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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Custom Pricing Your Book at Amazon

Hello all, and thanks for stopping in at Self-Publishing Central.

Today's topic is a bit off the beaten path in that it deals with pricing of PAPER BOOKS.

Remember those?

I imagine that, if your sales are anything like mine, well more than 90% of them are sales of digital books. Paper books have become too expensive compared to Kindle and Nook. With broadening acceptance of the newer eReading technologies, it's getting harder and harder to make your paper books economically attractive to your readers.

Still...there ARE some books that readers want to own in paper format, if the price isn't too awful. One of my books falls into this category. A HIGHER COURT is a great book for book clubs, study groups, and for sharing with your friends. I've sold a fair number of them even at the $16.95 price they used to carry everywhere. I believe I could sell quite a few more if I could price the book at, say, $12.95.

And $12.95 is enough to get me a fair return on sales through Amazon. But at that price, CreateSpace's expanded distribution channels eat up pretty much all of the profit in a paper book sale. In order to even make a couple bucks per book, the $16.95 price is a necessity.

"So what am I getting to?" you ask.

Simple. If you're using CreateSpace, publish your paper book twice -- once for Amazon at $12.95 and once for the rest of the world at $16.95. It doesn't cost anything extra to do this.

So...from now on, buyers of A HIGHER COURT who wish to patronize B&N or their other local book outlets, can buy my book at the minimum price I can sell it at through their distribution channel -- $16.95. OR they can buy it from Amazon at $12.95.

Does this give Amazon an unfair advantage? Yes.

Is this unfair to people who buy their books through B&N, et al? No. It's not my fault traditional paper book distribution channels are so expensive. And of course, everyone is still welcome to buy at the lower price, if they're willing to go to Amazon. Heck...I'd sell direct to B&N or local bookstores if they'd let me -- same price as Amazon. But I can't afford to SELL through traditional channels at the lower price. It's not a's a reality.

To sum up...there's the regular price at which your book is offered through Ingram, Roberts & Taylor, etc. through CreateSpace's Expanded Disttribution. And then there is the DISCOUNTED Amazon price.

If you've got a paper book that's begging for a larger audience, but you haven't been able to make the numbers work out, give the above strategy some thought.

And if you want your books to be the same price everywhere...then don't follow my path. It's entirely up to you. It's just one more option to consider.

That's it for today. All the best to you.