Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Is the Best Price for Your Novel?

Updated 12/31/17

If you are self-publishing, setting a price for your novel can be daunting.

Do you set the price as low as possible in order to garner the most readers, or do you set a higher price in hopes that you will make some money for your labors? And if you do set a higher price in hopes of gaining an income, what price is reasonable?

In this highly informative Huffington Post article, "Setting the Price for Your Novel -- What You Need to Know," Kristen Houghton lays out exactly how to price your novel.

She also talks about discounts, how retail prices are calculated and a lot of other factors that can affect the price of a book. As an all-round introduction to the topic, this article can't be beat.

If you want to know which price gets the best performance in terms of maximizing readers and sales (ebooks only), Written Word Media has done a great analysis.

According to Written Word, if your only goal is to maximize the number of readers you acquire:
  • $0.99 is the most effective price point.
  • $1.99 is not far behind.
If your only goal is to maximize revenue on the day of a promotion:
  • Price your book at $3.99.
You will acquire far fewer readers, but generate the most revenue. And if you want to achieve both goals
  • but want to acquire new readers more than maximize revenue, go for $1.99.
  • but want to maximize revenue more than you want to acquire new readers, price your book at $2.99 - $4.99.
There is no simple formula for how to price your book in both print and electronic form, but between these two articles, you should get a good idea of how pricing works.

Setting the Price for Your Novel -- What You Need to Know

By Kristen Houghton

Think you know all about publishing your book? The writing, the edits, etc., sure. But there's more. Do you know how to price your novel so it will sell well? This isn't about publicity, this is about the actual book price seen by your readers. There's a whole new world out there for authors and we need to be on top of all the "my book" related parts of publishing. Careful pricing is one of the keys to success.

One of the most important aspects with which an author must deal is the aspect of dollars and cents; in other words the selling price of your book and the profit you will make. If you are traditionally published, no worries; your publisher will determine the retail price of your print novel as well as your ebook version. Publishers will tell you the price point of your book and you're pretty much set.

However if you're going the route of a boutique publishing house of which you are a partner, or you are self-publishing, you need to know the publishing basics. The number one basic is how to do retail pricing. It isn't complicated; it is simple math. The retail price is achieved through an appraisal of your book's target audience and factors in the competitive price at which books in the same genre are selling. A simple example is if you're a romance writer and a competitor's print book of a similar length and size is priced at $9.95. You can feel secure in pricing your own at the same price.

The second basic is knowing how to actually arrive at the retail price. That figure should be at least 2.5 times the single-copy printing cost. This allows for a reasonable margin that will cover book-related costs and your profits after trade discounts are factored in. The retail price also helps establish the net sales payment amount. That's the amount you, the author, make from each sale. To make a nice profit per sale, and staying competitive, you price your book at $12.95.

But, there are some other things to consider when you set the price for your book. Remember the word discounts? Here's how it relates to the retail price.

Find out more about how to price your book HERE.


  1. Thanks so much for including our article on eBook pricing! It was a fascinating analysis to run and I'm glad you found it helpful :-)

    Taylor at Written Word Media

  2. Ah, that's pretty interesting. I don't think I've really thought about it as readers versus profit. I suppose if you were writing a series of books you could start lower to try to build a following and look to raise the price for future books once people are interested in your characters.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...