Pricing–it’s not just complicated, it’s Machiavellian!


The end of the almost ten straight days of rain saw the sky a brilliant blue and snow touching the mountaintops like frosting. Of course sunshine streaming through the windows told me one thing – get out the dust cloth and the vacuum and get busy. But first, off for a walk with the octogenarian dog.

Got back to the cabin psyched for the cleaning. I decided to check my email first. Note to self – never let anything divert you from cleaning once you have finally set your mind on doing it. Anyway – my email contained a new message from my author account manager at Friesen Press. It is now time to set prices for the e-book, the paperback, and the hardcover editions of Disappearing in Plain Sight.

I was warned this stage of the publishing process could be complicated and that is not an understatement. There are many things to consider. Friesen Press does supply a handy little calculator that allows me to see royalties going down as I drop unit price. And it’s more than just what I think the market can bear in terms of my book. Working with Friesen Press, I have two distribution channels to consider – them and everyone else. They offer me a higher percentage of royalty return per book sold, which means I can set the Friesen Press price lower – making them a more competitive choice in the online marketplace of book sales.

But even that is complicated because the other distribution channels are going to immediately discount the price I set for the book by 20 to 30% – so I need to make sure the Friesen Press price comes in a bit below that mark. I return to the EEEKKKK of my title.

Forget about the calculations based on when I might recoup the investment I’ve made to produce the book – the number of sales required to accomplish that seems pretty pie in the sky, at least for this moment in time. But an author is nothing if not optimistic. What else would keep us going on our solitary projects for months at a time (or dare I say, years)? I’ll keep you posted on how this all works out.  But for now – I think the above photograph says a lot.