Self-Publishing? What’s Your Pricing Plan?

by Jami Gold on December 3, 2015

in Writing Stuff

Stick figure at a chalkboard with text: What's Your Pricing Plan?

It’s time once again for my monthly guest post over at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. We’ve been walking through the process of making choices for what path we want for our indie publishing career.

My series about Indie Publishing Paths at Fiction University has been highlighting some of the choices we have to make and giving us a few guidelines for figuring out how to make the best decisions for us.

We started off talking about knowing our goals. There’s no end to the conflicting advice out there about self-publishing, and to add confusion, the “rules” from retailers and others change frequently. So we need to have an understanding of why we’re choosing certain paths so that we can adapt as the industry changes.

Once we know our priorities, we might make different choices about distribution, release schedules, or pricing. I’ve been focusing on each of those areas in the next segment of the series, calling them the where, when, and how much of our decision process.

Janice Hardy's Fiction University banner

For two months, we looked at the four options for the distribution—the where—of our books, such as whether we’re using a distributor or going direct with retailers. After that, we dug deeper into our three choices for the when of our plan—our release schedule.

This month, we’re covering the first aspect of analyzing the how much of our plan—our pricing strategy.

There’s no end to the advice about pricing high, pricing low (even giving our work away for free), or aiming for the middle. Until we know what we want to accomplish, we won’t know what advice to listen to or ignore.

In this guest post, I cover the reasons we might want to choose one pricing strategy over another. We can…:

  • price high,
  • price in the middle, or
  • price low.

And believe it or not, there are no right or wrong answers. We can make a valid case for any of those options. But maybe by seeing what each pricing strategy might be able to accomplish—and how those relate to our priorities—we’ll know the right choice for us and our situation.

I hope you’ll join me at Fiction University for this month’s post!

Have you seen conflicting advice about how much to charge for our work? Have you seen the advice-givers neglect to give disclaimers for why their advice might not work for you? Have you thought about what would make the most sense for your situation? And most importantly, have you thought about why that makes the most sense for you (so you can adjust if your priorities or situation changes)?

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2 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Kristen Steele January 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm

When it comes to pricing, you have to price competitively. There is just way too much competition within the industry for you to go too high above what all the other authors are charging for their work.

Reply

Jami Gold January 13, 2016 at 8:09 am

Hi Kristen,

Competition is certainly a factor, especially when we’re first starting out. And even after that point, we might be on a number of readers’ auto-buy lists, but is it enough to succeed (however we define that)? Thanks for the comment!

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