So you now have the paperback version of your book or you are still planning to have one but the problem is that you have no idea how the price would go. Find out what is the best pricing for paperbacks now.
I Was Completely Backwards
Today's question has three points and you're going to want to stick around because of the third point. Because it is a secret as to how pricing can help you double the amount of money you're making off of your paperback books.
What is the best pricing for paperbacks? This is a very common question that many authors have when you're first getting started. Now, I hope that you start with Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP when you start your entire self-publishing journey.
However, once we finish that, the immediate next step is getting the paperback version of our book onto the market. And how exactly are we going to do that? Well, there are several things that we're going to do.
We're going to get it formatted using Jutoh as I've commented on many other blogs. But once we've got the book out there, what price should you set it at? There's a fear that if we set it too high, we're going to lose customers.
So by lowering the price, we'll increase the sales and increase the money we make. Well, at least that's the theory until many authors test this out. They discover that they're making no money or losing money on the paperback books that you're putting onto the market.
This is what we're going to hit in today's article. But before we get into the answers, you can grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist.
To make sure that you are not skipping the steps necessary to make a profit off of your books that you're self-publishing. And to make sure you're getting them onto the market.
Check out this related article: Setting Self-Publishing Goals
So let's get into today's topic. When I first got started, I thought Kindle KDP and self-publishing were really about getting your Kindle books onto the market. Maybe in the early days, it was because of paperback books, after all, if you would order 3,000 or 5,000 books, they would fill up your garage.
You would have all of these hopes that you'd be able to sell these books. Because after all, you wrote a very high-quality book so everybody in the world is going to want to read your book, right?
I know so many authors who made this mistake and then they're giving their books away. They are almost paying you to take their books because nobody wants to buy all of these books. The worst part of it is that many of these books are very high-quality books.
It's just that they don't understand the nature of sales and marketing when it comes to their books. That is something that is a very common mistake. But for me, I thought it was just about Kindle Direct Publishing.
Then I took some courses and they informed me that I was completely backward. It's really all about the paperback books now. For a while, it also was about the audiobooks only but since that point, it's moved over to just the paperbacks.
It is the key issue to earning money but then what about the prices? The answer is the reason they would go for the paperbacks is that they would double the earnings that they would get for most genres. The paperbacks cost a lot more money and the margins are a lot higher.
People are willing to spend more money on them which means you will make more money on each sale of your paperback books when compared to your Kindle books. There's an expectation the Kindle books will be priced much lower than your paperback books.
For most authors that I know personally, their paperback sales are at a minimum. It is twice as much as what they're making from their eBooks or the Kindle the KDP books that they've put onto the market. So this is a key issue when it comes to the paperback.
Putting High-Quality Books
The pricing of course is something we're going to talk about that's very key here. There is one exception and that would be the books people who are writing in the romantic books or erotic or some health issue books. Maybe it would be embarrassing to hold the book up on a bus or a train or some public location.
For discretion, they wish to have it on to their eBooks and this is one of the things that Kindle discovered. It is that a lot of people wanting to read books that would be controversial. For some people, they would be able to read them discreetly on their Kindle.
Therefore, Kindle and audiobooks dominate in those markets as opposed to paperbacks. But those are not particularly books that I have written within my own company. These are businesses that people build-out of those and those would be the exception to the rules.
So if you're writing in those genres, then what I'm about to say makes no sense. It's still worth getting the paperbacks but other than that, the other genres like normal fiction, self-help, and these sorts of things you're going to be able to double your earnings if you do the paperback and the pricing correctly.
I started by charging way too little. I thought I could bring in more readers by charging little. And then I realize one little piece of fact. It is that the price of the paperback influences the decision regarding the quality of the book which is sort of how we do it when we go to a store.
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If we're going to buy a new vacuum cleaner, unless we've already researched it, we'll see they have three different vacuum cleaners at three different prices. And we will assume that the most expensive will be the highest quality. The same goes for the psychology of pricing when it comes to your books.
This is the issue that you have to understand. It is that what you think is the case with sales and marketing is most often not the case. So the pricing that you put on there, now obviously if you charge a thousand dollars a book, nobody's going to purchase it.
But if you're charging one dollar a book, the question will arise in people's minds, "why are you selling this book so cheap? where you virtually are breaking even on the book?". You can't sell it lower than where you would break even but you would just cover the cost of the book.
