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No More 99cent Books! Decent Pay for Decent Work!

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Gail Gentry wrote a great blog about ebook prices – I fully agree what she writes. If ALL authors would value their books – and their work – more, would band together and prize all their works at least to the level of a cappuccino… and get rid of these 99cent books.
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Gail wrote: “I’ve watched the trends and read articles about how new indie authors must price their books at 99 cents. Get the sales out there – get your name recognized. Great! I can do that. Sell 100 books, make $100, right, or well, hey, close to it, right? RIGHT? My bubble is then burst when I’m told the percentage tier for sale prices on Amazon. For every book you list and sell at 99 cents, you get 35%. Wait, what? For every book I sell at 99 cents I get 35 cents? So for my brand spanking new book I only get a mere 8 cents more than a book, an old book, a used, worn book, a dated book, that I would sell as a yard sale item for a quarter?

Now, I work a full-time job and in addition I have a part-time job where I freelance as a typist for a small company. I only have to work about one minute in my part-timer to get paid 35cents. I don’t even want to do the math and add up the hours I’m spending writing my book, dreaming about my book, editing and revising; and, this doesn’t even take into account what it’s going to take to have cover art designed, or pay CreateSpace for hardbound copies, in addition to advertising. How about the countless hours of sleep I’ve lost – some nights I’m lucky to get 3 or 4 hours before I turn around and go to my day job. I figure, it’s okay. I love writing. It’s my passion, my heart.

HOWEVER, it’s not okay to get 35 cents for every book I sell. Sorry but I’m not going to accept that. It’s not even okay to sell my book for 99 cents. I look around and see not only good authors but GREAT authors selling their books for 99 cents. And, it’s not okay with them to sell their books either for 99cents but they’re having to do it to stay competitive.

I say BULL….SHIT. When did it become the norm to throw all the books written by Indie authors into the marked-down bin? Now I know I’ll probably get the comments that “if you’re a true writer, you’re not in it for the money, you’re in it for the passion.” To that I say DOUBLE BULL….SHIT.  If I wanted to just plain write, then I wouldn’t revise, I wouldn’t edit, I wouldn’t hire a cover artist, I wouldn’t have hardbound copies made, etc., etc.  Anyone who wants to tell me that they would, then go for it. Prove it. Send me your book for free, and I hope it’s okay if I in turn send you over a mailing list to all of my friends – I’ll even tweet my 6600 followers on Twitter and let them know you’re giving your books away for free from here to eternity just because it makes you happy to have your writing in someone else’s hands and you’re not looking for anything in return. No reviews, no “Likes”, no recognition, no money to cover your out-of-pocket costs.

After you send me your book just keep in mind, I didn’t say I would read your book. Change your mind? Yup, thought so. If you don’t value your work any more than that, why should I? Free books are what I get with my library card. At least I know the authors sitting on the shelves in the library believed in themselves enough to have made an investment in their writing.

My good friend, R. S. Guthrie, has said it and I agree with him 100% that it’s up to authors – both seasoned and green – to move the price market. I’m an unknown author, I have yet to prove my worth – I might even suck. Still, when I release my book this year I will be debuting it at $2.99, maybe even $4.99.

I will leave it up to the promotions to reduce the price or do a give-away. I can tell you there are just as many authors out there selling their books at $2.99 or above that I have not heard of as there are selling them at 99 cents. So what’s the difference. On my Amazon site, I plan on having an excerpt from the book or perhaps the first chapter – something for the public to read in order to be able to make an informed choice on whether or not it’s a book they would like to delve into. I believe it’s not so much the price of the book that will get me my readers but how I market my book and the quality of my book.

Shall I say that again? I believe it’s not so much the price of the book that will get me my readers but how I market my book and the quality of my book.”

Read the article in full length here: http://chickletslit.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/coming-soon-reality-smash-hit-market-preppers/ and let me know what YOU think about e-book prices from independent authors. Should they stay at the free or 99cent – level or should authors receive decent pay for their work?

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Facts About Selling Your Book too Cheap

Melissa Forster

Melissa Forster, bestseller author wrote in a terrific blog:

“There is value in listing your book for free, at least for right now there is value. Readers will download your book in droves. Your rankings will soar. Immediately after your free days, at 99 cents you will sell many books, probably about 1000 in three days, equating to $350.

However, you would probably reap at least 1/3 equivalent sales at $2.99, increasing your revenue to 70% while also engaging readers who will think before downloading, which equates to readers who will more likely read your book–you have just added worth to your hard work.”

“Here’s a great fact — not all free and 99 cent books are read. Yet, most $2.99 books and above are read.”

“The difference? The books are not impulse buys, but they’re reasonable enough that readers who are interested in really reading the books will read them. More importantly, you are putting a value on your book, your writing, and your time.  You only need to sell 125 books to earn the same $350 at $2.99.”

Read her eye-opening article: http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/content/placing-value-free-marketing

See also an interview with her: http://melissafoster.com/content/over-edge-book-review-interviews-melissa-foster

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AMAZON on Shopping Tour?

Amazon has acquired Avalon Books, a small publisher that focuses on hardcover mystery, “wholesome” romance and Westerns, and will make its titles available digitally for the first time. Avalon Books have been geared and marketed primarily toward the library market; now Amazon will seek to market them to a wider audience.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, covers Avalon’s entire backlist of about 3,000 titles. Avalon launched in 1950 and is now run by the founder’s daughter Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen, who said she chose Amazon to buy her company because “they care deeply about the writers, readers and categories that have long mattered to our family business and they are uniquely positioned to assure that our titles make the leap forward into the digital future.”

Amazon will release the Avalon titles under its West Coast imprints, including Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer. The press release says “these books will continue to be available in print for booksellers and libraries nationwide. Amazon acquired Marshall Cavendish’s children’s book list last December.

To get the whole story about Amazon’s almost 20 years “THE AMAZON EFFECT” (I almost typed: “The Amazon Waste Land”, when I read the last sentence of the story)  – have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and take your time : )  it’s an extensive article, almost a novella or an Amazon “Shorts” to speak in their language.

You will learn not only about Amazon, but about the last 20 years of publishing and book selling. Print out the article, it might make an interesting part of literature and publishing history one day…

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