What’s The Right Price For Your Self-Published Print Book?

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Ready to put a price on all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into writing and self-publishing your book? If you haven’t read our article about how to price your e-book, be sure to check it out before deciding on how much to charge for your Kindle, Nook, and iBooks versions. For the paperback version of your self-published book, similar considerations factor into determining the best price. Here are the most important things to keep in mind:

4 Things To Keep In Mind When Pricing Your Paperback Book

Page Count and Minimum Price Threshold

The print-on-demand company you use to self-publish your book will want its share of the sales revenue in order to cover printing costs and turn a profit. It is likely the number of pages your book contains will be part of that equation. For example, if you use CreateSpace to produce your paperback version, its share consists of a sales channel percentage, a fixed charge, and a per-page charge. Both the fixed charge and the per-page charge are based at least in part on the number of pages in your book.

For every copy of your book that is sold, CreateSpace subtracts its share from the retail price you assign; the rest is your royalty payment. Other companies have different formulas for calculating royalties, but the first thing you need to know before setting your book’s price is the minimum price threshold—how much of that price is going to go to the company that does the printing and distribution.


Once you know the minimum price threshold, your next consideration in determining your book’s retail price is genre. Is your book fiction, nonfiction, or poetry? Does it fall under a well-known subgenre? Take a look at other books in your genre and subgenre and compare prices.

Of course, you want to make healthy royalties—but you don’t want to overprice your book and jeopardize sales. Readers know the appropriate price range for a paperback book in a particular genre, so make sure your book’s price isn’t wildly outside that range.

Comparable Titles

Narrow your research down to how paperbacks similar to yours are priced. You’ve no doubt read widely in your own genre, so you probably already have some ideas about which titles these are. Another strategy is to identify and search possible keywords for similar books. And don’t forget to ask the members of your writing group!

Remember that these books will be your chief competition, so make sure your book is priced competitively. This may mean pricing your book a little lower (or even higher) than you originally thought. Every sale is critical, so getting your price right is well worth the effort.

Similar Authors

Just as you researched books that are like yours, you must also research authors similar to you. Take a look at the catalogs of work from these authors and find out how much their paperbacks cost. Once you’ve identified your competition, setting the right price for your self-published paperback will be easier.

Effectively Boost Your Book Sales

Coming up with the right price is crucial to your book’s success, but there’s more work ahead! Remember that your book will be competing with thousands of other titles in your genre. In order to build sales, you will need to grab your audience’s attention by implementing an effective promotional strategy that makes your self-published book stand out in the crowd.



QUESTION: What other factors go into your decision about how to price the paperback version of a self-published book?

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