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1,407 Views 8 Replies Last post: Dec 18, 2017 4:02 PM by ElizaBennet RSS
Level 0 31 posts since
Jul 2, 2017
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 7, 2017 2:07 PM

Need help pricing my book

My book is a romantic comedy-mystery novel, 6"x9", Large Print (but just 16-point, not 18), 420 pp., black and white.


If I figured right, the actual cost is $5.89. I've heard to multiply that by 3 to arrive at a possible list price = $17.67.



My questions:


-- How likely is it that Amazon will discount the price? Does Amazon almost always do this?


-- Can anyone give a wild guess as to how much the discount might be?


-- How long does it typically take before they discount it?


-- If I don't choose expanded distribution (and therefore Amazon isn't competing with the prices of other sellers), is Amazon less likely to discount the price?



IF I'm pretty sure that Amazon will quickly discount the price by a few bucks, I'd love to set a list price in the $16.99 to $17.99 range.


But if it's very iffy that Amazon will discount the price, and the discount might be very little, and it might take a while for the discount to occur, am I better off designating a lower list price, like say $14.99 (since I'm an unknown writer)?


My primary target audience is the growing number of women who live in retirement communities, though I think the audience could go well beyond that.


Another factor is that most retirement communities have their own libraries, and if my book made its way into those, I guess readers would just borrow copies rather than buy them.


Any thoughts???

Level 3 334 posts since
Feb 11, 2016
Currently Being Moderated
1. Dec 7, 2017 3:51 PM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Need help pricing my book

Amazon has not released their algorithms or business decision process for determining whether any specific book will be discounted.  You should not base your selling strategy on whether Amazon will discount your book, when it might discount your book or how much it might discount your book.


If you want to discount the price yourself, you can easily do so via the CS dashboard, but you will get a lower royalty.

Level 5 4,129 posts since
Oct 27, 2010
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2. Dec 8, 2017 3:14 AM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Need help pricing my book

Until earlier today one of my books was discounted in one version of Amazon by an astounding 63%. Today it is back at list price. Try second-guessing that!


I can only imagine they had overstocked and that the discount has had the desired effect.

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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3. Dec 8, 2017 11:50 AM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Need help pricing my book

As suggested above, we can't predict what Amazon will do relative to the questions you asked, and I agree that whether or not they will discount the book should not be a part of your pricing strategy (i.e., assume they won't -- and whether they do or not, your royalty is the same on an Amazon sale).


Over the years, one factor that definitely seems to affect the discount is what else the customers who buy your book are buying. For example, if the customers who buy your book have bought other large print romantic comedy-mystery novels on Amazon, it appears (in my experience) more likely that Amazon will not only discount the price, but also include it in a promotion (such as Frequently Bought Together) with other books to customers who have those same shopping traits.


Bottom line, Amazon has very sophisticated algorithms for determining to what degree selling price is a buying factor for a given type of customer. Early on, I tried (unsuccessfully) to predict and manage this. My approach now is to establish a list price that gives me a profit I'm happy with, and let Amazon do what they do best with regard to setting the actual selling price and fulfilling orders.

Level 5 3,881 posts since
Feb 1, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
4. Dec 8, 2017 9:56 AM in response to: Maaku
Re: Need help pricing my book

Earlier this week one of my books was reduced in price from $9.99 to $8.62 on Amazon.  The next day it was further reduced to $8.37 and then the next day it was back to $9.99.  Their discount strategy is, to say the least, a mystery to all of us here.



Level 1 135 posts since
Jul 19, 2016
Currently Being Moderated
5. Dec 8, 2017 10:25 AM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Need help pricing my book

Firstly, I've never had any of books discounted. Why? I have no idea. (Maybe they're too crappy!!)


As for me and pricing my books ...
When I went to publish my second book, I wasn't too sure about pricing either.
I went to my local Chapters and looked at books that size, that topic, that quality, all B&W, etc.
I took their selling price and divided it by the number of pages. Did this to 40+ books.
I found the amount worked out to be between 4 cents up to 7.3 cents per page.

Most of my books are priced around 4 cents per page.
The last book I dropped down to 3.3 cents per page to bring it's selling price to $9.99.


Happy writing!
~ Kay

Level 2 137 posts since
Sep 19, 2017
Currently Being Moderated
7. Dec 11, 2017 10:47 AM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Need help pricing my book

There are always exceptions, but the rule is that the cheaper the book (or anything else) the more sales.  A 420-page book?  I would look at cutting down costs.  Any other type style that is just as readable but which takes up less space?  Could you go to lightly bigger pages, such as 6.14 x 9.21?  (Check what sizes are allowed for expanded distribution, if you go that route, though my preference is to go with Ingram Spark for non-Amazon sales.  If you have headers with author/title on top of each page, eliminate them.  Can you add one line to each page, or make the margins (especially the outside ones) slightly narrower?


As to discounts, I've had as much as 20% discount for a book that sold very well at launch.  After sales went down, it was back at full retail.Go to a bookstore an look at what similar books are selling for.  That is what they're worth to the customer.  Your book is worth the same, or maybe less, since you're not a big-name author.


Do you have your book on Kindle?  Each Kindle reader can determine how big the type is on the screen, so in essence evry book can be "large type" if the reader wants it.


Also, consider two paper versions, regular type and large type.  Many people will not need the 16 point you're using, they may not even like it.


AAnd it seems that if you're doing 16 point type, you could definitely use a larger page size thus cutting down on the number of pages.


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