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Old 03-11-2012, 04:20 PM   #16
Shack70
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$.99 is a price that will allow people to give unknown writers a try. Start asking higher prices and they want more a sure thing.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:47 PM   #17
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How do major publishers arrive at their price? Why is £5 / $8 any less arbitrary? Why do you think the price has such a direct relationship to the value? What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to sell 8 copies and have some nebulous self-worth, or do you want to sell 800 copies and actually reach a wider audience? Why not give it away?

Why is every sentence in this post a question?
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Nemo View Post
Hi Steve

Thanks for your input.

I'm not suggesting for a moment that unpublished authors should be over charging for their work, they need to be affordable. Although I have seen some charging $20 plus. I also realise that publishers have overheads which inflate book prices.

My point is that 99 cents is a ridiculous amount of money to charge for something that has taken days to produce, or at least should have. Now I don't know if that book is crap or the best literature since Charles Dickens (Yes I know that's another debate!), but as a reader and buyer of books, I wouldn't touch it.

I think we as authors need to find a level of pricing which is fair to everyone. Fair to us for our work and fair to the reader who doesn't probably know us from a whole in the head. If you buy a Wilbur Smith or Lee Childs you know in advance what you can expect.

I have always pitched my books less than £3.00 which is around $4.50. Do I sell many? Compared to who? Probably not enough for the guys that want to charge less than a buck, but when I do sell a book I don't feel cheated and I don't think the buyer does either, well at least they've never told me so.
Justin, you have taken many of the commenters here to task. They are (as far as I know) being quite forthright and honest with you, and you are essentially calling some of them ridiculous.

In fact, I think besides being rude, you are being ridiculous as well. You think 99 cents is ridiculous as a cost for your book and further you say right above that this book might have taken "days" to produce.

Let us assume it took you a year to produce this book which you sell for 99 cents. You make a pitch that this wonderful book for 99 cents is your way to introduce yourself to readers. You let anyone that wants, browse extensively in your book. You offer critiques and interesting lead ins into the story, the characters, the relationships that are discussed in the book in as many places as you can find.

Readers see all this, browse the book, buy it, or borrow it, and like it.
You sell a 100,000 of them. Not a great number on the high end, but a very good number. Book sales total = (.99)x(100,000) 99 thousand dollars. Let us say your cut is 70%= 69,300 dollars.

Now Justin I don't expect you to tell us here, but think about how much money you made last year. During the whole year. Was it above $69,300 dollars?

But wait, that book might have only taken "days to produce" according to what you said above. We will be generous and consider that you worked hard during those "days" and really need a whole month to produce a book.
Let's give you a month off during the cold season so you can enjoy the warm waters somewhere. That is 11 months of productive time for 11 books.

Let me see. (11)x(69,300)= $762,300 dollars. Most the people here would be happy with that model, or even something considerably less.

Now you want to charge $25.00 for each book because you think it is worth it. O.K., no one is going to stop you. Let us hear how that works out.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:21 AM   #19
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The value of my work is not quantifiable on a monetary scale. To even discuss it in those terms is to demean it.

I'm going to sell my next book for $10,000,000 to one single person who must promise to destroy it after he reads it.

I am now accepting names (and deposits) from all those who are interested. PM me.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:34 AM   #20
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Are you an editor by any chance Harry?
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:39 AM   #21
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Frahse you've entirely missed the point. I'm sorry if you find that rude and I apologise to anyone who is offended by my comments.

All I am saying is.......................
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:44 AM   #22
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Well what I'm not saying Frahse is that I want to sell a book for $25. Where did you get that from? Did you really sell 100,000 copies of your book?
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Nemo View Post
Are you an editor by any chance Harry?
No. Just someone who's fed up with looking an independently-published books which are riddled with errors in grammar and punctuation.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:54 AM   #24
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and typos?
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:58 AM   #25
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Yes, and typos. I know that I'm not capable of writing something that's fit for publication without editing, and I don't think that many other authors are, either. I write non-fiction (textbooks), where it's perhaps even more important than it is for novels.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:11 AM   #26
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I totally agree, editing is a major part of the process. Sorry Harry, I was being facetious. As you picked me up on my grammar earlier on in this discussion, I was pointing out your typo of using 'an' instead of 'at' in your last post.

Last edited by Justin Nemo; 03-12-2012 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:49 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
99c promotions probably won't work now that people can have them free for limited periods.

There's 2 trains of thought on this. One is you're competing with other unknown writers so you have to join them in the race to the bottom otherwise you won't sell anything. The other is a lot of people won't even look at the cheap titles because they think they will be amateur crap (sometimes based on a previous purchase, but usually just prejudice).

The ideal price is probably somewhere in between. Cheap enough for impulse purchases but expensive enough for it not to be thought of as amateur crap.
Getting back to the original question, I agree mostly with what Mr. Ploppy said. But I also agree with points made in another thread. It's not just the book, it's also the cover and the blurb and the marketing. I'm going back to those other aspects and taking a hard look to see how I can make them more attractive to readers.

I also have a theory that selling fiction is much harder than selling non-fiction. My memoir on Vietnam is easy enough for readers interested in that topic to find. They may or may not buy it, but at least they see it. Novels are tear drops in the ocean, and unless you are a well-known author, it is hard for readers to find you, much less decide to invest their time in reading your work. Which brings me back to the cover and the blurb.

Bottom line, writing a book is very hard. Getting readers to buy it is even harder. Pricing is an important factor, but not the only one.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:34 AM   #28
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I think Harry is saying that authors shouldn't self publish (forgive me Harry if I got this wrong), but for some authors that is the only option. As you rightly say G J once you go down the self publishing route, you have to be a graphic designer and marketer.

I think you are right about it being harder to sell fiction. What I am trying to say (obviously not very intelligibly) is that the next year or two will see a lot more epublishing websites, which will in turn make the finding, buying, selling process a lot easier. Therefore we shouldn't under sell ourselves.

I think I need to qualify an earlier statement of mine, reading back through this thread. I thought it might have been obvious when I was talking about it taking days to write a story, that I was talking about a short story. 10,000 words should only take days to write. I didn't imagine that some people were selling works that had taken them a whole year to write for 99 cents.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:01 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Nemo View Post
I think Harry is saying that authors shouldn't self publish (forgive me Harry if I got this wrong), but for some authors that is the only option. As you rightly say G J once you go down the self publishing route, you have to be a graphic designer and marketer.
Oh no, I'm certainly not saying that. Self-publish by all means, but PLEASE employ the service of an editor. It costs money, yes, but it repays the investment many-fold.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:11 AM   #30
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Thanks for clearing that up Harry. That really is sound advice.
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