Hello, Writers! ✍️ After the creative part of writing your book is finished, it’s time to think about the technical parts of it– such as pricing your book.
Way too many authors feel icky saying “I want to be paid for my art,” even though it’s work, even though you should be compensated for all your work. But even if you’ve overcome the love-hate relationship with money, you may still have questions about how to price your book.
I will give you 5 tips from personal experience that you can think about and consider when trying to decide how to price your self-published works.
1. Is it a short story?
The only reason I ask this question is because I began my writing journey as an author of short stories. I wrote YA romance, about 8 to 15 pages each, just a quick fun ride of teen-love. And from personal experience…
Offering free short stories was a great way to build my reader base and put my name out there.
Free content is always great for getting readers’ attention, building a fanbase, getting used to reading reviews, and so on. If what you’ve written is a short story or novella, consider offering it as free content for your readers.
2. Is it an ebook or paperback?
These two options give you more pricing choices. Since an ebook doesn’t require materials or overhead costs, you can offer your ebook for a lower price. A paperback has printing costs, so you’ll have to add whatever profit you want to make off of it, after printing costs.
Ebooks are usually lower-priced than paperbacks, so you can appeal to both frugal and regular readers.
Do be aware that most authors offer the ebook version of their books at a lower price, so that is what readers expect. If your book is $9.99 in both ebook and paperback, your ebook sales might suffer. That’s something to consider.
3. What are similar books priced at?
Pop psychology and science books by PhD’s are usually $14.99 hardcover to $9.99 ebook (not on sale) while monthly/bimonthly romances and mysteries are usually $7.99 a pop for mass-market paperback and anywhere from $0.99 to $4.99 on ebook.
Yes, different genres have different prices! What’s considered normal for your genre?
Something else I also noticed, as a reader, is that genres such as romance and zombie post-apocalyptic stories are read voraciously, and thus do VERY well on Kindle Unlimited. People read those like they’re inhaling air!
4. Low price is not always the better price
People usually value what they pay for. It’s that simple. If you price your work lower than similar books in your genre, a reader might wonder “What’s wrong with it? Why is it so cheap?”
Please get comfortable with getting paid for your work.
It doesn’t matter if you’re self-published, you did the work- now get comfy with being compensated! You could also consider setting a new-release sale price for a few months, then raising the price to a normal range after you’ve gathered some reviews. But, please– if you’re ever going to make a living off writing, make friends with getting paid.
5. What price are YOU most comfortable with?
If I could give away my sobriety book, Living Free of Alcohol, I would. And I almost do. I only charge for the printing costs of the paperback, and with it you get the ebook for free (through Amazon’s Matchbook). But that’s only because I want to help people overcome alcoholism.
Consider what you’re comfortable with– but not out of shame, self-sabotage, or impostor syndrome.
“I’m not a real writer… I don’t deserve money… It isn’t that great a story…” No, no, no. Forget all that. What I mean is, what are you most comfortable charging? Did you put so much time and heart into it you’re good with a bit more? Was it a breeze and a joy and you just want to share it for nearly nothing? That, my friend, is up to you.
These are not rules, only aspects of pricing to consider.
I often feel like a deer-in-the-headlights after I finish any work and I’ve not even thought about pricing! So far, my books are pretty low price, but I do plan on charging normal genre prices for my WIP 😊 It’s also my first non-short story or novella, so I’m more than happy to join everyone in my genre for pricing.
What are your thoughts on pricing books? Please share your tips with us in the comments!
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