GET STARTED!

Determining the Retail Price for a Printed Book

At Dog Ear Publishing, determining the retail price of a book is a routine task.

There are various factors we consider when advising authors on setting a retail price. First, what type of genre does your book fall into—non-fiction, fiction, children’s, juvenile, self-help or something else? Some genres allow for higher retail prices or have less competition. For example, religious themed books are in high demand; as a result, retail prices for these books tend to be higher than traditional fiction.

Secondly, the cost to print your book will affect your retail price. Are your books printed traditionally or digitally? Digital printing increases the unit cost of your book compared to traditional printing. However, digital printing allows you to print as few as one book at a time.

Another factor in determining a retail price is bookstores—both traditional and online. Bookstores are in business to make money from the sale of books, so don’t forget they will expect to buy your books at a discount from the retail price. Typically, a traditional bookstore takes somewhere between a 30% – 50% discount off the retail price. Online bookstores can take up to a 55% discount. Some bookstores allow you to negotiate discounts while others are firm in their demands.

Remember, bookstores make their money from the wholesale discount.  Higher wholesale discounts may open more retail avenues for the author. Dog Ear Publishing allows you to set your wholesale discount and book retail price at any level you like—most self-publishing companies do not.  This is a terrific question to ask when kicking the tires of a self-publishing company.

The major ISBN registration agency, Bowker, recently collected retail price statistics:

Average Suggested (Printed) Book Retail Prices Last Year and How they Compare to Previous Year:

$27.52 for adult hardcover (down $.10)

$25.08 for adult fiction hardcover (unchanged)

$28.49 for adult nonfiction hardcover (down $.29)

$15.76 for adult trade paperbacks (up $.11)

$14.78 for adult fiction trade paperbacks (up $.07)

$16.16 for adult nonfiction trade paperbacks (up $.15)

$7.35 for adult mass-market paperback (up .07)

$16.09 for juvenile hardcover (up $.26)

Dog Ear Publishing recommends a book’s retail price be at LEAST 2.5 times the "single-copy print cost" to allow for standard trade discounts to book stores and distributors and libraries, and leave enough "gross margin" remaining so the author will enjoy a reasonable Net Sales Payment.

In the end, profit on a book sale will help fund future writing endeavors!

May you have success in your creative efforts.

Miles Nelson is a Co-founder and Partner at Dog Ear Publishing. Dog Ear Publishing is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2014. www.DogEarPublishing.net

