Don’t Undervalue Your Work!

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!
LamentForTheLivingpreview

Currently it’s .prc (DRM free for Kindle) or .pdf only.
Kindle/.prc – Download Here
PDF – Download Here

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:
Hannibal House by David Nicol   The Deluge of Elias by David Nicol
For more information and purchasing links please visit:
www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography

Misplaced Code of Honour – I’m not cheap, I’m MLGpro!

I’ve noticed a trend in many YouTube Modern Warfare 2 commentators lately. The trend is like a self imposed Code of Honour. I’m all for being honourable and upstanding. But these codes of conduct are paradoxical. Essentially, if you use weapon x, attachment y and perk z then you are cheap. In the most recent video I watched – on Machinima no less – the YouTuber was going on about how cheap the grenade launcher is (I think he referred to it as a ‘noob-tube’). Obviously in this example the commentator must have been playing in a very non-cheap way. After all, it would make sense to validate your opinion about what is cheap, by not being cheap yourself. You’d think…..

So this guy is camping with an ACR and Commando Pro while attempting to lecture on ‘cheap’.

At the moment it’s trendy to post in the comments on YouTube that the grenade launcher attachment should take up a perk slot…….why? If you want that then you need to be playing CoD4 where the grenade launcher ATTACHMENT was not treated as an ATTACHMENT. Why should it take up a perk slot when none of the other attachments do? You get two grenade rounds with the launcher attachment – two! If you pair it up with One Man Army you not only lose a perk slot, but you also lose your secondary weapon…….is that not a reasonable trade off?

In reality, the grenade launcher is a fairly ineffective weapon. Two rounds, slow reload, limited accuracy. If someone is running around with the grenade launcher shouldn’t you put your artificial code of honour to one side and really smite them?

It’s not like you’re not having an 18th Century Duel, this is not Call of Duty: Pistols at Dawn – you’re there to defeat the other side. And you should want to do that as decisively as possible. If you choose to limit your loadout then the phrase “Death before dishonour” will be true for you many times over.

Ironically, being ‘cheap’ is a public game phenomenom. In the world of competitive gaming there is no such thing as cheap – the point is to win as quickly and decisively as possible. In a game where the core of it is shooting the enemy in the face, doing it as effectively as possible should be the norm. Zip to 4 minutes 20 seconds on this video for the lowdown:

I use some loadouts and tactics that even I consider to be cheap. But if they need to be used then so be it. If you’re stupid enough to fall for the same trick more than once then you only have yourself to blame:

So the next time you’re called “cheap”, don’t be hurt. Just remember that you’re not being cheap, you’re being MLG Pro!

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE