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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