I love people who wisely challenge authority and the status quo.
They question the way things are to make them better.
Recently I pointed the way to a post by the insightful Derek Haines over at The Vandal. The discussion evolved from talk about how low, low, low ebook prices don’t match up with many readers’ expectations of perfection. I promoted Mr. Haines’ blog post, but too clumsily since I just mentioned it in a comment reply. Mr. Haine’s thoughts need more attention than I gave them so I’m remedying that today. Derek Haines was one of the first people to welcome me to Twitter. I often find his blog posts eye-opening (e.g. Free e-books, do they get read? and The Self-publishing Money Trap). His thoughts on ebook pricing, value and quality, What did you expect for 99 cents?, are in need of a good, solid ponder.
To freshen and deepen the discussion, novelist Reena Jacobs wrote in with something very thoughtful and heartfelt. I didn’t want her contribution lost down in the bottom of the comments. I asked her if I could repost. The first link takes you to the original post by the great Derek Haines and here’s Reena’s comment again as a guest post:
Derek Haines makes an excellent point. It broke my shriveled blackened heart to offer my full-length novel at $0.99, considering all the work I put into it. To think I toiled over the book for months…over a year with no pay, and folks didn’t even want to shell out $0.99…and forget $2.99.
Indie authors aren’t asking much but I think some readers expect perfection when they’re not willing to pay an asking price which is less than fair to the author to begin with. Some seem to forget the money used from sales is not only necessary to earn back the money already spent, but also to invest in future publications.
I don’t go to people’s place of businesses and demand freebies. Or worse, insult them with comments like, this should have been free or I’m glad I didn’t pay for this. If it’s free, folks should be happy they even had an opportunity to try it. Someone took time out of their life to offer readers a gift. It may not be to the readers’ liking or meet their personal set of standards, but it was still a gift. It has value.
Anyway, my wee little heart couldn’t take it anymore. If people want a $0.99 work from me, they’re welcome to my short story. I’d rather hoard all my works and never publish another title again than beg for $0.99 ($0.35 royalty) for a work I put months of my heart and soul into. Every time I read about someone complaining about a $0.99-2.99 work, it makes me want to bump my prices again. It’s gotten to the point I don’t even care if folks buy my books (kinda…’cause let’s be serious, sales matter to all authors) as long as I don’t feel like people are taking advantage of me and implying my work is worth less than it is.
Like Derek said, it doesn’t make sense to invest big money into a product that yields little return. In my opinion, that’s bad business.
I’ve already made a goal not to spend more money on publishing books than I make in sales. If that means no more full-length works, then so be it. Short stories are quick, dirty, and can be edited entirely through a critique group. I can part with one for $0.99 and not feel ripped off.
Reena Jacobs is just your typical writer who loves to see her words in print. As an avid reader, she’s known to hoard books and begs her husband regularly for “just one more purchase.” Her home life is filled with days chasing her preschooler and nights harassing her husband. Between it all, she squeezes in time for writing and growling at the dog. You can find Reena on Ramblings of an Amateur Writer, Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Nobles, and Smashwords.
Alexandria (Alex) Carmichael guards two secrets close to her heart.
One–she’s in love with her best friend, Seth. Two–he’s gay.
Add I Loved You First to your Goodreads list!
- Reena’s Kickstart (joleenenaylor.wordpress.com)