How Decisions Affect Book Price

Stack of books.Length and Size Matter. Everything matters when it comes to book price.

Every decision you make affects the final look and feel of your book, the cost, the price you can set, and how the book is received in your target genre. Everything.

Issues experienced by two of my clients in the past have reinforced the importance of understanding the ramifications of decisions that you make about your book. Both affected the base cost of the book, and indirectly, the price that had to be charged for the book.

The primary print-on-demand publisher CSP uses is Amazon KDP which fits most of our clients. However, you’ll find similar issues on IngramSpark, which we have found so far sets a larger base price for a book than Amazon.

A base price is the minimum you can charge for a book on that platform. That means that you can’t charge less than that number. You can charge exactly that number, but then the royalty you get will be nothing. (Please note this doesn’t affect the bulk order price for books the author orders.) To get a rough idea of what a particular size and length book will cost, Amazon provides this information: You can play with sizes and lengths to see how these changes will improve your pricing choices.

Remember the following things affect how long your book is (other than how many words you write, of course).

  • Size of book
  • Margins
  • Spacing between lines
  • Spacing between letters
  • Font size and style
  • Extra info you have in the book (acknowledgements, indexes, pictures, etc.)
  • Black and white vs. color

We suggest you review this Amazon page before you make your final decisions to get your cover made and your book formatted. Both will cost extra if you change your mind.

Type of Book

While Amazon KDP and IngramSpark are great go-to POD sources, they doesn’t do everything. In some cases, going to a printer and getting a print run of 500 books may be the best choice for you. Granted, your cost per book will be a whole lot less, but you have a large outlay of money to recoup.

Certain decisions will force you to IngramSpark versus Amazon. A client once requested a dust jacket on a hard cover volume rather than a paperback. That forced a shift to IngramSpark and a substantially greater cost per book. Board books for children, ( spiral bound, or heavily illustrated textbooks may require specialized formatting techniques, as well as limited options for printing.

Eyes Wide Open

Whatever you decide is right for your book, make sure you do the research necessary before your decisions are locked in stone. Your self-publishing resource, such as Concierge Self-Publishing, may be able to help you uncover the answers.

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