A little while ago I shared with you my thoughts on pricing for both the POD paperback and e-book editions of “Fatal Forgery”. Now that the proof copy is on order, I have to come to a final decision on this, and so yesterday evening I started playing around with the pricing options for the POD paperback.
As the book is, as the name suggests, printed on demand, there are costs involved. I select a cover price, and the buyer pays that. From that payment, the sale channel takes a nibble (or a walloping great bite) – and I get what is left. So if I sell a black-and-white paperback book through Amazon.co.uk, they take their 40% of the list price as their fee for listing and selling it. To cover the printing of the book, they then take 70p per book as a fixed charge, plus 1p per page. So if I list my POD paperback at £5.99 as planned, Amazon.co.uk takes 40% of that (£2.40) plus 70p plus £2.82 (the book is 282 pages long) – which is a total of £5.92. So if I sell the book at £5.99, I get 7p per copy. *shocked face*
Given that some of this Amazon share is fixed (per book plus per page elements), it seems that I need to increase my cover price to give myself any reasonable royalty. If I run the numbers again with a cover price of £7.99, I can increase my own share to £1.27 per copy, which is a bit more palatable.
So how does this compare to “proper” (i.e. traditional) publishing? Well, a typical royalty rate for the author of a paperback book published through a mainstream publishing house is 7.5%. So for a cover price of £5.99 that’s 45p, and for a cover price of £7.99 it’s 60p. In short, I’d be mad to price at £5.99 – but will people pay more? I’ve gone to the bookshop this morning and looked at similar books of similar length in similar departments, and £8.99 is the standard price. So maybe £7.99 for mine will work. The thought of getting only 7p for a whole book is just too, too depressing – that outfit alone on the cover is worth more!