Setting your book prices

Deciding your book prices? Here are two ways to reduce the guesswork.

Ash Davies avatar
Written by Ash Davies
Updated over a week ago

You’re free to choose your book price when you publish with Tablo. Here’s what different price terms mean, and two straightforward ways to choosing your prices.

Pricing basics

List price

When you publish, we ask you to decide the price of your book. This is the list price or publisher price. It is chosen by the publisher (or author, if self-publishing).

The list price is sometimes called the suggested retail price.

Wholesale price

The list price is before any discount. The actual price to bookstores includes a discount, typically 40%. This price is known as the wholesale price (or trade price).

You decide the list price of your book, and we manage sales of your book to bookstores at the wholesale price.

The wholesale price is what you earn before costs. The wholesale price, less the cost to print your book, gives you the royalty amount — what you earn on each sale.

Retail price

The retail price (or recommended retail price or RRP). is what the reader pays. It is displayed by the bookstore.

Bookstores are free to choose their own retail price. Most will set the retail price close to the list price. There are things you can do to help. For example, by setting a list price that is fair and reasonable for your book.

Bookstores have an incentive to follow your list price. Every bookstore is offered the same list price and discount. If one decides to earn more from a sale — to price your book above your list price — they risk losing customers to another bookstore.

Deciding your prices

1. Know your minimum prices

Your minimum price is the price at which your book just covers its costs.

2. Consider the price on similar books

This involves some research. Head to your local bookstore or jump online.

  • Find books similar to yours in three areas — genre, length, and target readers.

  • Note the prices on these books, and consider the range they fall within.

  • Set a price within this range. You will avoid being too expensive for your market, or so low your readers are led to thinking your book is cheap or low quality.

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