Whatever amount you come up with for the price of your book,
remember that advertising expense will usually take 50% to 60%
of your selling price if you are to promote your book properly
and get into the mass market. This only leaves 40% to 50% of
the sales proceeds for all your other expenses and a reasonable
profit for your efforts. And don't forget "all other expenses"
include not only the cost of typesetting, printing, mailing and
other direct expenses, but also includes numerous variable and
indirect expenses; such as auto, depreciation, insurance, and
all the other "general overhead", even if you only work
part-time from your home. Then you must have enough left over
to "pay yourself" a reasonable draw for your time, effort and
Failure to understand the "Mathematics of Mail Order" is the
basic reason most people do not succeed when trying to sell
books by mail.
One of the most important points to learn about mailorder
mathematics is just exactly where your break-even point is.
This varies drastically depending on the total units produced
and sold. The more units sold the less the cost per unit. In
other words, the more you sell the more flexible you can be in
pricing your product.
Never price a publication at less than total cost, just to
increase sales, unless you have computed correctly that the
increased sales will reduce you unit cost sufficiently to
overcome any potential loss.
On the other side of the "coin", if the price of your
publications is too high, you could be in a worse position than
if selling for only half the price. Maybe a price reduction of
50% will get you 500% more sales thus lowering your variable
costs per unit sufficiently. The loser is immediately turned
into a blockbuster! Only tests will tell!