In which I consider the price of books, compared to that of coffee.
Bear with me, all will be explained.
I got into an interesting discussion recently, over the price of my books. This is a tricky subject anyway, when you can get a new paperback for £3.50 in the supermarket, from a mainstream author, how much do you charge for one of your own eBooks?
Too little, i.e., free or £0.99 ($0.99) and it devalues the product, and the work that’s gone into it. It almost says, don’t bother with me, I’m cheap. And by implication, cheap equals lacking in quality.
However, if you charge too much, then it’s cheaper to buy something from someone else. Especially if you’re like me, a semi-unknown author, trying to acquire a reputation. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen eBooks on Amazon, by well-known authors, selling for £9.99 or more, which I feel is a little pricey. I’m not sure anyone would be prepared to try one of mine at that price.
I try to match the prices of comparable titles, so my eBooks are all £2.99 ($3.99) except for the short story collections which are £1.99 ($2.99). Partly because they are less wordy, it seems only right to adjust the price downwards.
In my time as a self-published author, I’ve given away over 3,500 books. I can’t say that doing it has gained me a huge number of sales or new fans. I rather suspect that the value of something that is free is less (in the mind of the acquirer) than that which attaches to something paid for. I’ve also had reviews that state that, well…, just look.
The clear implication there is that a free book trumps a sequel, even to a story that was enjoyed.
Anyway, back to the conversation. There was a comment made that my three-volume sets are too expensive at £5.99 ($7.99).
It annoyed me. I mean, it’s about the price of TWO CUPS OF COFFEE! Three whole novels, about 250,000 words that took me a couple of years to write, cost me a fortune to have edited, plus the price of a cover. They would provide you with more than half an hour’s entertainment. And you want to pay less than the price of your mid-morning caffeine with a friend.
Not only that, by buying the set, you’re actually getting one of the parts FREE, compared to the individual price. If it was coffee, three cups for the price of two, you’d invite someone else along to take advantage of the offer, wouldn’t you?
What do you think?
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