I remember when I was making margins of only a dollar off of my paperbacks and I discovered I started making more sales. When I increased the prices and the idea is that the higher the price, the better the book is. But it can't be so high that it's outside the range of what other people are charging for the same type of book.
We're positioning ourselves as putting high-quality books and I hope you are putting high-quality books onto the market. But let's get into the key issue which is what is the best pricing for your paperbacks? The first thing is we never earn less than $5 a paperback.
So that is to say the royalties, I use US dollars and then let Amazon, Ingram Spark, and Lulu do the conversions for what the pricing needs to be on these other platforms. Also extended distribution and these sorts of things. But $5 is the lowest we go.
We never, ever, ever will sell a book that gives us less than the royalty of $5. So, if you're thinking well maybe if I do it like with $1, then I could have a lower price and that would bring more sales. It might bring more sales but you're going to lose money in the long run.
This is not how we go about doubling what we're making off of our books. So that's our first key strategy. The other thing is we bundle our books together.
We always are thinking, when we put books out, how we can create multiple books in a series of books that have things in common? Then we put the 2 books, let's say you have 4 books out, so your first 2 books are together as a bundle. Your second 2 books are also together as a bundle, so all 4 of them are in a single bundle.
That means from four manuscripts, we're able to produce 7 different products in the paperback format on KDP Print. For each additional manuscript we charge, we get $1 more. So if there are 2 books bundled together, you should be making a $6 minimum.
If it's 3 books together, that's $7 and if you have a 4 book bundle which I have tons of I even have 8 book bundles, you should be making an $8 profit for that book. What happens with our readers is they see this and they think, "wow I can get an even better deal if I buy the bundle".
The Power Of Book Bundling
You see, this is where the game starts going. The bundles can really rack up the number of royalties that we're making on our books. We're able to give people a lot more help and it really pays off on the bundles.
When it comes to audiobooks, you only are paying your narrator for the one manuscript but then we're able to use it on 3 different products. That is something my friends you are not going to want to ignore this powerful strategy that I'm teaching you right here.
People charge thousands of dollars to teach you this one strategy. This is something that I'm just giving away for free because I don't think you should have to pay to know something like this. But the secret answer of today, this is now I'm going to move to the next level.
This is where I ramp it up, we're going to turn it up one notch on. One huge super-secret strategy that most people don't realize is for every six sales that you make on your paperbacks for a given month in a given market, you need to raise the price by $1.
So if your US sales on your paperback have gone up by $1, you've sold six of them, you should raise it $1 on the total price of your book. That doesn't mean the royalties are going to go up by $1 but just the overall price. So if you're selling the book, many of my books are at $11.99 and $12.99, always into 99.
This 99 thing makes us feel like wow this was very calculated in terms of the price. In reality, all of them end in 99 and it just makes us think. This even works on us, it works on me when I see 99 it makes me think wow maybe that is a good deal.
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So for an $11.99 book and if we see that I had six sales on a given book, then I'm going to raise the price to $12.99. If I go a month without any sales, then I will go back down to the absolute base price of $11.99. Around Christmas time, we'll see so many sales coming in on our books that we're just bumping up the prices.
Then what happens is we can sometimes see a tripling of the money coming from those paperback sales. Especially around the gift times of the year when people are buying gifts at Christmas time. It's hard to buy somebody a Kindle book as a gift so what you're doing instead is you're going to be buying the paperback versions.
Sometimes, the price doesn't even matter. There are a lot of people in the world where the price is irrelevant to them. We want to make sure that those people can buy our books at the highest price possible.
But we don't want to make it so that the average public can't get it. So this is the reason why we use this exact strategy. Many people have tried to break away from this and try something else. And you will only lose royalties that are coming in.
Since we're producing high-quality books that we wish to reach people with, we want to maximize the number of people that we're able to reach. With all of this money that's coming in, we're able to reinvest to produce even better books for the next time. So I hope you've been able to pick up a few of the tips that I've been hitting here.
But I want to know what price do you sell your paperback books at specifically? What are the royalties that you're making? Remember if you have pictures and color things within the books as well that will mean you will have to charge a higher price.
So the price of the book is not as important as how much money are you making per sale of the book. Let me know below in the comments how much money are you making per sale of your books? Are you also getting this double the price?
For you, what is the best pricing for paperbacks? Let me know, I want to hear from you in the comments. And check out my other articles and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.