Channels and Pricing on CreateSpace

Where it Sells and For How Much

In CreateSpace, choosing or changing the channels the book is available on has a marked impact on the base price of that book. You can do this selection either when you set up your book or after it's live. For this example, I went back into my live haiku book and played with it. So this was done after the book was fully live.

These examples are shown for a full color book, with every page in color, because of my watercolor images. So that is part of why the base price is so high. Another part, though, is because itís listed in expanded distribution. That means that the book is available not only on Amazon but also through third party vendors like Barnes & Noble.

The pricing discussion gets a little tricky. Iíll try my best to simplify. The base price, here in CreateSpace, has to account for both Amazonís cut and for the third partyís cut, just in case the book does sell at a third party location. Barnes & Noble wants to list the book at the same price that Amazon does. So even on Amazon, where that cut isnít being shared, itíll still have the higher price. That across-the-board price has to always account for Barnes & Noble having a share of the price. So what that means is on Barnes & Noble (expanded distribution) they get a share of $6, Amazon gets their share of $6 (as the distributor) and I make a share of under $1. In comparison, if the book sells directly on Amazon, since Barnes & Noble isnít getting a share of that sale, I now get a cut of nearly $7. And if the book sells on CreateSpace, where neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble are getting a cut, I get a large cut of nearly $13. That one global price is being shown on all systems, even if there isnít a ďreasonĒ for it to be that high on a given system beyond the price match desire.

Channels and Pricing on CreateSpace

Now letís see what happens when I take OFF all those other channels. I reduce it down so it is solely showing on I left the sale price the same so you could see the figures. Look at the minimum list price beneath my set list price. Now the minimum list price is $18.45 because the price no longer has to take into account a share out to a third party vendor. I could list the book for a full ten dollars cheaper by doing this. That could mean far more sales on Amazon. It could easily make up for the ďlost salesĒ on third party sites, if I were to assume that few if any would have sold there.

Channels and Pricing on CreateSpace

So itís a balancing act. Maybe you feel that a cheaper price on Amazon would result in lots and lots of sales on Amazon. If you werenít getting many if any sales on the third party site anyway, especially at the required higher price, this could easily be the more lucrative way to go. And it could reach far more fans, too, meaning more sales of your other books.

If you're primarily a seller of ebooks, having the print copy available helps to get those ebooks to sell, because ebooks are traditionally priced at far less cost than the print version. That lower ebook price is generally for two reasons. First, the reader can't resell the ebook, so they aren't getting an "asset." Readers expect to pay less for something that's a non-resellable item. Second, a main part of the cost of a print book is its printing and shipping costs. The money is going for a tangible purpose. With an ebook, all of that is free. There is no printing cost nor shipping cost. So the ebook sales cost SHOULD be far cheaper. The reader knows that a higher ebook cost is solely about author profit, and they're generally not willing to pay 400% higher cost just to line the author's pockets :).

So, in any case, typically while a print copy might be listing at let's say $8 for a paperback book, readers expect the ebook version to be much lower. Amazon shows that ebook-version savings right on the sales screen. The more substantial the savings, the more likely the reader is to buy the ebook because it looks like such a bargain to them. Conversely, the closer the ebook price is to the higher print sales price, the less likely the reader is to buy, because now the ebook version seems like a jacked-up price. So in any case having a higher priced print book can help ebook sales immensely, because they'll seem quite a bargain in comparison.

CreateSpace Step by Step - main page
CreateSpace Self Publishing
Loading Up the CreateSpace Book
Making a CreateSpace Cover
Channels and Pricing on CreateSpace
Review Process on CreateSpace
Timing of CreateSpace Process
Problems and Issues with CreateSpace

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