When I first came out with Red Clay and Roses, I told my millionaire cousins about the book. I mentioned that it was only $3.99. My cousin’s wife remarked, “Oh, we have a site where we get all of our digital books for free.” I suggested they support a starving author. “Why, when there is so much out there to read for free? We haven’t paid for a book in five years.”
Maybe that’s why they are millionaires.
I’m being facetious. But I was offended. My own family would not pay $4.00 to read my book. Hell, I would have given them a free copy if they had expressed any interest.
If you have a series, I can understand the first book in the series being discounted. That’s a great opportunity for you to strut your stuff and build your audience, but I’m wondering if keeping books priced low is working to our collective advantage.
Some individuals have told me that their genre or their style of books only sells at lower prices. I wonder if that is the impatience of the author desiring a quick return.
I was noting the apps in the app store for my phone. You can barely find children’s apps for fewer than five dollars. Some are free, but they are crappy. The good ones are always going to cost you ten dollars, or more, because they know you are going to want the great ones for your kids/grandkids.
I’ve reviewed some terrific indie books on this site, so you know that I know there is a lot of good writing out there. Yet, if I wasn’t an indie supporter because I’ve also self-published would I be one of those who buys books only when they are marked for sale? You know they are going to be…BookBub, Ereader News Today, EBookie, Ereader Books, FreeBookSpot, FreeeBooks, ManyBooks, GetFreeeBooks…I could go on and on, but you get the point.
So very much out there to read, I would never run out of reading material. There are hundreds of places to get free books and if I am just an average reader, why should I spend any money on yours? About the only reason, would be if your free book was the first in a series or trilogy and I want to know what happens next.
We have created this FREE monster by collectively jumping on the bandwagon.
If you were an average reader who did not have a blog and had not been introduced to indies, what would entice you to read a book? It’s popularity? Endorsement by people you respected? A well-known brand/author? Word-of-mouth from people who share your interests and know what you like to read?
I have been on forums where people made comments that they would not pay less than five dollars for a book because they KNOW anything less than that is trash. Hundreds agreed in that thread. Really?
You are really craving ice cream. If I told you that you could have this really cool vanilla ice cream cone for free, or you could pay ten dollars for the chocolate one, which one are you going to take?
I have an author friend who has vowed not to give his books away anymore and won’t be doing anymore sales. His price is set at about $5.00. He wants his books to sell by word of mouth on their own merit. Is that literary suicide in today’s market? Is that suicide for an indie author?
Should we all try that?
What would happen if we did?