Power Book Publicity Tips April 2014

Determining the Retail Price for a Printed Book

By: Miles Nelson, Dog Ear Publishing

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


Self-Publishing Industry Blogs: Keeping Authors in the Loop

The self-publishing industry is in a seemingly constant state of change. Staying on top of trends and changes can be challenging. Reading popular publishing and writing related blogs helps authors stay informed.

The following ten blogs offer self-publishing news, industry trends, tips and advice:

Make sure to regularly check these blogs because most are updated frequently (at least once a week).


Display Your Book at Book Expo America 2014

Showcase your book at BookExpo America (BEA) 2014–held in the Javits Center in NYC, May 29 to 31. At BEA you will have the chance to have your book showcased in front of more than 20,000 “verified” book industry professionals for four days—from agents, book buyers to librarians and reviewers.

BookExpo America – New Title Showcase

The New Title Showcase remains a very accessible and valuable way to have your book prominently displayed through Combined Book Exhibit. The $250 price includes display of one book and a listing in Combined Book Exhibit’s exclusive catalog. It’s a cost-effective way to get your book in front of the publishing industry!

For more information about having your book displayed through Smith Publicity’s partnership with Combined Book Exhibit at a reduced rate, visit our frequently asked questions page.

To register, send an email to cbe@smithpublicity.com or call (856) 489-8654 x306.

Be sure to check out more information about BookExpo America.

Registration deadline: April 28, 2014.


Smith Publicity at Two Book Industry Events this spring

Authors and publishers are welcome to visit Smith Publicity at two events this spring: The 43rd Annual American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) Writers Conference and BookExpo America (BEA) 2014.

The ASJA Writers Conference will be held in the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC, April 24 to 26. Smith Publicity is an official sponsor of ASJA and will be offering free consultations to authors throughout the conference.

BEA will be held in the Javits Center in NYC, May 29 to 31. It’s our 12th year exhibiting and we are excited to see old friends and meet new people!

If you would like to make an appointment to meet with us discuss your work, please email Corinne Liccketto at Corinne@SmithPublicity.com.

Be sure to check out more information about attending the ASJA Writers Conference and BookExpo America.