Don’t undervalue your work! That’s right, there’s even an exclamation mark to show that I’m serious, and maybe on the verge of shouting. Where has this come from?
A group that I’m a member of on LinkedIn had a post from someone saying that they’ve “caved in” and are putting their books on for $0.99. I won’t be following suit. My short stories are currently $1.25 and (sorry to mix currencies here) but ‘Lament for the Living‘ is going to be £2.99 (about $4.50).
Why? Why price my work so high? I hear you cry. I’m not.
You may even have spluttered some of your coffee over your laptop or iPad. How much was that coffee? If you’re reading this while sitting in a coffee shop then I’d imagine that it was at least a couple of bucks, what about that muffin (yeah, I can see you, Jellybelly)?
Let’s say you paid $5 for your coffee and muffin (maybe more, I don’t know, I don’t go to coffee shops). Why did you pay that? Probably because you like it, and you know the quality of the goods. Good answer? Now let’s look at why it cost you $5. Do you think it cost the coffee shop $5 to serve you? Of course not, but as a business they have to make a profit. Depending on how busy they are, the unit cost to the business is probably somewhere around $1.50. That’s $3.50 taxable profit (unless you’re Starbucks, in which case it’s $3.50 profit in the UK).
Now let’s look at the ebook. Traditionally published authors charge anywhere from $7 – $17 for the ebook version of their work (sometimes even more). They justify the costs (like every other business) by citing the cost of overheads – the author royalties, editor costs, agent costs, artwork, formatting, design, and advertising.
Do you think an indie, or self pubbed, author does not accrue those same costs? Maybe scrub out the agent cut for many. But every other business expense applies, and I, for one, treat my writing as a business. Sure, I write for pleasure, but it’s still a business (everyone would jump at the chance to make a living doing something they love). When I make a sale, the taxman is going to want his cut (unfortunately I’m not in a position to enjoy the tax avoiding schemes of the rich and powerful). Before that there’s the time I’ve spent planning and writing the book. Then the cover design, the editing, the formatting, the advertising. Should I not bother factoring any of that in because I’m not traditionally published?
It seems there’s an expectation for indie authors to essentially give their work away, until they become “known” or blag a contract. I’m not giving my work away (well, I will, but you’ll need to like a page, or do a review for a free copy). I’ll do sales and giveaways, but I won’t bargain bucket my work. As the series continues, book one will probably go to $0.99 or even free, until then it’ll be priced appropriately.
What do you think about ebook pricing (especially relating to indie authors)?
Don’t forget, ‘Lament for the Living’ is out on May 10th – get a sneak peek at the first chapter for FREE!
Download, read, enjoy. Let me know what you think.
While you’re waiting for ‘Lament for the Living’ to be released the following titles are also available:
For more information and purchasing links please visit: