When it comes to pricing digital books indie authors have screwed themselves over. Everyone is so desperate to get themselves noticed, they keep slashing their prices, driving them down, devaluing their work. This makes it harder for new authors entering the self-publishing arena to price their books.
Recently on one of the groups on Facebook, an author was puzzled over what she should charge for a 300 page book she took nearly a year to write. Those of us in the group have watched her grow, we’ve seen the struggle she had coming out from behind the screen and sharing her work with the world. Her heart and soul is in this project. We understand that because we’ve been there, we know exactly what it’s like.
Competition gets even harder when so many people are offering their books for free. The whole digital revolution has trained the public to think that just because a book comes in digital format, it’s somehow less than a printed book, that it’s nothing to create and therefore, should be free or as cheap as possible.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
It’s crazy. Authors, no matter how you slice it, are not left with much to show for months and sometimes years of hard work behind the keyboard. The distributors take their cut with ebooks, there’s a 20% discount for wholesale on printed books, plus the printing fee.
The biggest game changer you have in your favor is presentation. Presentation counts for just as much as content. People do judge books by their covers and how everything looks between those covers. I’m guilty of this myself. If a book has that “indie look” to it, I won’t read it. I’ve seen far too many self-published books that were dogs all the way around. A 300 page book, that’s professionally done inside and out says to me this person took pride in every aspect of their book and I don’t mind paying the price they set.
The bottom line is, do it for the love of the story and for what it brings to your audience. Sell on value. If you want to make it big, the real work begins with the marketing, getting yourself and your name out there building a strong platform, increasing your fan base, making connections, gaining support and hoping and praying each and every day that ONE day all your actions lands the book in the right hands of the one person who will catapult your book to fame. It’s day after day of garnering reviews, it’s taking out ads and constantly talking about your book. It’s learning how to push when you’re not the kind of person who enjoys pushing. It’s believing that what you have IS worth it, saying “I have value and so does my work”.