Learning to run a business / price changes for The Caretaker’s Colouring Book

Becoming an independently published author means learning how to write, how to publish – and how to run a business. I think I’m okay on the first two, but the ‘running a business’ part has been the biggest learning curve of all.

Prior to becoming an indie author, I have had NO experience in running a business. I did fifth-form accounting, but have since forgotten everything I learned. I didn’t do business studies, or economics, and everything I’ve learned so far has been on-the-job learning. At tertiary level, I did a short stint in Visual Arts, and continued on to a degree in Education.

Unfortunately, on-the-job learning tends to go hand in hand with making-lots-of-mistakes learning.

You see, on the one hand, I want to make my work as affordable as I possibly can. I appreciate every single purchase; every borrow from the library; every read. The thing is, if I want to make a living as an author (and I really, really do!) then I need to make sure that my prices can cover my (growing) expenses, so I can run a sustainable business in the long term.

All my books are now printed in New Zealand. When possible, my printer (Chris @ bookprinting.co.nz) prints on recycled paper, and I am proud of the beautiful books he produces for me. As I’m sure you understand, I do pay more for his high quality work and personal service rather than getting my books mass printed overseas, or using print on demand options.

I’ve learnt that a NZ$10 price point for my adult colouring books is really not sustainable in the long term, so The Caretaker’s Colouring Book will be raised to NZ$15 from the 1st of October. 

As some form of compensation, I will be offering bundle deals when the new price comes into effect. I’m also working on some freebie colouring pages that will be available for download as a printable PDF from my website – so watch this space!

And finally – thank you for your understanding as I learn and grow in this indie writing business 🙂

2 Responses to “Learning to run a business / price changes for The Caretaker’s Colouring Book

  • Book prices are always a tricky spot for indie publishing! I love that you will be including a freebie colouring page on your website for purchasers – that’s awesome!

    I recently put up one of my books for pre-order on Kobo. When it got to the prices bit, I saved and went back to it. I’ve heard from a few sources that for fiction books, the best ebook price is £3.99 to get sales – not too cheap, not too expensive. I want to keep my paperbacks and ebooks in the realm of pocket money possibility, so the experience of those who have said that has made me pretty happy. I set the price as the same in USD, Australian and Canadian, and for the moment left the others to default. I plan to have it for free for the first few days, but I can’t set that until after the pre-order stage.

    It’s definitely a fine balance (I nearly typed banana then) between an author’s need to survive on their income, and the price readers can afford and are willing to pay. I’ll likely end up tweaking my prices for the books as time goes on.

    • Z.R. Southcombe
      2 years ago

      So tricky! But we’re the publishers now, so the responsibility falls squarely on our laps. I’m sure you’re right and the tweaking will continue, and hopefully we’ll get better at gauging prices as time goes on.

      I think those are fair prices for a novel. I’ve got my first in series at $0.99, and the sequel at $2.99 which seems to be a good price point for children’s chapter books. The picture book is at $3.49 (although I might put that up to $3.99), and I’ll probably price my future picture books at the same price.

      Lol @ banana!

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