One of the more intimidating aspects of being a self-published author is having to tackle the actual business side of publishing.

After all, a writer is the talent, the artisté! Business is not necessarily a strong suit.

When using a traditional publisher, financial specialists work these details out in-house, leaving you to focus on last-minute editing and building a social media presence.

But when self-publishing, all of the complex financial decisions are the author’s responsibility.

Deciding how to price your self-published book is critical to the profitability of the endeavor.

After all, you didn’t write your book as an exercise in charity—you want to make some money in return for all that hard work.

But when faced with all those numbers and percentages, suddenly knowing how to price a book becomes perplexing.

Instead of cowering in a corner when faced with this important step in the self-publishing process, why not get familiar with the various factors that will influence the price you ultimately assign to your book?

Here’s How to Price Your Self-Published Book

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all formula that determines the retail price for a book. Instead, several factors come into play when deciding how to price a book.

It is important to the vitality of the bottom line to consider all of these factors when arriving at the retail price you set for your self-published book. The factors include:

Production costs

These costs include one-time expenses incurred in the writing process, such as proofreading and editing services, book formatting, book cover design, purchasing an ISBN code, and registering a copyright.

Printing costs

The length of the book, the paper selection, the size of the book, ink color, and whether it is case bound (hardcover) or perfect bound (paperback) will all factor into the printing costs for a print version of the book.


When pricing your book, it is important to notice how other authors in your genre have priced their books. Charging too little may cheapen your book, making it appear inferior. However, charging too much will cause potential customers to pass you by.


The platform that you use to sell your book will have a set policy for how much they will pay out in royalties. Keep in mind royalties are the monies that you collect on each book sale. Amazon’s KDP motivates e-book authors to set their prices between $2.99-$9.99, for which they will pay a 70% royalty. Any book priced over or under that will earn only 35%.

Curious How Much Your Self-Published Book Should Sell For?

The various print-on-demand platforms will provide a book pricing guide that allows the author to input various information. Authors input the prospective retail price and book details, and the printing costs and royalty are then displayed.

At Gatekeeper Press, we provide a handy royalty calculator that can assist you in arriving at the best retail price. Play with some different prices and learn what the estimated Amazon royalties and non-Amazon royalties will be.

For more guidance about pricing your self-published book, consider teaming up with the team at Gatekeeper Press.