Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, April 20, 2017

How to determine your price point when self-publishing


One of the great things about self-publishing is that you have control over your price point.

Want to experiment? Want to drop the price for a promo? The self-publishing world is your oyster! And, like, the price is the pearl! Do you want to see how far I can go with this metaphor? No? Okay!

Chances are you're going to want to be a little strategic. Here are some tips on how to go about it:

1) Get in touch with your goals

Reflect a little bit on what you're hoping to achieve with your book.

Do you want to build up your name recognition and reach a wide audience? Might want to go for a lower price point.

Do you want to maximize your revenue? Might want to go a little higher.

Do you want to be a symbol of everything that's wrong with the world? Make one copy, charge a million dollars, and see which nefarious cartoon villain buys it!

Your book might even be incidental to your goals, like a speaking career or a building brand, which could mean a lower or higher price point depending on what you're going for.

Just know what you want before you jump in.

2) Research the competition

This is a no-brainer. See what others are charging and know where you'll be in the marketplace. You can either go with the flow, undercut, or aim a little higher, but this is crucial information so you know where you stand.

3) Get some feedback

Bounce around your ideas, and if you have a community, try to talk to them too. I took a poll when I was launching How to Write a Novel, and the community's vote of $4.99 matched my hunch so I went with that.

4) Take an educated guess when you launch

Don't overthink it. You're not locked into a price, you can change as you go.

5) Experiment with price drops and raises

Gauge the impact of price drops and raises on sales until you settle into a sweet spot. These can either be as a specific promo, or you can just quietly change the price and see if it impacts sales.

If you publish via KDP, as you go along Amazon also has a tool that will gauge your optimal price point relative to your subject matter and sales so far. You can use that for further inspiration for experiments.

6) Check your numbers against your goals

Watch your numbers and see how things are going relative to your goal. If you just want your book out there, your KPI is your sales. If you are maximizing for money, your KPI is your revenue. If you are maximizing for reputation, your KPI may be your reviews.


As you can probably tell, this isn't rocket science. Don't agonize. Just know what you want, know what you're measuring, and experiment until you're in the sweet spot.

I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and consultations! And if you like this post, check out my guide to writing a novel.

Art: Beim Notar by Josef Wagner-Höhenberg







1 comments:

Kristen Steele said...

It's really trial and error. As you mentioned, one of the great things about self-publishing is that you have full control and can change pricing as you please.

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