How to Determine The Price For Your Business/Service:
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How To Price Your Book Publishing
One of the most challenging aspects to starting a publishing business is determining how much to charge for your book publishing.
When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.
Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.
On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.
When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.
Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:
Understand your customer
It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:
- Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
- Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
- Level of price sensitivity with your customer
All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.
Understand your costs
When pricing your book publishing, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your book publishing so you can factor in a profit.
The actual cost of your book publishing may include things like:
- The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
- Shipping + overhead fees
- Operating costs to run your business
You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.
Create revenue goals
When determining the price of your book publishing, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your publishing business to make.
This process is simpler than you may think:
- Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
- Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
- Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
- Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell
This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.
Evaluate your competition
The last piece in determining how to price your book publishing is by simply looking at your competition.
The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your book publishing fits best in the marketplace.
All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your book publishing, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.
More Tips On Pricing Your Book Publishing
Lauren Costanza, founder of Bluminary provides us with a detailed spreadsheet of all of her costs associated with running her business:
I knew this would be a self-funded adventure, and I set aside $3,000. During the first three months, I had a detailed spreadsheet where I tracked where the money was going and what was going toward products versus researching and developing new products.
The spreadsheets involved columns and rows of numbers to craft a budget and gain an understanding of how much would need to be invested at each stage of the process - from gathering supplies to building a website, and shipping materials.
Thanks for reading. We wish you success in your business endeavors.
Examples of a successful publishing business
Advantage Media ($18M/year)
Adam Witty from Charleston, South Carolina, USA started Advantage Media about 16 years ago, a publishing business.
- Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
- Founders: 1
- Employees: 81
- Location: Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Adam Witty is the Founder & CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks and has built the company into one of the largest business book publishers in America, serving over 1,500 Authors in all 50 U.S. states and 63 countries.
Advantage was on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s most rapidly growing private companies seven out of the past eight years. In addition to his work with Advantage|ForbesBooks, Witty is a sought-after speaker, teacher, and consultant on marketing and business growth techniques for entrepreneurs and authors. He's shared the stage with Steve Forbes, Gene Simmons of KISS, and Alan Mulally. He's been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, and more. He was named to Young Presidents’ Organization 40 Under 40, 50 Most Progressive, and named to the 2011 Inc. magazine 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest entrepreneurs.”
Scribe Media ($15.6M/year)
Tucker Max from Austin, Texas, USA started Scribe Media almost 7 years ago, a publishing business.
- Revenue: $1,300,000/ month
- Founders: 2
- Employees: 51
- Location: Austin, Texas, USA
My name is Tucker Max, and I'm a 4x New York Times Bestselling Author and the Co-Founder of Scribe Media.
At Scribe, our mission is to help everyone on Earth write, publish, market, (and own) their book. Since we first began as a start-up in 2014, we’ve worked with over 1,500 authors, including high-profile CEOs, famous entrepreneurs, professional athletes, and many other people with incredible personal stories (like David Goggins and Tiffany Haddish).
We have two primary services, one called Scribe Professional, costs $36k and is an interview-based book publishing service. The other is called Guided Author, where you write the book yourself, but with our guidance and structure, and then we do the editing and publishing.
Ricardo Fayet from London started Reedsy about 7 years ago, a publishing business.
- Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
- Founders: 4
- Employees: 17
- Location: London
Hello! I’m Ricardo Fayet, one of the four founders and the Chief Marketing Officer of Reedsy. First and foremost, Reedsy is a marketplace connecting authors (or anyone looking to publish a book) with all the people they’ll need to prepare, publish, and market that book successfully — think editors, proofreaders, cover designers, illustrators, ghostwriters, book marketers, and even literary translators.
Since starting in 2014, the marketplace has become home to over 1,500 vetted freelance professionals and close to a million authors, driving 1,000+ projects every month with a GMV of over $1m.
Nourishing Brands ($7.2M/year)
Jeremy Hendon from started Nourishing Brands ago, a publishing business.
- Revenue: $600,000/ month
- Founders: 2
- Employees: 10
Hi - I’m Jeremy Hendon, one of the co-founders of Nourishing Brands (a direct-to-consumer media company that operates popular sites like KetoSummit.com). My wife and I started the company just over 5 years ago to help people make the transition to eating a healthy diet easier and way more delicious.
Today, our main products are cookbooks (both digital and physical) and challenges and courses centered around various diets. To provide a bit of context, we sold over 300,000 cookbooks in 2020 alone. But our first really successful product in late 2016 was the Keto Summit, a digital summit with over 30 Keto experts.
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