Discounts are integral to book publishing, influencing how much retailers pay for an individual book and, thus, how much the publisher will receive in royalties. There are two primary forms of discounts: trade and promotional.
Trade discounts are standard discounts offered to retailers. A 50% trade discount is typical, meaning the retailer pays half the list price while the publisher keeps half as profit. Hardcover books typically qualify for this trade discount.
Promotional discounts are discounted offers to promote a book, typically between 55%-70% of its retail value. They are more severe than trade discounts and tend to target paperback books more directly.
Discounts are essential in book publishing as they ensure books remain competitively priced while publishers and retailers remain profitable.
Book publishers have long used discounts to attract and entice new customers, increasing sales while simultaneously making books more affordable for consumers.
Discounts can be an effective promotional strategy. A publisher might discount an upcoming book release to generate interest or offer it at a reduced price to drive up sales of books that have yet to perform as expected.
Discounts have two primary functions for booksellers and customers: to entice more copies to order, facilitate faster inventory movement, and reduce barriers to entry so more people will purchase books.
Discount offers provide customers an effective way to save money when purchasing books while supporting publishers in meeting their objectives. When deciding whether or not to take advantage of one, customers should keep this goal in mind when making their decision.