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Old 03-18-2012, 08:09 AM   #91
ApK
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Personally, I'm beginning to resent this whole thing of readers expecting books for free or for the ludicrous price of just 99c. Some of you seem to think that $2.99 is dear! But you'd pay more for a cup of coffee.

My own books are adult (not porn or even erotica.) I will never make them free because people should consider before they buy them. My publisher set the first at $2.99, and probably the second will be the same. That is very cheap, cheaper than I would have chosen. For a year's work, a great book, $2.99 is an absolute pittance.
Maybe 99c for a Mills & Boon type romance, but for a serious book, try being willing to pay a bit more and you might find you get greater quality.
A couple things:
1, Who are you? That's rhetorical. The point is, I don't know you from Adam and have no idea what quality you are going to deliver. Maybe if you had the reputation of (I dunno...what 'adult' author ever commanded a high cover price?) DH Lawrence? Then I would know I'm buying quality. But the point is we DON'T don't know, so why should we risk a cup of coffee that we know we'll get value from?
Note Stephen King and JK Rowling aren't here in this thread sweating over this.
2, $2.99 is a pittance but, what, $7.99 is fair compensation for a YEAR'S work?!
They are both pittances when figured as an hourly rate. That's never the point. The point is trying to get thousands of new readers to spend their pittance on YOU vs. all the others like you who are competeing not just for the pittance, but for hours of those readers lives that you expect them to spend on you.

ApK

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Old 03-18-2012, 08:49 AM   #92
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my books will be priced all the way up to a fiver.
Do you sell many at that price? There is a lot of psychology involved too, and some (maybe even a lot of) people do equate high prices with quality. But to get away with that, you would actually need the high quality that they would be expecting otherwise they will complain. Whereas if they're expecting bargain basement quality and get something significantly (or even slightly) better, they will be more happy. Assuming they ever get around to reading it, anyway.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:09 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Marj View Post
Personally, I'm beginning to resent this whole thing of readers expecting books for free or for the ludicrous price of just 99c. Some of you seem to think that $2.99 is dear! But you'd pay more for a cup of coffee.

My own books are adult (not porn or even erotica.) I will never make them free because people should consider before they buy them. My publisher set the first at $2.99, and probably the second will be the same. That is very cheap, cheaper than I would have chosen. For a year's work, a great book, $2.99 is an absolute pittance.
Maybe 99c for a Mills & Boon type romance, but for a serious book, try being willing to pay a bit more and you might find you get greater quality.
I agree that a good book is worth more than 99 cents or even $2.99. The question is how do I find that good book or good author?

In the olden days of not so long ago, the premise was that if someone was published by a Random House they were a good author but if they were published by a vanity press or were self-published, they were not. In today's marketplace, that premise is no longer as valid as it once was.

The premise has begun to fail because increasingly authors are self-publishing and the number of "publishers" has grown exponentially. Now there are "publishers" who only publish a single author's books and "publishers" who publish fewer than 5 books a year. Last statistic I saw was that there are more than 50,000 "publishers" in the United States alone. Consequently, the gatekeeping that was behind the premise has disappeared.

Last year more than 750,000 books were self-published in the United States alone. How does a reader find the good author/book in that large a pile? The reality is that it is very difficult and various readers have various strategies.

For many of us, the strategy is to focus on the free or 99 cents ebook as the introducer to the unknown author. Does this work? I can only speak for myself but for me it definitely does. It was the free ebook Sentence of Marriage that introduced me to Shayne Parkinson. That book was good that I immediately purchased all her other ebooks at the asking price (I think it was $2.99) without hesitation. And I then went on to write several blog recommendations and I notified all my friends and acquaintances that these are books to buy and read. Many of them did.

This repeated itself with many other authors -- Michael Hicks, Vicki Tyley, LJ Sellers, Tracy Falbe, to name a few. But I would never have read a book by any of these authors if the first one hadn't been free or 99 cents because there are literally thousands of books and authors vying for my attention so why spend more than I have to to get introduced.

You may think your book is worth much more than $2.99 and it may be, but it isn't worth anything if no one discovers it and getting discovered is the problem for which there is no single solution.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:15 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by rhadin View Post

Last year more than 750,000 books were self-published in the United States alone. How does a reader find the good author/book in that large a pile? The reality is that it is very difficult and various readers have various strategies.
Sorry, but how did people manage before ebooks came along? There has always been good quality writing and there has always been dross. Most of the people I know (and I'm not saying this is the same for the whole world) buy books because a friend or family member has recommended it.

I love D.H.Lawrence, but he's dead, we won't write anymore, so I have to find new authors.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #95
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I think the point is... the price of an ebook is not reflective of its value, it is merely a marketing tool.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Justin Nemo View Post
Sorry, but how did people manage before ebooks came along? There has always been good quality writing and there has always been dross. Most of the people I know (and I'm not saying this is the same for the whole world) buy books because a friend or family member has recommended it.
As rhadin mentioned, large professional publishing houses served as gatekeepers. They needed to spend a lot of money to get a book on bookstore shelves, and they had to maintain a reputation of quality, so much of the worst stuff never got past the first assistant editor it encountered, and the rest was proofed and copy-edited and rewritten.

People could assume, usually correctly, that the stuff on their bookstore and library shelves, which was really all they had to choose from, had gone through a filter that left only stuff that wasn't patently terrible.

