Thursday, October 22, 2015

You Asked for It!

I've been an author for a long time. In fact, I'm coming up on the ten year anniversary of the release of my first novel. As I've said before, electronic books didn't exist when I first started out and authors who struck out on their own weren't given any respect. Self-publishing companies were referred to as vanity presses.

A lot has changed since then. Most of it for the better, particularly when it comes to people's perception of the self-publisher. Now, the self-publisher is known as the independent or indie author, and there are a lot more options available to indie authors to get their work out there.

It wasn't that long ago, indie authors had two choices when it came to releasing their work. They could either pay a self-publisher to produce and distribute the book, or they could produce it themselves. Those options still exist, but thanks to the advent of e-readers, authors can release their books electronically for little to no cost.

Last year, I moved away from offering my books in print and went with the electronic format only. Doing this allowed me to keep the costs of production low. That was money I could invest in promotion in addition to being able to pass on the savings to the reader with lower prices. Like many authors, I used an e-book publishing site to distribute my book to online retailers in exchange for sharing a portion of my royalties. The one thing this site didn't do was offer my book on Amazon. For that to happen, I had to reach a minimum of 2,000 books sold through the other outlets first. Unless you're a best seller or have a lot of friends and family on standby, that's a difficult goal to meet.

Not having my book on Amazon turned out to be an issue.  The Kindle is one of the most popular reading devices there is and most readers prefer to purchase directly from the Kindle store rather than create an account with the e-publisher in order to buy the Kindle formatted book. There was also less exposure for my work.

Recently, I released the first book of my new Taking on Love series on both the original e-publishing site and Amazon using their Kindle Direct Publishing program. With that came the inevitable question of whether or not I would finally release the Time for Love series on Amazon. Well, guess what?

After a year, the answer to that question is finally yes. All four Time for Love books are now available on Amazon in e-book format for just 99 cents. I also released Like You Mean It, my young adult novel, on Amazon as well.

You asked for it and here it is. Now help me out and buy those books and tell your friends and family to do the same!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Don't Judge a Book by its Price

The other day, a fellow writer asked her readers if they avoided buying e-books that were priced less than five dollars. Apparently, she'd heard that it was a bad idea to price a book below this amount as it gave readers the impression it was poorly written.

I just about fell out of my chair when I read that. I remember a time not too long ago when the advice of the moment was for writers to price their books at ninety-nine cents to attract more readers. It was suggested that if they didn't want to set all of their books with such a low price point that they make the first in a series this price and the subsequent books a higher price.
If you've bought any of my e-books, you know that I've priced them all at ninety-nine cents. I do that because I want readers to feel like they have gotten the most for their money. Yes, it means I make less money, but that's never been the driving force behind my writing. Sure, I'd love to make a ton of money as a writer, but if I don't, I'm still happy being a writer.

As a reader, I can tell you that price doesn't determine whether or not a book is good quality. I've bought some six dollar books that were less than fifty pages of poorly written prose. I've also bought some ninety-nine cent books that ran circles around other, higher priced books. I never let the cost of a book dictate whether or not I'll purchase the book. Instead, I download a free sample of the book before I buy. If I like what I initially read then I'll buy the book.

I've known a few readers who won't pay a dime for a book. If it's not free, they aren't going to download it. I've also known readers who won't pay more than a dollar for a book. I had a friend who was given a twenty-five dollar gift card for her birthday and used it to buy twenty-five e-books.

Truthfully, I guess there's no hard and fast rule about buying books. Some will only download the free or ninety-nine cent books. Some won't go near those. Either philosophy is a shame. Instead of judging the merit of a book on its price, why not give it a try first? Who knows? You might be happy you did.