April 2013 was a really good month for my blog. Though I have no idea where any of these old pics have gone to. Maybe I should read these again.
I’ve pondered my pricing for a long time. I did research long before I started formatting my novels for Amazon. One thing kept turning up. The same phrase again and again from people. At one point this phrase was even uttered to me:
“A .99 cent eBook means the author has no faith in the book.”
Well . . . that’s an interesting insight into the mind of the aspiring author. To think that someone brave enough to put his or her heart out into the ether would have no faith in what they’re doing. Personally, I find the sentiment rather cruel and belligerent to those that are trying to grab their personal brass ring. You know what? Screw the brass ring because this ring is pure gold.
So, why did I go the .99 cent route with my first novel? Simple. Contrary to my panic attacks, I do have the utmost faith in my writing. Sure, I write in present tense third person, which is about as popular as appendicitis. Yet, I still believe that my books are worth reading. They are entertaining stories with characters that I busted my fingers to bring depth too. If I choose to put my first book out for .99 cents then you better believe there is something else to it than low self-esteem. I have faith in my .99 cent eBook.
I don’t have faith in your average reader wanting to take a chance on an unknown author for anything more than a dollar. Keep in mind that I tried to battle through the rejection letters to no avail. I went vanity press and got crucified by high prices. I’ve taken my lumps and have learned that many people will not venture into a new author’s world without a little incentive. That incentive is the .99 cent price tag. For a dollar, you can take a chance on my book with less apprehension. For a dollar, you can find yourself loving a new author at the beginning of his career. For a dollar, you can be one of the first to enter a new world of magic. You know all those people who love to say ‘I was listening to that band before they were popular’ or ‘I loved that actress before she became A-list’? Well, you can take that risk and proudly claim that you read an author’s work before they hit the Times Best-Seller list.
Was I a little over the top? Definitely, but my point is that you never know what you’re getting with a new author. People are leery of such things, especially with news of there being more crap than good books. That .99 cent price tag eases the worry for a lot of people when they approach a new author. .99 cents doesn’t feel like a real risk. You can’t even get gum for that these days. So, do you feel better taking a chance on a new author for less than a pack of gum? Sounds a little more palpable to me.
This idea that the author doesn’t have faith in the book and priced it less is rather insulting if you think about it. At least to those of us that are doing this to help develop what we really need at the beginning. Personally, I’m not in it for the money right now. The money will come when I get the real power behind an author’s success: Fans. That has been my goal all along here. I want to make my book appealing to as many people as I can and gain a sturdy fan following, so I can price future books reasonably higher. That .99 cent book is an introduction to me, my style, and my world. It is the gateway into the literary amusement park I’ve constructed for those that wish to enter. Honestly, it sounds like good business to get people in the door. Come for the .99 cent introduction to a series and stay for the higher priced sequels.
Now after all that, does anyone really believe I did .99 cents due to a lack of faith in my own book? I didn’t think so.