Pricing Your Book and/or Services

by Nancy Humphreys on March 14, 2012

The value of brick and mortar bookstores

For the past few years my partner and I have spent at least one day a week hanging out at Barnes & Noble. Looking back, I can see that we learned more from a 3-hour stay at a bookstore than we ever learned on the Internet.

That’s not to say I haven’t learned anything on the Internet. I have. But in the same amount of time it takes me to read a post, I can check out the table of contents, skim the index, and get right to the section of a book that has the exact information I seek.

And have you noticed even Amazon is now talking about building a brick & mortar store?

Do you believe that free is always best?

Bookstores are organized; the Internet isn’t. And here’s the problem with this difference. Most of us are parasites, finding what we need at the bookstore for free (or perhaps for the price of a decaf mocha grande), and then heading to the Internet to buy the item. What if brick and mortar bookstores charged us to get in? Would we pay? How much?

What if the online Encyclopedia Britannica (now about to cease publishing its centuries-old print version) were to charge a subscription price for using it? Would we all turn up our noses and stick to Wikipedia with its, stubs, essays by amateurs, inaccurate information, out-dated entries, and lack of any index?

And what about those $1 ebooks? How many of them have you tried to read?

Pricing your book and/or your services

In any case, here’s what I want to say about a great book I found at B&N, No B.S. Price Strategy. It was written by Dan S. Kennedy and Jason Marrs and published by Entrepreneur Press in 2011. The table of contents basically sold me the book. I didn’t even bother to look at the index.

Here are three of the basic price strategies these guys explain in the book:

  • WAG (wild-assed guess)
  • Industry norm
  • Client-dictated

I’ll bet if you are like me, you’ve used “industry norm” and/or “client-dictated” sometime in your career. And I’ll bet if you are like me you’ve been totally disgusted with the results. As the authors warn, these are not the tactics used by successful entrepreneurs.

Nor is sitting around waiting for a month, two months or even longer for payment. Here is what the book says about payment: The rich get paid in advance. Are you getting paid in advance for your services? For your book?

Here are some of the other basic strategies in the chapters in this book:

  • Cost-plus – methods that involve calculating costs and then adding some amount for profit
  • Skimming (the cream off the top – by selling an attribute other than price)
  • Sequential skimming (starting at the top and then lowering the price as demand declines)
  • Penetration – setting a low price for fast sales (and spending a ton on marketing)
  • Target Return – the method technical investors use when they project profits by charting the likely path an investment will take over a specific period of time.

NOTE: Nowhere in these chapter headings do you see the method that seems to be popular with many service providers and ebook authors today:

  • Start at the bottom and work your way up

Truly, have you ever tried to raise your price when you started out keeping it low? How do you explain that to your customers? How well do they respond to it?

Inside No B.S. Price Strategy are links for both authors. I would skip Dan Kennedy, but I strongly recommend you check out the one for Jason Marrs. He offers five free sessions, one each week, where he covers 39 specific strategies for pricing. His sessions are audio-only and ten minutes maximum. That means you could literally become an expert on pricing over your lunch hour. Now that’s what I call a real deal.

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To learn more about Marketing Your Book to Libraries: An Insider’s Guide for Authors please click here.


Marketing Your Book to Libraries Marketing Your Books to Libraries: An Insider's Guide for Authors by former librarian Nancy K. Humphreys includes: 
  • How to tell what kind of library to target
  • Types of librarians and books they order
  • Strategies to get past the "gatekeepers" who influence librarians
  • Right ways to approach librarians most likely to order your book

Learn more »

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