So, what’s the usual cost of a book? Well, the answer isn’t as simple as you think it is. That’s because it can range from zero to ten thousand dollars. The cost of publishing a book depends on factors such as the publishing route, book format, and services engaged. 

If you want to understand the expected expenses for each phase of book publishing, you’re in the right place. A good understanding of the average price of a paperback book can provide insight into setting a competitive price for your published work, helping you make informed decisions. 

Fortunately, we’ll be shedding light on all of this and more.

How Much Does The Average Book Cost?

Many people are curious about the factors that contribute to the cost of the books they purchase at bookstores. Determining the cost of a book involves more than just choosing a random price. The truth is that trying to figure out how much should a book cost is like trying to find your way around a maze in a poorly lit library—you just don’t have a map. There are a lot of factors that affect book prices, including genre, format, and current market trends. 

For example, most paperback novels cost between $13.95 and $17.95. If you’re a writer hoping to release your book this year, you need to explore the industry thoroughly. Use this information to set a fair price for your work that aligns with similar books in your genre. Knowing the average price of books can also help you determine a competitive and reasonable price for your book.

How Much Does A Book Cost On Average?

The trim size of your book is one of several factors that influence its price. Industry standards are key role players when it comes to the average cost of books. For non-fiction books that require in-depth research and case studies, the price will be comparatively higher. The author should be paid to provide their readers with unique, credible, and interesting information, right?

However, suppose your book has extensive research graphic details such as infographics, charts, etc. In that case, the cost of the book will definitely be more than a typical non-fiction book that can include memoirs, biographies, and the like. For books requiring additional work beyond personal experiences, consider adjusting the price accordingly. Understanding the average paperback book price can also help you set a competitive price for your non-fiction work.

What Is The Average Price Of A Book?

The decisions you make as a writer will determine how much does a paperback book cost to publish your book. To give just one example, it is a common practice for self-published authors to cover 100% of the publishing costs. They get larger royalties per copy sold and keep complete creative control over their work. Traditional publishers cover all of the publishing expenses, so these authors don’t have to worry about that. Having said that, royalties will probably decrease over time.

Before deciding between self-publishing and traditional publication, there are a lot of other considerations to make. For instance, you might shell out thousands of dollars for advertisements and promotions if you decide to heavily promote your book. Many writers spend a lot of money on marketing in the hopes of getting enough attention to get their money back in royalties. 

Conversely, you could save thousands of dollars by not spending a dime on advertising. Lots of other things come into play, such as the manuscript’s editing needs, the length of the book, the average cost of a book, and so on. Understanding what is the average cost of a book can also help you make an informed decision about your publishing approach.

Publishing Cost of Different Book Genres

A hundred-page collection of short stories would obviously cost less to produce than a five-hundred-page biology textbook with extensive visuals. Therefore, if you want to keep publishing expenses low, one strategy is to focus on a certain genre. Genre significantly affects word count, editing standards, and illustration needs, which in turn affects publishing prices. 

The following are approximate general costs of book publishing for each category:

  • The average cost of book publishing ranges from $2,000 to $4,000.
  • Non-fiction books usually cost $500 to $1,000 more to print than fiction books because they need to be indexed and have their facts checked.
  • Fantasy and science fiction books often cost $500 to $1,000 more to print than other types of books. The expenses associated with printing, editing, proofreading, and other related tasks are higher due to the length, which is often significantly larger than a standard novel—around 120,000 words rather than 80,000 words.
  • Historical fiction novels can cost $300-$500 more to print than books of other genres due to higher research and fact-checking needs.
  • Publication costs for young adult novels are typically $300–$500 lower than those of adult novels in general. That’s because, on average, they have 60,000 words rather than 80,000 words for an adult novel, and they typically don’t call for graphics.
  • Picture books can cost $500-$1,000 more to produce than other books due to the additional costs of employing a graphic artist and a book designer.

Keep in mind that these are only rough estimates, and there will always be some exceptions in any given field. We’re sure you’re wondering what the average cost of paperback books is. Well, it’s actually essential to have an understanding of the average cost of a paperback book for further insight into setting a realistic budget for your publication.

The Ultimate Book Pricing Guide

Consider every stage involved in book publishing to obtain a more thorough cost analysis. If you want to know how much money you’ll need, you can look at the things you’ll need to buy or the specialists you’ll need to employ. Doing it yourself can save you money, but if you want a high-quality book, it’s best to employ a professional.

