Now how much would you pay?

‘A book is so much a part of oneself that in delivering it to the public one feels as if one were pushing one’s own child out into the traffic.’   Quentin Bell

I’m still giving away copies of Bloody Murder this month. Actually, I thought I’d extend the entry time because word has not spread around the indieverse quite as quickly as I had hoped.  So if you comment on this post, consider yourself entered to win a free copy.

When the giveaway is over, I hope I’ll have some new readers. Specifically, new readers that will buy the upcoming sequels and tell their friends. So you see, I have an ulterior motive. I want to make money from selling my books.

If you cruise the web, you’ll find various forums about ebooks. Newsletters about freebies, the best deals around. I read a forum discussion, “What’s the maximum you’ll pay for an ebook?”  Scanning several hundred entries, it seemed the top price was about $9.99 for “top authors.” Seeing that, I figure the $2.99 I charge is a bargain.  Me, I’ll pay a little more to have a new book the day it hits the market, but I seem to be in the minority.

Some of what I read disturbed me.  There are a lot of people out there who think that because they spent money on an e-reader, that they are entitled to books costing $1.99 or less.

The most common argument is saying it costs next to nothing to store files of ebooks, therefore the books should cost next to nothing for the readers. If  publisher buys a manuscript, they are investing in an author with their eyes toward  making more money down the road. They spend money marketing, designing covers, editing, arranging publicity tours. All of those things involve people who deserve to be paid for their efforts. And that’s even before we get to the author.

Writing is work, folks. Yes, it’s a labor of love, but it’s not easy. For an indie author who may not be making enough to pay for a professional editor for their next work (a nickel a word times 80K? You do the math), it’s all the writing, revising, editing, formatting AND marketing. For the traditional author, there are more imposed deadlines, which add their own pressures.

I’ll be keeping my ebook prices low as long as I’m self-publishing, but not so low I don’t get a little something in return for my labor of love.



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3 responses to “Now how much would you pay?

  1. I don’t think $4.99 is too much to pay for an e-book. There are smartphone apps that cost more than that on the various Markets.

  2. Now how much would I pay? If I can see the first chapter / first 20 pages and the story ‘hooks’ me in, I’m inclined to pay more than buying sight unseen. Maybe $6 or $7. If I’m buying blind, not more than $3 or $4.

    The thing some people don’t get is that one isn’t paying for the electrons, but the author’s time and effort.

  3. I was talking with my mother today and she said that she’s discovered some lovely authors on the Amazon 99-cent list. She would buy the 99-cent one and then proceed to buy everything else that author had written.

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