Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dean Wesley Smith Talks Pricing, Discounts & Sales

For those of you who don't know Dean Wesley Smith, he's a bestselling author who has written more than ninety popular novels and well over 100 published short stories.  On his website, he offers advice on a number of different subjects.  I'm reposting his post about pricing in his "Think Like A Publisher" series.  You can find the full post here: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=3940 


Think Like a Publisher #8 -- As some of you said in the comments, I sort of left this on a cliffhanger talking about how to get the other 79 book outlets to make at least 100 book outlets for sales. Please go read Think Like a Publisher #7 if you have not, or some of this will make no sense. This sales series is meant to work as one large unit.

Alas, before I can go into how to get the other 79 plus sales outlets, I need to once again talk about pricing.  I have done a number of major posts about this topic, so not going into it again here. Go argue price somewhere else if you have a problem.
Those of you who think you should price your novel for 99 cents on Kindle and that’s it, just stop reading now. You are a discount publisher and I am talking to regular indie publishers.
—Discount publishers, both traditional and indie, are a different entity and make money on vast numbers of sales with very tiny margins to a small number of outlets. Discount publishers have no regular distribution or bookstore sales.
—Regular publishers, both traditional and indie, make their money in regular sales at regular prices to a vast network of stores and outlets. Regular indie publishers are who this chapter is for.
Here is the price structure I suggest for indie publishers and that works in all the math you will be doing.

PRICING

Electronic Fiction:
…$2.99 for 5 story collections or short novels
…$4.99 for ten story collections
… $4.99 for novels.
(Nonfiction and other projects, including enhanced books are different.)
POD Fiction:
…$7.99-$9.99 for 125-200 page short novels or collections in trade paperback. (5.25 x 8 inch or 5.5 x 8.5 inch trim sizes)
(Note: Price would vary by page count costs. Check the calculators on CreateSpace.)
…$10.99- $14.99 for 200-300 page short novels or collections in trade paper. (5.5 x 8.5 inch or 6 x 9 inch trim sizes)
(Note: Price would vary by page count costs. Check the calculators on CreateSpace.)
…$15.99- $16.99 for 300-450 pages trade paper novels. (6 x 9 inch trim)
(Note: Price would vary by page count costs. Check the calculators on CreateSpace. If you can’t get your book under 450 pages with leading and font and margin issues, you might think of writing shorter books. I have no suggestion for you except to take the price to $17.99 or higher and hope. Large fantasy novels can go to that length and handle the doorstop-book price. And nonfiction can go that large and handle higher prices.)
Okay, we set on pricing? Good, because the above pricing structure works for everything I am about to talk about. Again, check the price calculators on CreateSpace with your trim size and page count to set your exact price. Always look to the Pro Plan number and try to keep the price at least in the 8% and up profit range.