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Bob Leone

What price range?

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I've read a lot of vanity and other book publishers given outlandish prices to publish and promote your book.

What price range would you think is fair for:

1. Self-published book


2. Vanity published book.


3. For Promotion.

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Even if you self publish it will cost something. How much would be reasonable to spend?

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I don't think it makes a difference who publishes, prices should be in line with demand.


Big publishers charge more because they typically push best sellers and big authors. I routinely see their eBooks at $9.99 and up. I just looked on Amazon and saw the latest Brad Taylor thriller priced at $14.99! That's a crazy price for an eBook, but it's a best seller - so they can do it.


Most eBooks are priced $2.99 - $4.99.  I think it depends on length. My longer books (fiction over 65,000 words) are priced at $3.99. If any take off in popularity, I'll probably raise to $4.99. If it goes super-hot (as in beyond my wildest dreams), it'll go to $5.99. Probably not higher. I'd feel like I was taking too much advantage of the situation.


My sales prices never go below 99 cents. I just ran one this week on a $3.99 title, setting it at $1.99.


I never give away free copies in bulk. At one time it may have been a good idea, but these days it's ineffective. The only thing you'll likely accomplish is to give a bunch of books away for free, with no measurable benefit. I've heard it reported several times that readers often load free books and then never read them. However, they tend to read books they pay for because they feel an obligation to get something out of what they paid.


Print books have a very different price structure. Much of it is driven by production & channel costs. POD's like KDP Print won't allow you to price under cost, and anything above cost is up to you. Cost depends largely on page count and book size. I typically price my print books so I make a couple of bucks off the lowest royalty scenario. That keeps the cost lower compared to other books, and like I already stated above, I'll consider raising prices if a books experiences a spike in popularity.


Hope this helped.



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Oops, I just re-read the OP and you're looking for prices to publish, not pricing books. Sorry. I'll keep my post above in place in case anyone is interested.


Vanity publishing costs: I would never consider going with a vanity press. Ever. You simply pay far too much for way too little. 


Self-published costs: Actual publishing prices are usually free. Ebooks are always free to publish. POD (Print On Demand) prices can vary. For instance, KDP Print costs nothing (except any copies you order for yourself - usually at cost), and IngramSpark will charge a small fee every time you make a change to your manuscript file.


The real self-publishing costs are dependent on services you want to pay for. Editing can get pricey, unless you know someone. Book covers can cost up to several hundred dollars, or very little if you're good with a graphic art package (like GIMP).  


As far as marketing goes, most publishers are pushing a lot of that back onto authors. So if you're self or traditionally published, chances are that you're going to pay for any kind of promotion. Total costs really depends on your marketing plan. There have been entire books (way too many) written about marketing strategies. It's an extremely complex subject that can't be easily summed up in a post like this. And I'm far from being an expert on that subject.  


There are other costs that can come regardless of how you publish. For example, writing courses, special writing software tools, seminars, etc.



Edited by Accord64
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As it stands now, if I go that route, here are the prices I won't go above. (And would much prefer cheaper, but will always expect to get excellent.) Also, please remember, mine is an MG, so is under 50K, and requires - minimum - illustrations at the beginning of every chapter, along with cover.

-- Thorough editing. (line and copy.) - $3000.

-- Illustrations -- $100 per, or negotiate a percentage of sales. (More for cover.)

-- layout/publishing - I suspect this depend how many printed, if printed, and who is paying for which aspect. I haven't really checked into this, but it's not going to happen if it's more than $3000.

-- Promotions. I was quoted $100 a month for web designer and $50 to maintain website per month. (Friend, so I know that's a very good deal. Might have to up that price, because it doesn't feel fair to her.) 


The rest of promotion is through me. I have marketing background, so know how to do it. The one thing I will want is enough ARCs for all grade school teachers in Philadelphia, (and a free copy for any classroom with its own library in it.)


Not sure that helps, but it's what I'm thinking.

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