Pay Me Right!

This one is for my author friends!

But you readers should pay attention too.

Raise your hand if you give your books away for free.

I see a few of you raising your hands.

So why do you do that? Okay, speak up!

You do it to gain a readership?

To create exposure?

To get on the Amazon best seller list?

You want your family and friends to feel special, so you give it to some of them.

Some of those answers are great! Some suck!

So then after you take it off free status, how much is it?

99 cents? 2.99? 4.99?

Well how big is your book?

Novella? Novel? EPIC?

How did you come to this price conclusion?

If you said because that is the way books are being priced nowadays, you get a big fat F on your test.

I have seen a few different takes on this, and IT IS YOUR RIGHT TO SELL YOUR BOOK FOR WHATEVER PRICE YOU WANT, let me say that now before I get hate mail, but, let’s be real. 99 cents?

Here’s why I’m joining the Pay Me Right Movement:

  1. I’m a professional! I BREAKS MY BACK to make my product amazing. I get anxious and excited, sad happy, mad. I run the range of feelings when it comes to getting my book in order FOR THE READER. That person who has to pay me. Hard work deserves good pay. You’d feel that way if you worked at Starbucks right? You wouldn’t take less just because they pay less in China…
  2. This is my life. I am completely self employed right now. I need more than 99 cents per book folks. Sure I want to sell a million books, which is potentially a million dollars! But that takes me to my next point.
  3. Amazon is going to EAT my profit in any book form, digital or print. Let me not leave out Nook, they are the same kind of snake. I think for a 99 cent book you get 35%. Do the math. I can’t live on that!
  4. Not everyone is pricing their book like that! You just see it because those people are killing themselves trying to sell their book! People who price their book higher, but still reasonable, are doing just fine, they are just not filling your Facebook feed with crap because they aren’t making a profit on their 99 cent book.
  5. I have heard from more than one person that the books they get for free or 99 cent are the last ones they read and they are not taken very seriously. I get that, and I do that. Free books take me FOREVER to read unless they are amazing! This is the point to all that though… really… if you’re willing to pay for something you ACTUALLY WANT IT. Which means you will hustle up and read it, review it and buy the next one.

NOW! There are some one offs to this issue. I know what you’re thinking… what about this? what about that? Don’t whine, I’m getting there…

So Free books! I like those in some ways. I will give away my book for free. Some people are fainting right now, others are clapping. Here is why I will do it:

  • I know some people I just want to share with out of the kindness of my heart, family and friends, and I know some poor folks who really could not give me 7.99 for my print book. I get that. I’ve been there! So I will give books to some people for free.
  • I am not opposed to giving copies of my book to reviewers. This is ONLY if they show interest and request it from me. They also have to be reputable and have a good following.  I’m not begging no body to review my book! On another note, I will NEVER pay for reviews with anything other than a free copy of the book. I can get that from fans for free and they will buy my book to do it.

So, 99 cent books! I don’t like those in to many ways. My book will be 99 cents as an INTRODUCTORY PRICE for about 3 days on Amazon and others. Here is why I will do that, and why I don’t like the 99 cent price point.

  • My book will have an introductory price because I like that! I love when stores do that! It’s a great marketing ploy! Business major here! :)
  • If you search amazon for Kindle eBooks, just Kindle eBooks so you can get a wide range, you will find EVERY price point. I did it for you, click the link. :) See Mary Clark Higgins on there. 10.99 for her eBook! If she can do it, so can you! If you’re writing is the same standard as her, why not? Do not feel forced to give away your book for a dollar. NOT EVERYONE IS DOING THAT!
  • Again, people do not always take 99 cent books seriously. Ask around if you don’t believe me.

When is it good to do this 99 cent thing?

Only for marketing purposes!

I do not think it’s advisable to price your book this way for more than a few days. Introductory prices are cool for customers. They are into that special touch. Anniversary pricing for a day. Another strategy that I think is good, because it worked on me, lol, is making the first book in a series free or 99 cents when another book in the series comes out (for a limited time). I have actually continued to read a book series from a free book at least 4 times since I got my Kindle a few years ago. Those were some GREAT books though! It took me a while to start reading them but when I did I was hooked.

So, to make some greater points and cross the T’s on some other points.

  • First and Foremost! Make your book good! You can get everything you need for a booming career if your book is good. You can charge almost anything for a good product. We all know this.
  • Be yourself! YOU are YOUR BRAND as an Author. If you’re just gonna run around pricing your book like the next person then who are you!?
  • Free is for those you love. That’s how I see it, and even they should buy the second one. lol. Don’t give away your book or it might end up in the bottom of that box I have at the top of this article…
  • Everything works different for everyone. Make your own plan and don’t follow the crowd. People who break away  and make change in their lives make the biggest waves.
  • If anyone was interested… the way I will be pricing my eBooks (because this is where the issue lies mostly, not with print so much) is that my eBooks will be half the price of my Print book in regards to the eBooks regular price. I chose this because I can remember it and with eBooks you’re minus those printing costs so I’m a safe bet to make a good profit without getting to ridiculous on my customers.

I really want to hear from you guys regarding this. Am I nuts? Give me your honest opinion on this pricing issue, because if you didn’t know, it is an issue.



3 thoughts on “Pay Me Right!

  1. You know, it’s kind of a mixed bag. I’ve heard and read that if your book isn’t at a particular price point, then no one takes it seriously. Then you have people who are constantly looking for free and cheap books. I’ve heard that if your book is 99 cents it’s crap or poorly edited…and as someone who stays up to 2 am reading (a good book, of course), I’ve found some excellent books out there that I got for free or for a few bucks. Trust, I got some duds too that I couldn’t get past the first chapter with…I’ve also heard the mainstream author vs indie author argument. Some folks won’t mind shelling out 15.00 for an Eric Jerome Dickey or Kimberla Lawson Roby, but for a new author? A self-published one at that? Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to it.
    Absolutely, I agree that the book should be good because it is a reflection of you as a writer and the brand you’re creating for yourself :-) Paying attention to editing and the cover is also important. Also as a business major, you do want a good return on the investment of your time, talent, and money for those things you can’t or shouldn’t do yourself (editing, covers, ISBNs, etc) A lot of us do this writing thing for the love of it, but of course we want to make some money at the same time. Therefore, putting on the business hat is very necessary at some point in the process of writing and publishing. So, I feel it is a matter of researching pricing, your target readership and the length of the story to find a price that you’re comfortable with.

    1. I agree with all of that. I’m kind of torn about who started this issue though, Readers or Authors? Was it based on the economy? Because I see that about myself when ever I shop. Something cheaper almost always wins, BUT there are still some things I am more than happy to break my pocket for. It seems like its all about what the customer is willing to do but I remember when I worked in retail, no matter where I went they always said, offer the product, the worse they can do is say no. I feel the same way about pricing.

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