Monday, June 11, 2012

How Much?

There's a lot of discussion on the internet of late about pricing ebooks. I don't have any answers, in fact I probably have more questions.

When I was painting and trying to get work into galleries I had the same problem. How do you put a price on a painting? One theory was that you looked at it as a product. How much do you need to live? How many paintings can you produce in a year? Divide that and that's what it should cost.

Right.

That assumes you can sell all the paintings. I did the shows and the fairs and sent off slides to galleries and competitions. Sales are not guaranteed.

The same goes for books. You can forecast all the sales you want, but you can't guarantee anything.

And the other side of the coin is - what do readers want to pay for books? As a reader I would love for the price of books to come down. I promise I will buy lots more!

However, the flood of cheap and free books on the market has tainted it. I downloaded a bunch of free books and I have to say, a lot of them have problems. So now readers expect the cheap books to be bad books. They don't want to weed through the dreck to find the pearls. And I can't blame them. It's time consuming. Sometimes the reviews are a little too generous. I can get past the occasional typo or missing word, but most of them are just out too soon.

I priced my ebook at $2.99. It was priced higher based on some articles I read about not underpricing your work. But then I read an article that most readers had seen so many books at the 2.99 price that they wouldn't go higher.

I'm waiting for the dust to settle. I think 2.99 for self-pubbed ebooks is reasonable. If I see a rational reason to raise it, I might on another book.

Print books are a whole other thing. The cost pretty much dictates the price. But I've seen some arguments there, too.

It's all very confusing and trends are changing and I just want to wait it out and see where the chips lie.


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