Book sales are a great way to boost visibility and increase sales – and they don’t just apply to eBooks! Long before eBooks came around, paperback books were here. And believe it or not, people still read “real” books. There are people who like to hold them. Enjoy the smell and feel of them. Or just like reading without having to worry about the life of a battery.
We believe that paperback books should be part of your marketing plan as an author. If you haven’t already released your eBook in a printed edition, you might consider doing it before the holidays. You can get the print template we recommend here: www.shelleyhitz.com/booktemplates
All that being said, if you have a paperback book – you need to know how to market it. So today, I want to cover how you can change the price of your paperback book.
First and foremost, your ability to do this will depend on your publisher or printer. If you are a traditionally published author, you will need to check with your publishing house to see if this is something you can do or not. If you’re published through a vanity press, you’ll have to read your contract to see what you are and aren’t allowed to do. Most of the time, at the very least, you should be allowed to purchase some of your books at your cost, to sell at events (this would include book sales) but you’ll need to know if you are allowed to lower the price, so check with them first.
If you are self published, then the process all depends on the printer that you chose and their distribution options. All of our books are printed through CreateSpace, so we’ll start there.
If you have a book printed through CreateSpace, you have two options for changing the price for a book sale.
1.) You can change the price manually. CreateSpace recommends notes that it usually takes 5-7 business days for price changes to take effect on Amazon (6-8 weeks for expanded distribution channels). So if you are planning or participating in a book sale, you’ll want to lower the price roughly 1 week before the sale starts. The lower price should appear on Amazon before the sale, and then you can raise the price back up after the sale is done.
Changing the price is pretty straight forward:
- Log into your CreateSpace account
- Select the title of the book you want to adjust from your dashboard
- From the project homepage, under the distribute section, select pricing
- Enter the new price point and click save
IMPORTANT: You must make sure that the price you choose does not go below the minimum price CreateSpace has set for your book.
The changes should take place on Amazon within 5-7 business days. When you are ready to raise the price back up, just repeat the process. CreateSpace doesn’t currently have a limit on changing the price of your book, but we don’t recommend going overboard. It does take 6-8 weeks for the price change to effect any expanded distribution channels, so keep that in mind if you want to lower the price of your book in stores or via other online retailers like BarnesandNoble.com.
2.) You can create a coupon for the CreateSpace store. If you’re not thrilled with changing your books price manually, you can create a coupon. K.S. Brooks over at Indies Unlimited wrote a great article covering how this process works here: http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2013/10/08/generating-a-discount-coupon-on-createspace/
If you’re book is printed through Lulu, the process will be very similar.
- Log into your Lulu account
- Go to the My Projects section
- Select the book you want to adjust
- Select Revise (important)
- You should see current prices with an edit button – Select the edit option
- You will now be allowed to change the prices and set discounts
Please note, that Lulu is not an Amazon company and it can take 6-8 weeks for price changes to filter through. If you want to do a short sale, selecting to discount your book in the Lulu store, might be a better option.
We have not specifically used LI and so ultimately recommend that they contact LI’s support if you have any specific questions. They are a printer, not a POD publisher, and while I’m sure there is a way to change the price, I couldn’t find any information about it online and it looks like they might charge you to update your books information.
Selling From Your Own Website
If you’d rather not mess with changing the price of your book online, you might also consider collecting orders for your book from your own website. This will allow you to set whatever price you want and discount it at your will.
You can then order the number you need from your printer in bulk to ship out on your own – or some POD printers will allow you to order individual copies at your cost and have them shipped directly to readers. If you decide to go that route, you’ll want to look into the cost of shipping each of the books to ensure that you will still make a profit.
Knowing the options you have available to market your books is a huge part of being a successful author. With the holiday season fast approaching this is even more true. Book sales in November and December are usually higher than all the other months of the year, and you can increase them further by effectively marketing your book.
Last week I gave you a list of ways to increase your holiday book sales, and one of the ways is to join our “Clean Reads Holiday Book Sale” we’re hosting over at our reader website, BooklyBooks.com. The sale has the potential to get your discounted paperback book in front of thousands of new readers and we hope you’ll join us. You can read my post from last week to get the complete list of ways to boost your holiday book sales at: https://www.trainingauthors.com/holiday-book-sales/
Even if you aren’t taking part in our book sale, this is something that every author needs to know. So we encourage you to publish your paperback book and know your options for marketing it.
Here’s to your book marketing success!