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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Author, Fiction, Marketing, Novel, Opinion, Polls, Publish, Writing

A book is worth …

First, thank you for voicing your opinions by votes and comments.  But, once again, I failed to word my poll questions the best I could, so the voting results answer two questions and pose a couple of others.  Several of you said the price you’d pay for the debut novel depended on what you already knew about the book or the author. Fair enough.

The results for the print version poll surprised me most.  Ten of you said you’d pay up to $11.99 for a debut in trade paperback. I assume that would be for a novel you’d heard highly praised.  The next highest voted price was $5.99, with 5 votes. With four votes each, there was a four-way tie for $7.99, 9.99, or 10.99.

The votes for the ebook version were more scattered. In fact, they topped out at a three-way tie. With seven votes each, you said the most you would pay is $2.99, $4.99, or  $5.99. The next highest vote was four for $3.99. And yes, one person only voted for the ebook version, which, I presume, was their way of saying they wouldn’t buy the print at any price.

I suppose a good idea would have been to have a separate poll with the question:  Are you a writer? As a reader, I tend to look for a bargain. As a writer, I’m more sensitive to what I’m actually paying for—someone’s craft, someone’s hard work. Of course, the quality of the end product varies depending on the skill and effort put into it.  But do the prices set by indie authors reflect that? Probably not. Some authors with excellent work will undervalue it. Some with subpar work will overvalue it. I’m looking for my sweet spot.

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Author, Books, Fiction, Marketing, Novel, Opinion, Polls, Publish, Reader, Writing

What is a book worth to you?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about book pricing. As an Indie Author, I will set my own prices for ebook and print. Price is an oft debated topic at Indie Publishing blogs. Some authors swear their books sell best when they raise their prices, others say their sales skyrocketed when they lowered the price.

The ability to offer a free sample, usually the first chapter or two, of your ebook is one of the advantages to selling your book in an online store like Amazon. By reading the sample, you can decide, before you buy, whether the book is something you’ll enjoy reading.

Most Indie Authors price their ebooks at $2.99-$4.99. How many of you regularly plop down that much for a venti at Starbucks? Isn’t a book worth at least that much to you?

Some authors price as low as $.99 for a limited time. A few regularly price their books that low.  I’m not sure I understand that. How much, fellow authors, do you value your work?

I will also offer my books for sale in trade paperback (soft cover) print format. Prices vary on those too. Usually, they run from $6.99-$14.99. Where’s the sweet spot?

I need your honest opinion, so today I offer you two polls. If you’re reading this in a reader, please take a minute to come here today and vote. And I’ll be extra thankful, if you Retweet this post or share it on Facebook.

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