How to Price and Distribute Your Book

Hello Poetteers, 

Is Amazon publishing worth it? Amazon KDP is the most well know book distributor among indie authors. It’s easy and free. The pro is that it’s a site with lots of traffic. It has a rating system to get your book on their own bestselling lists.

Amazon’s sole focus isn’t book distribution. They sell everything. You want to find a company who prioritizes their authors. Places like BookBaby, IngramSpark and Smashwords. It’s important to diversify your marketing.

Your book should still be sold on Amazon and also use other distributors to reach retailers like Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, etc. All your eggs shouldn’t be in one basket. You want to expand your reach. When getting ready to publish and promote your book, one important thing is cost. What are the expenses on your book? What is your income goal?

As a self published poet I’m competing with traditionally published authors. Traditionally published poetry books (paperbacks) are priced at $8 to $16. Ebooks are priced $4 to $8. Is your book priced too low or too high?

Part of the publishing process is picking a price that works for your book. Research is an important part of it. Find books that are in the same genre with a similar length and have similar topics. Take the average price and use that sweet spot. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your book’s price. Change it if it’s not working with you and not comparable to your market.

Analyze the royalty rate and pay time of different book distributors. Pick your choice based on those results. Also, have the royalty rate in mind when pricing your book.

Royalties have to play a part in it. For paperbacks Amazon charges you a printing cost (based on book size, etc) and their royalty rate is 40% to 60%. For ebooks the royalty rate is 30% to 70%. They pay you approximately 60 days following the end of the calendar month.

On Smashwords (ebook distribution site) the royalty rate is 60% to 80%. Smashwords pays monthly, 30–40 days after the conclusion of each month.

The best thing to do is to add signed paperbacks to your book marketing plan. It’s cost effective because readers buy directly from you. (Yes you will have to pay to print bulk but you can make up to 5x more than you spend). It’s the quickest and best way to make up what you spent on making the book.