I will be a self-published author. I have 0 designs of selling a paperback version of my book in book stores. First, it would never be on the front displays, it would be lost somewhere in the lengthy Romance fiction shelves, near the end, under "W" for my last name. No one would even find it back there, unless they were looking for it. If they were looking for it, they probably heard about my book online, which means they can buy it from Amazon directly, or read the ebook version.
Now, this doesn't mean a paperback version of my book is worthless. Far from it. But, it is more likely that the people who want a printed version have already read the electronic version and enjoyed it. Or, they know someone who read it and don't own an e-reader. In the first situation, I've already made my royalty off the reader, I don't care if they get the paper version for the lowest price possible. In the second situation, they're trying me out on the recommendation of a friend, so again, I'd like them to get a hold of the book for the lowest price possible. And, I'd like to encourage them to adopt e-reading as that helps grow author-centric publishing for all of us.
SO HERE IS MY PLAN:
I am not in favor of long-term $.99 pricing for my ebook. That is just me, and I understand other authors will have different strategies for their works. That's great! For my plans, I will price my ebook at $2.99. This will net me roughly a $2 royalty per ebook sold.
My printed books with be POD through Createspace. I will sign up for the ProPlan for $39 a year, so that this plan can work. My paperback will be 6x9, 300 pages. Included in the purchase of the paperback will be an offer for a free electronic version (probably in PDF). I should preface all of this with I do not believe in DRM. My paperback price? $7.99.
Royalty-wise this is roughly $.34 if a reader buys my paperback book through Amazon's website, and $1.94 if they buy it from my author site.
This is how it would look:
Reader who wants BOTH e-book and paperback copy: Buy it from my site for $7.99 and get both. (I make $1.94)
Reader ONLY wants ebook: Buy it for $2.99. (I make $2.00)
Reader stumbles on my paperback on Amazon.com: I make $.34, but did 0 marketing for that sale, and hopefully the reasonable price makes the reader more likely to recommend it to someone else. Also, there will be an offer for the reader to email me and get an electronic copy for free.
I think the number of readers in the last category will be very small. This idea started from reading on another's blog (I honestly do NOT remember who's blog it was) that they offered the print version mainly as a service to their readers, they didn't expect major sales. Yet, the paperback version was priced at $12.
This got me thinking...what does the paperback version as a SERVICE to readers really look like? And this is what I came up with. I'm happy to hear comments and concerns from others. Maybe there is an angle I missed. However, I think pricing the paperback as low as possible will be better for readers overall.
"CANCELLED" arriving SEPTEMBER 2011. A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.