Pricing Your Book

The pricing of your book is the same as the pricing of any commercial product in that it is very important to get it right.

Both the retailer and the consumer must feel they are getting value for money, even though they are each viewing your book from opposite ends of the transaction.

If we take the retailer first; the industry-standard profit is 40% of the list price. We don’t distribute physical books as part of our publishing package but if a high street shop shows interest in stocking your book, their decision on whether or not to do so is a relatively easy one. Initially, they want to know if your book is a good read and then if the 40% return is worth their while.

Remember, retailers need to make a profit on everything they sell in order to stay in business. If by selling one of your books, they are making less money than they would by selling other books, guess what their decision will be regarding stocking any copies of your book? That might sound mercenary, but retailers are in business to make a profit and also, will only stock physical books on a sale or return basis.

Secondly, you rightly want to be paid for your time, creativity, perseverance and investment in taking your book from an idea to a rough draft to a manuscript and finally to a professionally produced end product. However, we are here to advise you.

There are two main factors in determining the retail price of your book (and therefore your royalty percentage):

  1. What value you put on the content of your book. For example, some of our academic and medical books have high list prices as the content has taken years to research and compile.
  2. The print cost. Here is an example of what royalties you can expect to achieve and what retail prices you would need to charge to attain these.

The following cost breakdown is based on a 350-page paperback book, 5” x 8”, black & white with full colour cover:

Retail price  £     11.99
Cost of printing  £       6.12
Retailer discount @ 40%*  £       4.80
Author royalty  £       1.07

* this is the wholesale discount amount taken by the retailer

If you are confident that you can sell a reasonable number of copies of your book yourself and wish to place a bulk order, we can get quotes from both our print on demand printers and short run printers to try and get you the best price. Obviously, if you sell these yourself, there will be no retailer 40% discount involved so your profit will be much higher.

Remember though, at the end of the day, you want to sell all of the books you have printed and not have hundreds of copies gathering dust in your spare room or garage.

Click here to download our Print Sizes, Formats & Pricing Guide guide (PDF)


Royalties are calculated on an ongoing basis and paid to authors bi-annually in June and December as follows:

  • If bank details have been supplied royalties will be paid for all amounts earned
  • Where no bank details have been supplied a cheque will be issued once the royalty amount accrued reaches £30
  • Authors wishing to be paid by PayPal are subject to the same £30 threshold
  • Authors with overseas bank accounts will have any transfer fees deducted from their payment


All books have a copyright page inserted.  Your book is and remains 100% copyright to you, the author.  If you ever decide to cancel the title with GHP we will send you your final book files and delete them from our systems.