Writing a book to establish yourself as an expert is a well-known tactic to raise your profile. You have a lot to consider from content, to cover, printing and distribution, but one of the most common questions I get asked is; how much should I sell my book for?
This is a really good question. But before I go into the that, I want you to think about how you’re going to sell your book.
3 ways to sell your book
You can sell your book in one of three ways;
- Charge full price – never have a discount (or at the very most, a limited pre-sale price of X% off the cover price.)
- Charge a sale price for a limited time (a pre-sale offer as above), and then offer it sporadically at a discounted price – for example, just charge P&P
- Give it away free (but put the price on the back.)
[Top Tip: The perceived value of the book is key, regardless of what you actually charge.]
This is why I always get my authors to state the price of the book on the back, regardless if they have no intention of ‘selling’ it.
How would you value a product that has no price stated vs one that has RRP of £X clearly visible?
I value a book (and its contents) higher than one that has FREE on the cover.
How much should I sell my book for?
This rather depends on your market and what you’re offering inside.
As a guide – most well-known authors sell their latest paperback book for £7.99 – so you can’t expect to come into the market and charge a ridiculous amount just because it’s cost you X to produce.
Don’t expect to make thousands of pounds on the front end sales of your book. Most of your money will be made from your back-end sales. If your book has been structured properly, your call to action will automatically have readers clamouring for your services and this is where you’re going to make your money.
… how much?
Here is a good guide to follow;
If you’ve written a 125-page book which is a compilation of blog posts spliced together, or perhaps it’s your newsletter re-purposed, then you’re looking at £9.97 or thereabouts.
If you’ve written a 245-page book that is full of How-tos, online resources and additional bonuses (which you make very clear on the front cover ) then you can charge up to £25 (£17.99 seems to work well for my clients.)
Remember, no matter what you state on the cover you can always sell it at a lower price. And, when you list your book on Amazon, THEY will discount your book too (without your permission) as well as taking a hefty commission for selling it.
This is why I’m a fan of the pre-sale offer and a continuous ‘sale’ option, as you’re valuing your book high, but giving it to the market low. Remember, you’re not going to make money on the front end, so make sure your call to actions within the book is structured in such a way that your readers will be effectively enticed to your back-end offer.
But, just like with anything you do in sales, test and measure your market. See what other books in your genre are asking.
If you’re going to charge a premium price (and no sale) then you’ll need to back up that decision. If your reader doesn’t know why you’re charging £X, then be prepared for not selling many books.
Do your research, have your sale plan, and be prepared to give away your book for free (or for very little money.) As long as it converts readers into buyers, who could potentially spend £1,000’s of pounds with you do you care if they’ve bought the book for £12.99 or £4.50?