On the down side, that also left a lot of good stuff out if it did't strike the fancy of a small cadre of professionals.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:18 PM   #97
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You win.

I moaned a while back that readers were expecting books too cheap. Well, you win. Without consulting me, my publisher tossed my book in the bargain basement for 99c. Sure it's now selling 4 times as many, but earning me less. I suppose that at least I managed a few more 5-star reviews, all from strangers (for those who think good reviews only ever come from friends)
so if you want an absolute quality read for a pittance, you'll need to look for me. I'm not game to say more as an over-enthusiastic moderator likes to delete whatever I say. You'll have to search for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
A couple things:
1, Who are you? That's rhetorical. The point is, I don't know you from Adam and have no idea what quality you are going to deliver. Maybe if you had the reputation of (I dunno...what 'adult' author ever commanded a high cover price?) DH Lawrence? Then I would know I'm buying quality. But the point is we DON'T don't know, so why should we risk a cup of coffee that we know we'll get value from?
Note Stephen King and JK Rowling aren't here in this thread sweating over this.
2, $2.99 is a pittance but, what, $7.99 is fair compensation for a YEAR'S work?!
They are both pittances when figured as an hourly rate. That's never the point. The point is trying to get thousands of new readers to spend their pittance on YOU vs. all the others like you who are competeing not just for the pittance, but for hours of those readers lives that you expect them to spend on you.

ApK
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:59 AM   #98
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Sorry, but how did people manage before ebooks came along? There has always been good quality writing and there has always been dross. Most of the people I know (and I'm not saying this is the same for the whole world) buy books because a friend or family member has recommended it.
It was (and remains) an important role of the publisher to filter out the crap. If I buy an SF/Fantasy book from Baen, I can be pretty certain that it will be reasonably well-written and edited, and that I'll enjoy it. I just don't have the time to spend going through the 10,000 free or low-cost self-published SF/Fantasy books at Amazon attempting to find the 0.1% of gems amongst the garbage.

That's why I continue to buy books from publishers. Quality for me is enormously more important than price, and professional publishers continue to be reasonable "gatekeepers" of quality writing.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:30 AM   #99
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It was (and remains) an important role of the publisher to filter out the crap.
But they also filter out a lot of good books. A dozen of them filtered out 'Harry Potter' and lost a billion dollars in the process, for example, and horror publishers seem to have been filtering out anything other than 'Twilight' rip-offs and 'James Joyce, zombie hunter' novels.

There's an interesting essay called 'On the survival of rats in the slush pile' which goes into some detail on why the slush pile as a submission system is a disaster for both writers and publishers. I'm not sure I entirely agree with it, but it does make a lot of sense.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #100
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But they also filter out a lot of good books. A dozen of them filtered out 'Harry Potter' and lost a billion dollars in the process, for example, and horror publishers seem to have been filtering out anything other than 'Twilight' rip-offs and 'James Joyce, zombie hunter' novels.
I'm sure you're right, but it's pretty irrelevant to me, as a reader. As long as publishers are publishing a sufficient number of good books to satisfy me (and I seem to have several life-times' worth of reading material on my "TBR" list), I don't really care what's not being published.

If an author can make a go of it via self-publishing, good luck to them, but it's not for me. Life is too short to waste reading reams of garbage in the hope of finding that rare gem.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #101
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I'm sure you're right, but it's pretty irrelevant to me, as a reader. As long as publishers are publishing a sufficient number of good books to satisfy me (and I seem to have several life-times' worth of reading material on my "TBR" list), I don't really care what's not being published.
Well, that's my problem. When I go to a book store and look at the horror and SF shelves these days, I can rarely find anything that interests me enough to be worth buying. Those two genres in particular seem to have been revitalised by self-published e-books, though I'd agree that finding good books rather than just mediocre ones is still hard; I haven't seen much unreadable crap published on Amazon lately.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:15 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Edward M. Grant View Post
But they also filter out a lot of good books. A dozen of them filtered out 'Harry Potter' and lost a billion dollars in the process, for example, and horror publishers seem to have been filtering out anything other than 'Twilight' rip-offs and 'James Joyce, zombie hunter' novels.

There's an interesting essay called 'On the survival of rats in the slush pile' which goes into some detail on why the slush pile as a submission system is a disaster for both writers and publishers. I'm not sure I entirely agree with it, but it does make a lot of sense.
Hmmm, searched this out and to be honest, tl;dr

I tend to agree that many great books/stories don't see the light of day, I wish there were a better way, not sure just publishing everything is the answer either, we need to somehow as readers be able to find those great books that are of interest to us. Honestly I don't know how, other that via reviews, publicity, etc.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:10 AM   #103
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i'm merely a reader but i've been buying ebooks long enough to form my personal guidelines on pricing.

i won't pay for any short story. imo they should be a free taste of your work. nor will i ever pay for samples, thats just ludicrous.

i'm willing to pay 99 cents for a novella, maybe as much as $2 if i know the author. anything more than that and its not worth it to me.

for novels, no more than $3 for a first time author. i think thats a nice fair price. i see some first timers charging $8-$10 for their books and i openly laugh at them and remove them from my recommendations. i won't even pay $10 for bestselling authors so an indie certainly won't see those bucks from me. i'll pay $5 or $6 if its an indie author i love.

take it or leave it, i just wanted to give the perspective of a buyer.

print is a different story. i'm willing to pay a fair price for an indie paperback, even if i'm unfamiliar with the author.

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