How to Set a Target Price for a Novelty Book

I am moving forward with the proofreading of my first book on (black) tea, so I have to start thinking a bit more about the marketing side of this self-publishing journey.

I recently got lectured (in a positive way) by one of the owners of Indiska Thé & Kaffe Magasinet (The Indian Tea & Coffee Store). She said to me: “You have to speak up for yourself! You know stuff about tea!”

I have been interested in tea almost my whole life. I have done my so-called 10.000 hours in the field of Camellia sinensis, and I will continue to “experiment” with this beverage in the years to come…

Should I include the time spent on tasting tea, tinkering about the tea ritual, and work with tea blends, in the basis price of the book? How do I take into account 4+ years of writing on this book project, turned into a forthcoming series of 8 books?

As you probably know, I wouldn’t call myself a pragmatist, but I want to link to Mark Stiving’s post, What is “What the Market Will Bear”?, on Pragmatic Pricing blog. Maybe I should set different prices for different segments of readers and potential buyers of my book? How about paying me what you think the book is worth (according your price standard)? Pay as much (little) as you want. Pay as you go forward to become a tea enthusiast as yours truly?

I wanted to give a price indication in a symbolic way for my crowdfunding campaign. That is why I set the donation of $17 as a minimum for getting the forthcoming book. (I wanted to set the price at $17.73, as a play with the year 1773 and Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773, but GoGetFunding didn’t use cents.) Terms of delivery is “Ex Works” Gothenburg (my hometown), Sweden. The challenge is that the book will be printed on demand by CreateSpace (an Amazon company) in the United States of America. That is why I have added $25 for shipping and handling, as one of the levels on the crowdfunding page.

What do you think the list price should be, for my book? It will be a book with 24 pages with 13 big illustrations by John Cox and text material by undersigned. How do you value a product that is not really solving a real “world problem,” or cure one of your “pain points” in life? How should I target a potential reader, with a funny novelty book? What is your time worth? According to the dashboard of Ulysses, the live statistics states the following:

  • Slow read: 18 minutes to read.
  • Average read: 13 minutes to read.
  • Fast read: 11 minutes.
  • Reading aloud (e.g., at a tea party, or at a “tea for two” date): 28 minutes.

For your information: I pay a subscription fee of $4.99 per month for Ulysses. By the way: I wonder how much a cup of tea will cost the subscriber? 😉

Low Commitment

Get ”the greatest text editor the world has ever seen” at the cost of a coffee per month.

What do you want to pay for 10 – 30 minutes of reading pleasure with a cup of tea (I can send you a tea sample…)? I am planning to give special deals and perks for customers that could give a proof that they have bought the book. How about tea samples, discounts on a future e-book, VIP treatment in the tea room, etc.? Talking about an electronic version of the book, what do you think the price range should be? Amazon is recommending a price range from $2.99 to $9.99 for an e-book. I think a physical book goes well with a tea moment, but I am all for you reading my book on a smarthphone, tablet, or computer. As long as you drink tea at the same time! 😉

I would be happy to sell you the book for $1, if you use real money. You could purchase one silver dollar for around $20 of your hard earned (fiat) money, at the moment. Thanks in advance for your order! 🙂

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    • Tom
    • January 31, 2018

    I think you could put the price of this book at $25-$30, especially if it came with a sample of your tea! (what a good idea – I don’t know how hard that would be to do, but I would love that!)

    Also, Martin, Yes, You should speak up for yourself! You do know stuff about tea!

    1. Reply


      Thanks for your comment and your kind words!

      I think I could go with USD $30 if I include a tea sample with the book. The challenge is to solve the challenges with logistics. The book will be printed in the United States of America, and the tea sample will be shipped from Europe. I like your idea, so I will continue to think about this combo.

      All the Best,


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