What price should you set for your book? I don’t believe you should undervalue your work. You’ve obviously spent time and effort and maybe many dollars creating, editing, rewriting, publishing and marketing.
You are your own business whether or not you created it officially with a business license, set up your state tax board or opened a business bank account. In my years of self-employment, before my writing career, I encounter many entrepreneurs who charged a profit on their offerings but failed to charge for their labor. They thought their profit paid their wages. That is just wrong. Profit is an increase on your investment. Whether you invest your dollars in the stock market, real estate, your own business or something else, you expect a return on your money. That is your profit factor. Wages pay for your labor. You are entitled to both.
So the question becomes, what is your wage for writing. The selling price of your work must include profit and wages. Of course, these two figures are amortized over a longer period and many copies sold. A manufactured product generally sells at four to five times the cost to cover production.
It would be ludicrous, even if you could, figuring out the actual costs to write. You would be top heavy in time (wages) and have to add in your overhead, heating, cooling, electric, trash pickup, printing, ink, paper, etc, etc, etc., and all at prorated costs. This would leave the finished book unaffordable and unsalable.
I learned my most valuable lesson the first day on a parttime job, while in college, at a drug store. The manager told me to “stack it high and sell it cheap”. This is the philosophy for selling your book. Make smaller profits on higher volume and put more dollars in your bank.
Back to the question at hand. The general consensus for epublications is;
- Short stories. Under 3 thousand words – $ .99
- Shorts. 3 to 7 thousand words -$1.99
- Stories. 7 to 15 thousand words – $2.99
- Novellettes. 15 to 35 thousand words -$3.99
- Novellas. 35 to 50 thousand words – $4.99
- Novels. 50 to 70 thousand words – $5.99
- Large novels. 70 thousand words plus – $6.99
Generally, I agree, with a few minor adjustments;
- Short stories, Shorts. Under 15 thousand words – FREE
- Novellettes, Novellas. Under 50 thousand words -$ .99 to $1.99
- Novels. Under 70 thousand words – $2.99 to $3.99
- Novels. Under 100 thousand words – $3.99 to $4.99
- Established Authors, Bestselling authors – $5.99 up
- NEW AUTHORS – $2.99 to $3.99
Establish a price you can make money at and then run promotions and discounts to increase distribution. Once a reader is hooked trying a promotional price, they will buy your back books at regular price.
Always keep your goal in mind; Sell more books… put more dollars in your pocket!