Books, Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Opinion, Publish, Writing

Price my books at $.99? No thank you!

My decision to Indie publish The Brevity of Roses was not made lightly. I looked to self-publishing after I accepted that, in the midst of the current publishing crisis, books like mine were not highly sought after by the big NY publishers. It was up to me to find my readership. Since then, I’ve learned other reasons why going Indie is of benefit to me.

But make no mistake, my book is good enough to be published by one of those publishers. It’s not second quality. I work hard at my craft. Mine is not a book written in thirty days and edited once. It’s not a Penny Dreadful. So why would I price it like one?

Most Indie authors vehemently deny they need the “vetting” of any big NY publisher. I agree. So why price my book as if it’s not worthy? “But you’re an unknown,” they say. “You have to sell cheap to get readers to buy it.”

So, would signing a publishing contract with Viking, Knopf, or Random House suddenly make me better known? Or are we talking about vetting here again? Does having a big NY publisher trademark on a book’s spine guarantee it’s a well-written book, a quality read? Maybe once upon a time it did, not so much now. Far too often, what it guarantees today is that the publisher thought they could make a good profit on it.

I may not be the best writer you’ll read, but I’m far from the worst. I will guarantee that. You’ve probably bought books by debut authors before—and paid NY publisher prices. Granted, those publishers have expenses I don’t have, so you won’t see my e-book priced at $14.99. But you also won’t see it released at $.99 either. This is a personal decision, based in part on the fact I write general fiction with a literary bent.

I don’t believe quality self-published novels, like mine, will be taken seriously until their authors price them at respectable prices. I’ll price my books , both e-books and print, with respect to myself and my reader … because we’re worth it.

Your turn: I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.  Readers and writers, do you automatically consider Indie (self) published books as being lesser quality than traditionally published? Indie authors, am I just ignorant about pricing? Readers, have you bought—and read—a lot of $.99 e-books that you felt were worth more?


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58 thoughts on “Price my books at $.99? No thank you!”

  1. You are right about that when it comes to paying full price for a book. Every once in awhile I collect some of the cheaper books and give them to a charity of some kind.

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          1. Yes we do! Do you have any suggestions for something for me to read? I am going to be having a neck collar towards the end of the month. I have a date with a surgeon.

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  2. My favorite writer is Poe. I am also interested in things by newer writers. ( which has nothing to do with age). People need a chance to express their stories.

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  3. As a reader I will wholeheartedly agree with you. When a reader sees a book sold at .99C the first thought that crosses his mind is “that book is cheap”. The word “cheap” is probably the last thing you want to hear about something that is as dear to you as a book your wrote…

    I would love to buy inexpensive books. Rationally/Reasonably priced books. But I wouldn’t even think about reading a “cheap” book.

    Even from a strategic point of view, of someone who wants to earn money off his hard work (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that), selling your books “cheap” sends a similar message.

    I hope your book sells. a lot. and for a good price! 🙂

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    1. Welcome to my blog, gilshalev. Thank you for sharing your opinion on this. My e-book has just been published and I found it hard to price. I, of course, think my book is worth a lot, but I had to factor in that I’m an unknown author. So, I ended up with what I think is a good introductory price. Next book — who knows? 😉

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