Book Cover Prices Going Up

Why that's Good News for Indie Authors

“Book cover prices have risen significantly during the past six months to a year,” according to Nancy Hellekson, Managing Director of Hallard Press. “Possibly due to the demand—people staying home and buying more books—during the virus, and other reasons.”

 Hellekson believes that indie authors are placing more value on their work and themselves as writers. “In the past indie authors may have been underpricing their books, particularly on Amazon. Perhaps they felt unworthy of asking for fair prices, thought they would sell more at a lower price, or were just following the trend.”

Recently, Hallard Press began a two-platform approach for placing most books.

“We base our recommended cover prices on the IngramSpark model,” Hellekson said. “Ingram are book distributors to the book trade. Book stores need 55% of the cover price for their share. Add on the printing price, and a fair author royalty, and you have the cover price we recommend to authors.”

For example: a 300-page black and white paperback on the Ingram Platform costs about $5 to print. Add another $11 for the bookstore share, plus a reasonable author royalty of $4 per book and the cover price would be set at $20—generally ‘rounded back’ to $19.99 for the ISBN bar code.

Hallard Press uses their own inhouse ‘cover price calculator’ to help authors determine a final number.

Now for the good news! Print costs on Amazon are somewhat less and there is no bookstore share, so authors make more money on Amazon.

“We recommend selling the book for the same amount on both platforms,” Hellekson noted. “So, overall, book prices are increasing. Which is good news for authors—they’r

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