Tips on Pricing Your ebook and Paperback Books on Amazon
It probably won’t be wrong to say that authors carry the weight of this world and its history over their shoulders. From time immemorial, books, tablets and scrolls have been used by people to convey history, stories, facts, fiction and everything that can be conveyed. From divine books to historical accounts, everything has been passed to us in the form of books.
Which is why, being an author is to carry the weight of the world because whatever authors write today, will be carried forward by time into the future and future generations will judge us by the books that we leave.
Traditional vs Self Publishing
In the not so distant past, traditional publishing houses had a monopoly over book production. Even authors like J.K Rowling were rejected by ten to eleven publishers because they simply did not like her story. While Rowling persisted and eventually found a publisher willing to publish her book, there must have been countless souls who probably got disheartened by such rejections and never got the opportunity to publish their books.
Besides this power that the traditional production houses had over authors, they also exploited the authors by offering them very low royalties. So unless an author was already popular, any new author could not even imagine getting 70% royalty. In addition to this, traditional publishing houses have all sorts of other costs such as sales commission, printing, storage and delivery costs that end up shattering the dreams of many authors.
Then came the rise of self publishing that changed the whole game for authors. For the first time authors were able to publish their own books independently, without being exploited by publishing houses. But with self publishing came the stigma that only the rejected authors opt for it. Although this was a very strong label, the way in which Amazon has developed its book publishing platform, has simply shattered this label.
In the last decade, we have seen hundreds of self published authors rise to fame. There have been lawyers, accountants, clerks, salesmen and people from all walks of life who have either made a career out of full time writing or taken self publishing as a part time job to earn a side income.
Cost Structure on Amazon
If you are planning to become a self published author, then one very important thing that you
need to be aware of is the cost structure of your book.
How much will it cost you to publish your book? This is one of the most important questions and in the last few articles, we have tried to answer this question from the perspective of the costs involved in writing a book.
In this article, we are going to have a look at the costs and rates that are applied by Amazon before you get your royalty. So that you can have a clear concept of how Amazon works.
Mentioned below are the simplified rates for royalty on ebooks, paperbacks and hardbacks. While ebooks are digital and readers simply have to download them, paperbacks and hardbacks work in a different way. Amazon does not keep stockpiles of your books, ready to be delivered. No, instead the books are printed on demand whenever an order is placed.
|1||Ebook||35% royalty less VAT. For conditions click here70% royalty less VAT less delivery costs. For conditions click here|
|2||Paperback||60% royalty less printing costs(list price x royalty %) – printing costList price may include VAT in certain regions.|
|3||Hardback||60% royalty less printing costs(list price x royalty %) – printing costList price may include VAT in certain regions.|
Cost Structure For ebooks
As it can be seen from the table above that the royalty on ebooks is divided into two tiers.
1. Books priced below $2.99 and above $9.99 carry 35% royalty. If VAT is applicable, then Amazon deducts the amount of VAT from the royalty payable to the author. Another important thing to note is that books priced below $2.99 do not carry any delivery cost.
2. Books priced between $2.99 and $9.99 carry 70% royalty. If VAT is applicable, then Amazon deducts the amount of VAT from the royalty payable to the author. Also at this tier, Amazon applies delivery costs to ebooks. The delivery cost is charged at $0.15 per mb, with a minimum charge of $0.01. The delivery costs vary by country.
The file size of the manuscript that you upload is not a reliable indicator because during the upload and conversion process, Amazon will cut the file size down. So the best way to find out how much delivery costs will be applicable on your book, simply upload your manuscript and head over to the pricing section.
We tried to upload a manuscript that was over 7mb and Amazon shrunk it down to 0.51 mb.
Cost Structure for Paperbacks
The paperbacks and hardbacks carry 60% royalty which is multiplied by the list price and then any applicable VAT and printing costs are reduced before the royalty is credited to the author. The printing costs comprise the cost of paper and ink used. The cost will vary if you use black and white or decide to go for colored ink. In addition to this, the delivery costs will also be applicable.
How to Price Your Books?
Now that you understand how Amazon charges various costs before sending out the royalty, the next important step is to know how to price your books.
The following steps should be helpful when you are at the stage of setting the price of your book.
- The first factor that you should consider is the length of your book and the quality of its content.
- 10,000 words usually equate with $0.99 price range
- 20,000 words usually equate with $2.99 price range
- Do not undervalue your book intentionally unless you are promoting it for a short period. Similarly do not over price your book.
- Ebooks are best priced below the $6 mark. This is the average selling price for the best selling books on Amazon.
- Paperbacks are best priced between $10 and $20.
- If your paperback is priced higher due to the number of pages, then the cost of printing will rise proportionally.
- Ebook prices can be changed frequently, with no limit to how many times you can change them. So if you are not sure at first then you can experiment and find the right price through trial and error.
- Paperback pricing can be changed as well, if the price is not a part of the barcode.
So when you are publishing your next book, keep these steps in mind at the time of deciding the price and you should have no trouble in finding the right price for your book. Also let us know if these steps help you out in any way.
Main Image Source: Pixabay