while pricing the book?
Your target audience! Who your audience is can help determine not just the book cost, but almost every other aspect of your book. Your writing style, quality of paper, cover design, interiors design, marketing channels, funding, basically everything. For example, you are a non-fiction writer targeting C-suite professionals, you can set a premium cost to the book. However, if your target audience is students, you may have to set an affordable price to ensure good sales.
You will also need to factor in your publishing and distribution channels while pricing the book. Most self-publishing companies provide distribution services with different retailers, however, you do need to understand the various regulations and commission structures regarding the same. The pricing structure varies from retailer to retailer. This structure is usually based on the price range of your book, the area of shipping and at times the weight, size and type of packaging required for the book. Make sure to understand all the structures, before choosing the one that works for you.