After writing and publishing a Self-published book, it’s necessary to set a price.
At first glance, setting the price would seem simple. For example, if the printer is charging $8.93 for a copy of your book (plus shipping), you are free to add your profit. But, even at this initial point, a writer is torn between a desire to reap monetary rewards or to help readers by charging as little and possible.
Whichever way this decision goes, a price like $8.93 just doesn’t sound professional. Instead, a number like $8.95 or $9.95 seems more like books in the marketplace.
Alas, the problem gets considerably more complicated.
If the author simply plans to sell e book online, with no sales by bookstores, the prices above would be fine. However, if the author would like a bookstore to sell the book, it’s necessary to give that bookstore a discount of 40%.
Now, if the book’s printing cost were $8.93, 40% would be $3.57, and (adding this to $8.93) the book’s cost would be $12.50. But please be aware - this method of calculation is wrong! For example, the bookseller’s discount on $12.50 would be $5.00, which is much higher than 40% of the printing cost! If a self-publisher adopted this discount, each copy would be selling to bookstores at $7.50, and the self-publisher would be losing $1.43 per book.
How, then, should a self-publisher set the book’s price? In the above example, with a $8.93 printing cost, the correct way to establish a price allowing bookstores to purchase at 40% discount, is to multiply the printing cost by 1.666. In this case, the minimum price is $14.88, and this fails to give the self-publisher any profit. (To check the math, multiply the price by 40% and add the result to the book’s printing cost.)
In summary, to calculate a book price which will allow a 40% discount, multiply the cost by 1.666.
At this point, an author is fully justified in charging more, for it will be necessary to have book sales reimburse any marketing funds the author has spent. And, sadly, it will be typical to spend more than profit on marketing, and the book will end up costing the author something. Measure it as the author’s cost-per-book.
When pricing your book, try not to lose money on sales of an individual copy. However, if money has been spent on marketing, it is normal to price at a loss.