You can see the whole picture of what goes into publishing a book here:

  • Writing: Completing the manuscript’s first draft.
  • Editing: Review the text and make any necessary changes.
  • Proofreading: This step involves fixing flaws in the completed text.
  • Indexing: This requires creating a system to help readers find specific material in a text.
  • Cover Design: In this phase, the book cover’slayout, text, and artwork will be developed.
  • Book Illustrations: The visual elements of the text are incorporated. 
  • Formatting: This is when the layout of the book is made presentable for publishing.
  • Book Identifiers: It entails purchasing distinct identifiers such as ISBNs.
  • Printing: Hard copies of the book are created and assembled now. 
  • Publicity and Marketing: The book is then promoted to anyone who might be interested in reading it.

Pricing is important since this is the final result you get after all of your hard work, tears, and frustration. What is the fair price for your book? Let’s figure it out. Here’s the best guide to allowing you to pick your number for years of investment.

  1. Set Realistic Expectations
  2. Base Your Price On An Emotional Aspect
  3. Study Your Target Market
  4. Follow the Traditional Pricing Technique
  5. Royalties Adjustment


Let’s get into the details. 

1. Set Realistic Expectations

When setting the price for your book, it’s important to be realistic. Realistic prices can lead to a better outcome, while unrealistic prices can result in a disappointing experience for a writer. To help you decide, you can check the marketplace and statistics. According to statistics, on average, a self-published author sells around 250 copies of their book in their lifetime.

2. Base Your Price On An Emotional Aspect

When setting prices for your book, consider finding an emotional connection with your readers rather than focusing solely on the cost. You may be surprised to find that readers are willing to pay a higher price if they feel a strong emotional attachment to your work. 

This emotional connection can be a powerful factor in driving book sales, as readers may be willing to invest in a book that resonates with them on a deep, emotional level. By understanding and targeting the emotional triggers of your audience, you can effectively market your bookand potentially justify a higher price point.

3. Study Your Target Market

Before self-publishing your book, it’s important to thoroughly research your competition’s pricing strategies. Understanding their approach will help you adjust your pricing strategy accordingly. Keep in mind that pricing your book competitively is crucial to attract readers without devaluing its perceived quality.

4. Follow the Traditional Pricing Technique

Consider utilizing a traditional pricing strategy that has been proven effective. Pricing plays a significant role in influencing consumer behavior. One of the oldest and most effective pricing strategies is to set a price and display it as an odd number. For example, $4.59 appears more affordable than $4.60, even though the difference is only a penny. This technique can effectively increase sales and encourage consumers to make a purchase.

5. Royalties Adjustment

Your royalty from book sales depends on the price and the online retailer. Amazon offers 35% for books priced at $2.98 or lower and 70% for books priced above $2.99. Other platforms may offer 40-45% royalty. Consider printing and shipping costs when setting the price. Regardless of the retailer, the selling rate for your book remains the same.

What’s the Impact of the Book Price?

Let us find out what the book’s price may indicate:

Cheap Book Prices

You have authored a book with a significant number of pages and have set a price that is far lower than that of your competitors. This cheap price can give the impression to potential buyers or readers that your book isn’t high-quality and doesn’t deserve a higher price. Always research your competitors’ prices before setting your own, and be realistic.

Higher Book Prices

When something is valuable but doesn’t cost a fortune, it could provide the idea that it’s special, high-quality, and innovative. That expensive item is more appealing to buyers. Similar circumstances apply to books, where it might occasionally be beneficial to have a high book price. It all comes down to research; setting a slightly higher price than your competition is risky, but it can pay off in the end with substantial gains if done right.

If you are struggling to ghostwrite your book, hire expert ghostwriters from Ghostwriting Proficiencyto write, publish, and market your dream book. We can help you out with all sorts of ghostwriting tasks, including writing, editing, publishing, marketing, etc. 

Drop us a messageto get started. 

Frequently Asked Questions

eBooks can vary in price due to factors like the author, publisher, genre, length, and platform. Self-published eBooks are often priced around $10 or more, with authors choosing lower prices to attract readers or higher ones for established fan bases.

If you use a self-publishing platform such as Smashwords, Draft2Digital, or Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can publish your ebook without any costs. Online ebook publishing services like these don’t charge authors anything and provide a plethora of resources for things like cover art and formatting.

Some of the most reliable sites for ebooks are:

• Ingram
• Kobo
• Amazon
• Barnes & Noble
• Google Play Books
• Apple iBooks
• PublishDrive