Self Publishing a Book – Setting your retail price, discount, and royalty

And that brings us to another major benefit of publishing with Outskirts Press. Authors get to set their own retail price,  author copy discount, and profit.  Our online calculator makes it easy,  and the first thing you’ll see is that we also provide you with an initial pricing recommendation:

In my case, for Fandemonium Volume 2, where I’ve already set a Price Plan of 25 and estimated my page count to be 140 pages at 6 x 9, Outskirts Press recommends a retail price of $9.95 (compare that with other online publishing firms, where they’ll recommend–or force!– retail prices in the $17-$20 range).

This screen allows you to increase or decrease the recommended price we suggest for your book. To increase your pricing, hit the “PLUS” button. To decrease your pricing, hit the “MINUS” button. No other publisher grants you this dynamic level of pricing flexibility for your book, so enjoy it. It’s one of the major benefits to publishing with Outskirts Press.

We know that we are matching the pricing of Fandemonium Volume 1, which had a retail price of $16.95. So we hit the “PLUS INCREASE” button 7 times, and with each increase, the numbers on the calculator change until we’re left with this:

You will notice that as your retail price increases, so does your royalty and your author discount (your price off retail). If you were to decrease your pricing from our recommended price (also an option), you would notice that as your retail price decreases, so does your royalty and your author discount. You can set your pricing to whatever you want, as long as your retail price is above the wholesale price. The calculator will prevent you from setting a retail price that is below your wholesale price. In that case, the pricing becomes “grayed” out.

You will also notice pricing displayed for the other packages we offer. This allows you to compare your pricing with what you would get with a different package. Ruby books earn more than Sapphire books and they cost less for you to buy. Diamond books earn more than Ruby books and they cost less for you to buy. So if there was ever a question about the long term financial advantages of the Diamond package, this answers them clearly in black/white.

Our Fandemonium Volume 2 package is the Diamond, so now we know that with our retail price of $16.95, we are making approximately $7.51 every time it sells everywhere (from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble, through Ingram, etc.  —  compare that with our competitors where they offer a good price from their own site, but not very good pricing elsewhere.)  I say approximately $7.51 because this number is only as accurate as the 140 page count estimate I entered, but it should be fairly close upon publication.

At $16.95, the calculator also tells us that I get a 69% discount on my author copy prices for Fandemonium.   Most other publishers offer author discounts between 10% – 50%.

Once you are happy with your pricing, click the “Select” button.

If you have multiple formats (a paperback and hardback for instance) you will perform this exercise twice, once for each format.

And then we move on to the production approval stage…