Hey, friends! Today, we're discussing the often perplexing topic of pricing your beloved children's book. If you've ever found yourself wondering what to charge for your literary masterpiece or just want to ensure you're on the right track, grab a notepad and pen to take notes.
To understand the nuances of pricing your children's book, we'll cover:
1. The most common pricing pitfall that plagues children's book authors
2. The key components that contribute to the final book price
3. The two essential factors to consider when setting your book's price
4. The golden rule to always keep in mind when you're about to determine your book's price
So, without further ado, let's jump right into the number one pricing mistake many children's authors tend to make.
Pricing Mistake #1: Shooting for the Stars... Too Soon
The most common error I've witnessed among new children's authors is pricing their books sky-high. Often, it's an attempt to recoup their initial investment quickly. Listen, I get it. Publishing books, especially a full color illustrated picture book can be pricey. But here's the thing – this approach can actually hinder your sales rather than boost them. Instead of a speedy return on investment, you might find yourself waiting longer than anticipated. If your book is too expensive, not many people will make the purchase. You want to find the sweet spot price that won’t make people think twice about adding it to their cart and actually checking out. Think about how much you’d be willing to pay for a children’s book. Typically, that price is under $10. When pricing children’s books initially, I like to “Start low and go slow.” This means that I’ll start with a lower introductory price to attract sales and get a certain number of reviews, then increase the price incrementally ($0.50-$1.00) until I reach the desired price.
To steer you clear of this pitfall, let's first understand what goes into the sales price of our children's book.
Deciphering the Anatomy of a Book's Price
Now, a quick side note here: pricing calculations can vary slightly among different book formats. For the purposes of this article, I'm focusing solely on paperbacks through Amazon's KDP. Keep this in mind as we proceed.
The list price of your book consists of 3 main components:
1. Printing Costs: These are the expenses associated with physically printing your book. They're fixed costs determined by factors like paper quality, page count, trim size, color choices, and more. KDP automatically calculates these costs when you upload your book.
2. Royalty Rate: This rate depends on your chosen distribution channels. Opting for Amazon-only distribution grants you a 60% royalty rate, while selecting expanded distribution (beyond Amazon) gives you 40%.
3. Author's Royalties: This is the amount you, as the author, pocket after each sale. It's the only component you can tweak to influence your pricing.
Amazon handles all these calculations when you upload your book. You'll set a list price, and Amazon will compute royalties based on your choices.
But, remember, this breakdown applies mainly to paperbacks. Other formats may have slightly different pricing calculations.
So, How Do We Determine the Perfect Price?
Now that we've dissected the pricing puzzle, let's explore two fundamental factors that should guide your pricing decisions:
Factor #1: Competitive Pricing: To ensure your book's price is attractive to potential readers, conduct research on Amazon. Find books similar to yours in terms of target age group, format, and trim size. Pay attention to the author's name, too. As a new or lesser-known author, premium pricing might not work in your favor. Ashanti, Gabrielle Union, and Mariah Carey have name recognition and can afford lower priced books through traditional publishers.
Factor #2: Format Matters: Generally, book formats are priced from lowest to highest as follows: EBOOK >>> PAPERBACK >>> HARDCOVER. However, note that this order may vary if publishers aim to promote a specific format for marketing purposes. Always follow the general format pricing scheme unless you have a strategic reason to deviate.
And here's the golden rule to remember when it comes to setting your book's price:
Flexibility Is Your Friend: Your initial pricing decision isn't set in stone. You can always adjust it. Don't lose sleep over finding the perfect price; view it as a flexible aspect of your journey. If your book takes off, you can consider a slight price increase, but remember it should align with demand, not a hasty desire to recoup costs.
Embrace the adventure of creating and sharing your beautiful children's book. Experiment a little, don't fear tweaking, and adjust as you go along. Your pricing journey is a part of your story, and every step brings you closer to your goals.
I hope you found this article valuable and insightful. If it answered your questions about pricing your children's book, comment below and share with other aspiring authors. Until next time!