For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
Oh, yep, it's a hot topic and I've debated it frequently with bloggers who fiercely argue for the 99cent e-book and look down their noses at authors who dare to charge up to $4.99!
To me, it isn't so much the price as the mentality it is generating among the book buying public. Some reader/bloggers are quite nasty in their so-called reasoning since they are spoiled by such people like Amanda Hocking. They wouldn't dare lower themselves to buy a new author's book for over $1.99. Some do condescend and agree to $2.99 if they heard good things from friends about the new author. They think the author has a tremendous ego to price a book any higher. BTW, these are things I've been told point blank.
However, I work hard to write my books, why shouldn't I price it competitively? Why should I be 'bullied' by aggressive readers/bloggers to sell at 99 cents? Any craft or product is worth something and the price is determined by the person or company producing it. Yes, authors want to sell their books, but there is also a principal here - who is controlling the price? Who are these bloggers to tell me the value of my time, effort and work? Some have let their supposed-perception of online power go to their heads.
No reason to let yourself get bullied for sure. It strikes me that the real deal behind the 99-cent book thing is that more and more authors trying to "break in" are willing to do whatever it takes. Perhaps prices will level out as the market absorbs the influx of the good, the bad, and the really, really bad??
I hope so. I haven't caved to bullying, my Kindle books are $4.99. I was just addressing your request for feedback in giving a suggestion about the topic of the mentality the 99cent e-book is breeding. :)
I belong to another forum that deals with 'book bloggers' and a few authors venture in from time to time, but the book blogger/reader/reviewer is a whole different animal. Some consider themselves the engine that drives the train. Most are reasonable.
Interesting! I just finished another piece called, "An Author's Intonation," about Indie book reviews harping on stray commas. Sounds like we should put your rival tribe in the same room with my rival tribe and let them eat each other.
I'll post a link to the "Intonation" piece here when site launches. I'm doing an author co-op site called escapistpress. "Friends of escapistpress" may have their own page (while space lasts) by agreeing to exchange links.
Book bloggers are an interesting group. There is a tension between them and authors. With no rules governing 'reviews' it can be a free-for-all in having the right to give their opinions and authors just have to take whatever they give and not say a word back or be lambasted for not having a thick-skin and risk their reputation being trashed la viral media.
Oh, I can go on. But if you what to get a feel for book bloggers - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, join a forum and poke around in some threads. Gives indies authors a new appreciation for dealing with the blogosphere.
John, I just had a new book come out through CreateSpace as well: Sell More Books! Book Marketing and Publishing for Low Profile and Debut Authors
I too was impressed with their professionalism and the final product. Thanks for the report! We all need to let each other know about our good experiences (and bad), so that we can be more wise in this "wild wild west" of publishing. I also put it up in Kindle format, Nook, and through Smashwords for Sony Reader and other platforms. Since putting them up in these e-book formats was free, it seemed like a no brainer, although doing the formatting for the first time was a bit time consuming and detailed. Glad I waded through the process, however.
Hope you or others can help me. I have locations I want to join free too with my two e-books with the alcoholic memoirs. My publisher will not give me a doc. with my e-books or paperback books to put it on other sites.
How do I get the the file?
Did your publisher do the editing, or was it already edited when you sent it to them? If the latter, see if you can find that file. For e-books, they want it formatted very simply, so that it's easier to edit from a simply Word file than something that's been put in a layout format.
Since you have a publisher, make sure you hold the rights to do this.
If all you have is a hard copy, I think Kindle might offer a for pay service for scanning into a doc format. If they don't I've heard that for $25 they'll do it for you at http://www.blueleaf-book-scanning.com/book_scanning_service_order.html.
Here’s my contribution to help you get sales. You can always bail if you’ve heard it before.
The shift between paper and ebooks has caught all publishers by surprise. Generating sales for the paperback is very different to generating ebooks sales, besides being high risk and costly. Because of this, for the independent author, there is little future in paperbacks, mainly because the shelf space is reducing at an alarming rate and the celebrity will always take that space. As for signings, no author can sell enough books, at a signing, to warrant the capital investment, besides produce a realistic return in the time and cost of travel put aside to actually be there, when all you make is a few pennies per book. I once did it at Borders and sold thirty in four hours. Great! But at 35p per book I made £15. That’s worse than minimum wage.
Because of this change, it goes without saying that an author must seriously look at the way their book is promoted. In my own case, I now only use POD to produce a few paperbacks for friends and maybe local promotion, not that I do much of that. But importantly, it makes your book available with the ISBN number and so you end up with every internet book sales company listing it. Okay you may not sell any that way, but it doesn’t matter, as your ultimate income will be ebook sales. But internet book seller listings are important because you book is filling the first pages of the search engines with your title, providing you follow the next bit!
So your main concentration is Internet ebook sales. Make sure that the name of the book is unique, so instantly it is top of the search engines. I’ve even thought up new words like ‘Plagarma’ and this will do the same, but try not to use more than one word, or ride on the popular names, it won’t work. If you look at my ‘Unit T Special Forces’ it is top of 17 million with at least two pages, as the full book name. But leave a bit out like the T and you shoot down the listings. Also ensure you have the com site name first and not a local country name, they are useless for writers, search engines in other countries don’t see you. Do a search for your proposed name. If I can’t get the com site, I don’t use the title. Just key ‘Plagarma’ in google and see what happens.
Following finding a name, I cross link with every other web sites I own for other books. The result is my books often have the first and second pages of the search engines. My own name, because of that, I’d expect to run into four or five pages. Then you wait, every now and again dropping into a blog site and giving your book a little mention, or a free news wire. Face book doesn’t work for me, or twitter, but I put it on just in case.
I do home made videos for my books and you tube is recording 900 indirect access’s (that’s websites linking) with around four hundred direct. For a book ad's that’s good, but I make them as movies, not stills which look a bit naff.
My internet sales now top 1500 per month and peaked during the Christmas period at 3000 for the month. Okay it’s not superstardom but better than a couple of hundred paper sales.
Finally, on the internet you will get a lot of crap reviews by people who have never tried to write a book and never will, but like to rubbish everyone who does. Then the majority of readers, who buy your book, very rarely say anything, so the only good reviews may come from friends trying to help out. Personally I believe Amazon and other ebook sellers should place the total sales of the book alongside the reviews, so readers can get all reviews into perspective. 10,000 sales of a book with a few crap reviews is quite an imbalance. But don’t worry, humans hate critics and don’t believe them. They also don’t believe five star ratings. So if some say you are crap, the instinct of a reader is to read it, just to be bloody minded. If everyone says your good, who knows, no one ever did that for me. Good luck.