I’m about to self-publish a book. How do I determine its retail price?

Most authors struggle to determine the best price for their book.

They want to know whether there’s some secret formula.

The truth is, there is no formula.

Instead, ask yourself, what do you want the book to do for you? 

It’s the one question lots of would-be authors don’t even think about!

They’re too engrossed in what the book will be about, how they’re going to market it, and what price their book will be.

Answer this one fundamental question, and you’ll find that many of your other questions are answered automatically. 


The reason why I wrote my book…

Let me use myself as an example.

I’m a former ghostwriter, and I’ve written seven business books. 

I have NDAs in place, which means I can’t tell anyone who I’ve written for. 

I can’t say, go over to Amazon and look at this amazing book that I wrote for an international bestseller, this coach, or that consultant. 

So how would anyone believe that I’m capable of helping them write a professional-grade book? 

That’s why I wrote my book.

I wanted my book:

  1. to give me authority 
  2. to make people realize that this isn’t somebody who only talks the talk but also walks the walk
  3. to realize I actually know how to write and produce a professional-grade book

My book raised my visibility as a book coach and let the world know that I’m here to help anybody who wants to write a nonfiction, self-help, how-to, guide-style business book.

My book was my calling card!


Using your book as a calling card

Because of those reasons, it made sense for me to price my book keenly. I want as many people as possible to hear my message, read about me, and become interested in writing a book with me.

It didn’t make sense for me to price my Kindle or my paperback high.

I wanted them to be easy and accessible for anybody. My Kindle is usually around 1.99 to 2.99 dollars or pounds.

For five days, every three months, you can even download my book for free on Kindle.

I’ve chosen that strategy to get the word out about me as a book coach. 

Because I asked myself, “what do you want your book to do for you?”

I have a client who gives his printed books out for free.

His clients are worth at least £10,000 a year or more. So he doesn’t mind that he’s spending £500 or £600 a month printing books and sending them out to HR departments and finance directors. He knows what he wants his book to do for him.

He’s not interested in becoming a best seller on Amazon. 

He’s interested in using his book as a very clever business card. All he needs is one of those people to respond to him and become a client, and he makes a tonne of money!

Whereas his competitors send out brochures and leaflets, which most managers just disregard and do not open, his books go straight to decision-makers, like HR managers, finance directors, CEOs, and CFOs.


Because no one’s going to throw away a book, everyone just thinks, “Oh my God, I can’t throw away a book. I have to give it to the decision-maker.”

I have Another client, who is in the States, who has the opposite strategy. 

She charges a premium for her books. For Kindle, she charges around £5, and her paperback is around £10. 

She’s a top-flight coach, and she charges a lot of money per hour for coaching. She’s found that people who pay a premium for her book turn into better clients. 

So she would rather have fewer, high-quality people read her book than many people who are not her target market. 

She’s interested in getting people who are willing to pay a lot of money for her services. 

Again, she went with that pricing strategy because she knew what she wanted the book to do for her.


The magic formula!

There is no secret magic formula to pricing your book. When anybody tells you that, they don’t really know what they’re talking about.

The honest answer lies in understanding your business and what you want your book to do for you. 

When you answer that question, you can work your way backward and find the best price for your Kindle or paperback. 

It’s the same way you price your products and services in your business. You looked at your business. If it’s a product, how much does it cost to manufacture? If it’s a service, you think about how many hours it takes you to make it.

You look at all of these factors and come to the ideal price for your product or service. It’s the same with your book.

You have to look at it as a tool that will market your business effectively, and you need to work out how it will do that effectively. 

Other people have created fantastic six and, in some cases, seven-figure businesses using their book as a clever sales and marketing tool. 

In other words, to determine the perfect retail price for your book, first, determine what you want your book to do for you. Everything else will then fall into place.


Next Step

If you’re interested in writing a business book that will generate leads and sales for your business, get a copy of The Freedom Master Plan that will explain everything you need to know about writing and marketing business books.

You can also download a sample chapter here