Hi Diana, I literally did back of the envelope estimates when I was trying to figure out the POD price of my first indy-pubbed trade paperback. I don’t recall the exact numbers (and found an editor so still don’t have that book out :)) but I basically had to figure out not only the base POD price per book printed (which was roughly $4.80 or so for my 100K fantasy – the POD sites will tell you exactly what it’ll cost per book once you know size, number of pages, type of paper you want to use, margins, etc). Then I have to tack on what I hope to make on sales at 100% face value (let’s say 5.20 to keep the math easy), so that’s 10. Then I have to add the 30% cut Amazon will take at 100% face value, so that’s roughly 14 (at 14, I make 5 even on the book). OK – not too bad a price. But THEN I realized Amazon usually sells books at between 20-40% off full face value. So to prevent myself from literally having to pay Amazon for the privilege of selling my books if they discounted them at 40% at any point, I figured out I’d have to charge at least 15 in order to make 1.50 per book if they were selling it at 40% discount. If I actually want to make 4.00 at them selling it at 40% ,I have to make it 21.00, which is really steep (especially for an indy author). So I go back to the 15 price, figuring I make 5.70 for any copies I sell at 100% of face value, 3.60 for 20% discount, and at least make 1.50 for those selling at 40% discount.
Given Amazon almost never sells big-5 pubbed books at less than 20% discount of face value, plus apparently is charging the big publishers for stuff like the pre-pay button, and assuming Amazon is getting a discount of roughly 30% for each copy they buy from the publisher (to keep the comparison to my indy pub simple), I can see why they rapidly come up with a 20+ dollar figure. 😐

]]>