This is admittedly the step that causes the most confusion. That is because we grant our authors so much power and flexibility here. Just about every other publisher simply tells you what your pricing and profit will be. You have very little choice. As a result, the publisher is the one pocketing all the money. With Outskirts Press, you are the one setting all your book’s pricing (sure, we’ll give you recommendations). And you keep 100% of the royalties from the book, which is 100% of the difference between the wholesale price and the production cost of each book. Most other publishers pay their authors 10% – 50% of the profit. Outskirts Press pays 100%.
Customizing your book pricing occurs in two stages. The first stage is selecting your Price Plan, which you do on this screen, which is the next screen you see after completing your order for your custom book publishing options:
There are 3 choices, but in my opinion, the choice comes down to 2 and depends upon your goals: Are you going to actively pursue off-line sales through bookstores, and engage in physical book signings and events? Or, alternatively, are you going to rely on Amazon.com sales and pursue digital book marketing tactics like Virtual Book Tours, etc?
Choose Price Plan 50 if… you plan to pursue offline sales through traditional physical bookstores. In this case, your book will also need the Retail Returns Option, and ideally, copyediting and a custom cover (since retail book stores aren’t going to be interested in a book riddled with errors or with a ho-hum book cover). This path will also require extensive marketing effort and legwork on your part, although our optional Personal Marketing Assistant can be a boon here. In other words, this path takes an investment and a commitment on your part and the competition for attention from physical retailers is fierce.
In fact, if you’re doing all that, you might want to click the “Advanced Users” button and actually set your Price Plan to 55, which is industry standard for offline book sales. Keep in mind that doing all the above still doesn’t guarantee an offline bookstore will stock or carry your book — that’s up to them, not you, and not us.
On the other hand, choose Price Plan 25 if… you are going to forego the risk of getting offline bookstore interest and instead are going to concentrate solely on marketing and selling your book online through online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and/or your own website. Sure you can still sell copies yourself in person, but only e-retailers will be interested in carrying your book. Books under this price plan have a higher profit margin and can have lower retail prices.
Outskirts Press offers a pricing calculator that allows you to compare pricing scenarios in advance of making this decision here: http://outskirtspress.com/pricing
Do you find all of this too confusing? You’re not alone. Almost all authors are confused by these concepts, and that’s okay. I normally recommend that authors simply choose Price Plan 50 if they don’t know what to do here and don’t want to figure it out. Their retail price will be higher and their profit lower, but their sales options will be the greatest. But, the reality is, pursuing offline sales is a dying art, literally. The only major national chain bookstore left in America is Barnes & Noble, and the only thing keeping them afloat is their NOOK. In other words, the publishing world is going online, and so are the readers who are interested in buying books. Marketing a book is less expensive online, and for 99% of the authors out there, represents a more realistic goal.
If you have both a hardback and paperback, you will complete this step twice, once for each format, so pay attention to the “book graphic” in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
So, that said, perhaps it is significant that for Fandemonium Volume 2, I’m choosing Price Plan 25, and more about that is coming up next…