When I started publishing my own books, the standard advice on markup was to take the wholesale cost of the book and double it. If I had to pay $3.00 per book, my markup price should be $6.00, although it would be closer to $5.95 on store shelves. I thought a 50% markup sounded fair enough.
What I didn't consider were the costs of promotion and delivery. In order to get word of my books out to the general public, I had to buy a lot of advertising. I also had to spend a lot of valuable time online promoting my titles. Fulfilling orders through the mail also proved to be more expensive than I anticipated. I felt like the only way to get ahead of all of those expenses was to raise the price of my books to $8.95. The first markup percentage was clearly not enough for me to earn a profit.