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Book Pricing Strategies: How to Determine Your Book Price

October 18, 2023 (Last Updated November 01, 2023)

Marcy G.

There are so many decisions that go into the self-publishing process, from book materials to marketing, to where you plan to sell. One thing you will need to determine as a self-published author is what the price of your book is going to be. Setting the right price for your self-published book is a crucial decision that can impact its success.

Here's a guide to help you determine the price of your self-published book:


Know Your Costs:

Calculate the cost of producing your book, including editing, cover design, formatting, and any other expenses. This is your break-even point.


Price According to Format:

Ebooks are typically priced lower than print books due to lower production costs. Consider offering different price points for different formats. An eBook will be priced lower than a paperback book and a paperback book will be priced lower than a hardcover book. Ebooks are usually less than $5.99. A lower number for new authors will encourage more sales and therefore more reviews.


Research the Market:

Study similar books in your genre to see what they are priced at. Look at both traditionally published and self-published books. Pay attention to books with a similar page count, genre, and target audience. Look up the industry standard for each format.

For example, a paperback fiction book typically sells for $13.95 to $17.95. With inflation on the rise, the market is seeing paperback books being priced at $19.99 as well on the high-end. Popular, mass-market books typically stay close to a $9.99 price point.

Since hardcover books cost more to produce, the price point is naturally higher, sitting around $27.99. It’s not uncommon to price your hardcover book to where you break even. If you are printing special editions with cover upgrades, pricing can be increased. At 48 Hour Books, we have seen many authors with established, niche, followings print special edition hardcover books, knowing their loyal readers will pay extra for a fancy cover and bonus material. 

Is there a difference in price between online platforms and brick & mortars? Cover all your bases before landing on a price. Most book prices end in $0.99 because people like to feel like they are saving money by not reaching the next dollar. Research (and a quick trip to any store) has shown that about 60% of advertised prices for anything end in 9, and 30% end in 5.


Consider Your Goals:

Determine your goals for the book. Are you looking to make a profit, or is your primary aim to get your work in the hands of readers? Consider your long-term strategy. If you're a new author, pricing lower to attract readers might be more important than maximizing immediate profits.


Understand Price Elasticity:

Experiment with different price points to see how demand for your book responds. If you can sell significantly more copies at a slightly lower price, it might be a better strategy.


Know Your Target Audience:

Consider what your ideal readers are willing to pay for a book in your genre and niche. If your book offers unique or specialized content, you may be able to price it higher.


Test and Adjust:

Don't be afraid to experiment with pricing. You can start with a lower price and gradually increase it if demand is strong. It’s important to monitor sales and adjust your pricing strategy accordingly.


Factor in Distribution Costs:

If you're selling your book through platforms like Amazon, make sure you check what their royalties are and what your take-home pay per book will be. These platforms take a percentage of your book's price with each purchase.


Get Feedback:

Seek feedback from beta readers or a trusted group of readers to gauge their willingness to pay at different price points.


Keep an Eye on Competitors:

As the market changes and new books are published, revisit your pricing strategy to stay competitive.


Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to book pricing. The right price for your self-published book depends on your goals, your target audience, and the unique factors of your book. Be prepared to adjust your pricing strategy based on real-world feedback and data.

At 48 Hour Books, our price calculator will show you what your effective per book cost will be so you can strategize around that number. We can also help you obtain an ISBN and barcode. You will also need a separate ISBN and barcode for all book formats you plan to print – in stores and online.

If you have more questions about the self-publishing process and how to price your book, we recommend ordering our free Ultimate Guide sample book. It contains information about self-publishing, how to make it work for you, and contains paper and cover samples so you can see our printing quality up close. We’ve had several authors let us know how helpful they found the guide to be!

No matter where you are on your self-publishing journey, we’re ready to be the partner you need. Contact us today to get started.

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Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.


Annie July 14, 2024

Hi Marcy, I'm about to launch my non fiction book, it's about Highly Sensitive People, a self-help book in the form of a memoir. I'm trying to determine the price. I'm looking for comparable but none are as long as mine. My book is 6X9, 480 pages. With costs, the minimum I can price it at is $24.99. But I was wondering if I could bump it up a little to increase returns. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. I have to make the decision very shortly. Thanks.

48 Hr Books July 15, 2024

Hello! If you have used our price calculator to determine your per book cost, we recommend simply entering different quantities to see where the best price breaks occur to lower the per book price and increase your profit. We also recommend researching other books in your genre with similar page counts. If your page count exceeds most self-help books, it is reasonable to bump up the cost per book.

George Bianchi November 22, 2023

How does e book work?

48 Hr Books November 27, 2023

Hello! You can find information on how to place an order for an eBook with 48 Hour Books here: https://www.48hrbooks.com/book-printing/ebooks

George Bianchi November 22, 2023

Do you print family trees? Do you 3 hole punch? Do you ship copy without binding?

48 Hr Books November 27, 2023

Hello! Yes, we print family history books. We do not print just pages, so the book would be bound. We offer spiral coil binding if you are looking for a book that lays flat! You can find more information on printing a genealogy book here: https://www.48hrbooks.com/genre/genealogy-printing

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