Home > Publishing a Book > The Price Is Right, or is it? Setting a Book’s Retail Price.

It is interesting how certain topics and issues can become common themes among authors. One item that we hear a lot is how to determine a book’s retail price.

The following are some of the factors that we consider when advising authors on setting their book retail price. First, what type of genre does your book fall into - nonfiction, fiction, children’s, juvenile, self-help or something else. Some genres allow for higher retail prices or have less competition. For example, religious themed books are in high demand; as a result, retail prices for these books tend to be higher than a traditional fiction.

Secondly, the cost to print your book will affect your retail price. Are your books being printed traditionally or digitally? Digital printing tends to increase the unit cost of your book compared to traditional printing. However, digital printing allows you to print as few as one book at a time. At Dog Ear Publishing we offer both digital and traditional printing.

Another factor in determining a retail price is the bookstore - both traditional and virtual. Bookstores are in business to make money off the sale of books, so don’t forget they will expect to buy your books at some discount from the retail price. Typically, a traditional bookstore takes somewhere between a 30% - 50% discount off the retail price. Online bookstores can take up to a 55% discount. Some bookstores allow you to negotiate their discounts while others are firm in their demands.

Dog Ear Publishing allows you to set your wholesale discount and book retail price at any level you like - see this article for details.

The major ISBN registration agency, Bowker, recently collected Retail Price statistics on all of the books published in and reported their findings.

Average Suggested Book Retail Prices Last Year and how they compare to previous year:

$27.52 for adult hardcover (down $.10)
$25.08 for adult fiction hardcover (unchanged)
$28.49 for adult nonfiction hardcover (down $.29)
$15.76 for adult trade paperbacks (up $.11)
$14.78 for adult fiction trade paperbacks (up $.07)
$16.16 for adult nonfiction trade paperbacks (up $.15)
$7.35 for adult mass-market paperback (up .07)
$16.09 for juvenile hardcover (up $.26)

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May you have success in your creative efforts!