Friday, June 22, 2012

42


HOW MUCH DO I CHARGE FOR MY NOVEL?



$0.99?

$99.99? 

$999.99? 

$999,999.99?

So here I was with this dilemma.


A couple of weeks ago, I launched my novel ‘Deconstructing INFATUATION’ in paperback, and as a self-published author—do-it-all-by-yourself, doncha know?—, I had not a publishing house making all the decisions, like a commander-in-chief.

So, after the long walk alone, I was touched by having a sample of my book in my hands. I stroked it, smelled it, and embraced it. No, I did not kiss it but almost. Above all, I looked backward, thinking that I was proud of myself. And although once I thought it was difficult, if not impossible, to achieve it, it had already came true. As Paulo Coelho says, ‘When you want something, Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ It felt satisfying, but the process had not arrived to the end.

It was time to get some distance from my precious work, suit up, and label a price on it. In order to price my novel, I took into consideration the following hints:


1)  The law of supply and demand dictates the price of items. So one should do some market research—target audience, genre books, your book design, and print specs such as trim size, page count, paper weight, and so on. For instance, if a paperback novel goes between $6.99-19.99, it means that the market cannot bear higher prices[1] for this good.

2)   Partially excludable and rivalrous goods.
Although a novel is rival—in economics, it means that the consumption of the novel prevents simultaneous consumptions by other consumers—, it is partially excludable: we cannot avoid someone copying it, despite copyright laws. In addition, one should take into consideration that the production of a novel requires a high initial cost, much higher than marginal cost of producing additional units.   

3)   Between the tyranny of the low price and the vanity of the high price.
I sell my books through Amazon, which means I set my retail prices, the same price for everybody. However, if I were selling them on a market stall, be sure I would go on giving different prices to whoever came by.
You, $50; you perhaps $10; and you, for you, it’s absolutely free.


[1] Fortunately for the inheritants, once the author dies it can.


Copyright © 2012 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.
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