By: Miles Nelson, Dog Ear Publishing

79 Responses

  1. Dan
    It would seem that the number of pages in a book would also be a factor in its pricing? I have written a 510 page book, non-fiction,history-religious related, trade paperback. What would be the suggested retail price of this book? Is this book considered too long, with too many pages?
  2. mike
    510 pages is a good size book. I would estimate anywhere from 24.95 - 27.95.
  3. Smith Publicity
    Good question. In the article, he mentions pricing the book at 2.5 times the single copy printing cost. This is where the number of pages comes into play as it relates to printing costs. Thank you!
  4. This is so helpful as our Earthen Vessel Publishing is trying to determine the price of our new offering. it is 332 pages, over 50 black and white photos, and 36 self-written biographies of people from the Jesus People Movement. We were thinking of $21.95.
  5. Fiona Ingram
    You don't mention juvenile (MG) fiction in paperback. My next MG book is around 350 pages - what price bracket would you suggest?
  6. Smith Publicity
    Thanks for reading, Fiona! For more information about book pricing feel free to contact milesn@dogearpublishing.net. Thanks again.
  7. Smith Publicity
    Thanks for reading, Kent! We are glad you found this post helpful.
  8. A fantastic cup of coffee is the only thing that could make this blog better.
  9. Good article!
  10. You can say that again!
  11. Way to go on making a great site!
  12. Don't blink or you'll miss something.
  13. Try not to laugh!
  14. Have yourself a very good day!
  15. Don't forget the grilled onions!
  16. Way to go Edward. This blog is amazing!
  17. No one can ever say this site is boring!
  18. I haven't checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I'll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)
  19. Would you like some popcorn?
  20. These two are some real messy eaters!
  21. Although web sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they are in fact worth a go by way of, so possess a look.
  22. although websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they may be truly worth a go by, so possess a look
  23. Nothing to read here.
  24. we came across a cool web site that you may well appreciate. Take a appear in case you want
  25. Here are a few of the websites we recommend for our visitors
  26. just beneath, are a lot of completely not associated web sites to ours, on the other hand, they're surely worth going over
  27. Here is an excellent Weblog You may Find Exciting that we Encourage You
  28. Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nevertheless actually really worth taking a appear, whoa did one particular find out about Mid East has got far more problerms too
  29. we came across a cool web page that you simply may well get pleasure from. Take a look if you want
  30. Sites of interest we've a link to
  31. we like to honor several other internet web-sites on the web, even when they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out
  32. one of our guests lately advised the following website
  33. below youll find the link to some sites that we believe you should visit
  34. always a massive fan of linking to bloggers that I appreciate but really don't get lots of link enjoy from
  35. we like to honor quite a few other internet internet sites on the net, even if they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages worth checking out
  36. that may be the finish of this post. Here youll come across some internet sites that we assume you will enjoy, just click the links over
  37. the time to study or check out the subject material or web-sites we have linked to beneath the
  38. we prefer to honor numerous other net internet sites around the web, even when they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages worth checking out
  39. the time to read or pay a visit to the subject material or web-sites we've linked to below the
  40. although internet sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they may be really really worth a go by means of, so possess a look
  41. we like to honor many other net web pages around the web, even though they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages really worth checking out
  42. we came across a cool web-site that you simply may get pleasure from. Take a appear if you want
  43. here are some links to web pages that we link to mainly because we believe they're worth visiting
  44. very handful of web sites that take place to become comprehensive below, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out
  45. Sites of interest we have a link to
  46. Sites of interest we've a link to
  47. Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nonetheless seriously really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single understand about Mid East has got additional problerms at the same time
  48. although web sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we feel they're basically worth a go as a result of, so have a look
  49. The info talked about within the article are several of the most effective readily available
  50. Sites of interest we have a link to
  51. very couple of sites that come about to be comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out
  52. although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they're actually worth a go as a result of, so possess a look
  53. Every after in a while we pick out blogs that we study. Listed below are the newest internet sites that we select
  54. Every the moment in a even though we decide on blogs that we read. Listed below are the most current web pages that we choose
  55. DFS
    one of our guests lately suggested the following website
  56. We came across a cool web site that you just might enjoy. Take a appear when you want.
  57. amd
    that would be the end of this write-up. Here youll uncover some web pages that we assume you will appreciate, just click the links over
  58. we prefer to honor lots of other world wide web internet sites around the net, even though they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages worth checking out
  59. that would be the finish of this article. Right here you will obtain some web pages that we feel youll enjoy, just click the links over
  60. one of our visitors lately advised the following website
  61. Here is an excellent Blog You might Uncover Interesting that we Encourage You
  62. the time to study or go to the subject material or sites we've linked to beneath the
  63. we prefer to honor quite a few other world wide web websites on the net, even though they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out
  64. just beneath, are quite a few absolutely not related web sites to ours, having said that, they're certainly really worth going over
  65. we came across a cool website that you simply may take pleasure in. Take a appear for those who want
  66. the time to study or visit the subject material or sites we've linked to below the
  67. that will be the end of this article. Here you will find some sites that we feel youll appreciate, just click the hyperlinks over
  68. Here are a number of the sites we advise for our visitors
  69. Just beneath, are a lot of completely not related web pages to ours, even so, they may be certainly worth going over.
  70. Here is a good Blog You may Find Interesting that we Encourage You
  71. The data talked about within the article are a number of the most effective readily available.
  72. I can't believe how great this site is. You keep up the good work. That's my advice pal.
  73. Just fabulous. Who wrote this and how can we get more?
  74. You sure did a lot of research for this wonderfully written article.
  75. She may take her panties off at any time!
  76. Have a good laugh at this site.
  77. Sites of interest we have a link to
  78. below youll find the link to some web pages that we think it is best to visit
  79. Sites of interest we have a link to

Leave a comment