- I value my work, and I demonstrate that in the price I charge for it. This book took me a year to write and is worth a sensible amount. What matters is not the author's perception of value, but the purchaser's, and it's an act of faith to buy and spend hours of your time on a novel by an author you've never heard of.
- Self-publishers who price their books low are doing a disservice to other indies by engendering an expectation of low prices. Welcome to the free market. In business, you price to sell your product, not to win friends; I am responsible for no one's sales except my own.
- If you price your book on Amazon at less than £1.49, thus earning 35% rather than 70% royalty, you will need to sell six times the number of books to break even. With a popular book, you will do this and much, much more. See JA Konrath and Victorine Lieske. And, in a more modest way, me.
Sunday, 6 March 2011
What's a novel worth?
THE hot topic on the writers' forums I frequent right now is the price of ebooks, and more specifically, what a self-published writer should charge.
(We all know publishers have their own dark reasons for charging more than the price of a paperback, in spite of the negligible or zero costs of producing, storing, and distributing an ebook, and I'm not getting into that topic here.)
Here's a summary of the main arguments for a higher price, and my thoughts in italics:
The whole publishing industry is in a fascinating state of upheaval right now. Pricing is just a part of that turmoil. One can only speculate on what the industry will be like in five years' time, and the prices that ebooks will command. There'll be one constant, though. Readers will still buy books they like, and it will still be impossible to predict which books have that magic quality.
Posted by Lexi at Sunday, March 06, 2011