Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Cost of a Good Book

By J.C. Lynne


Fellow Writing Bug blogger, Kelly Baugh wrote a post about making seven dollars as a writer. I’m not embarrassed to say I average about forty dollars a month on my first book. It’s forty dollars I didn’t have last month. 

The publishing industry is a swirling, morphing beast in the midst of huge change. Yes, the independent bookstore is having a renaissance. The death of hard copy books has been greatly exaggerated. And I’ve been assured by my established playwright and screen writing friend Elizabeth that the stigma of independent publishing is nonexistent.

Yes, this means my books swim in an ocean of titles. Yes, this means I’m digging deep to market myself, my brand, and my books. This is my passion, my dream. I hold hope for a juicy book/movie contract. 

Okay, flip to the dark side. Two authors that shall not be named are releasing rehash versions of their already cupcake novels from the male protagonist’s point of view. They will make millions. I know, I feel a little nauseous too.

Nothing wrong with cupcakes, as I used to tell my students, but you can’t eat them for every meal.
A fellow Colorado writer posted this article about Kim Harrison’s publishing struggle.

There's another piece in this puzzle. Harrison has also recently blogged about how indie publishing is killing book prices so that it's become impossible for traditionally published authors to compete. 

Let's face it, we're all hawking our books and hoping for the big break that will pay the bills.

I'm a guilty book consumer. Having completed two novels, I know what goes into a novel and how much it costs to publish a paper copy. I dislike paying more than eight dollars for an ebook. My own ebook is a four ninety-nine click away.

I also have readers who preferred to pay fourteen ninety-five for a hard copy of The Esau EmergenceI can't blame them. It's a beautiful book thanks to my fabulous graphic artist....huge shout out to David!

I admit I just paid twelve ninety-nine for Laura Gillman's Silver on The Road. Granted, I justified the expense because I'm in the middle of a book about Hell and I thought it would be good to see how another author treated the topic.

Totally worth the price, btw. I screamed through it in three days. Really, check it out.

Back on topic, it doesn't devalue my work to make sure folks can afford it. Indeed, I hope that readers will see that under five dollar price tag and think it's just the right price to gamble on.

The day I break what I used to make as a teacher I'll be fronting a round of drinks. Cheers!

2 comments:

Frank A. Acosta said...

I've wondered about pricing a book. If it's too low people seem to see it as unvaluable and if it's too high you may not receive as many purchases (unless you're a big name author). Plus you also want the price to make it worth everything since it does cost to have them printed and all of the costs before you even get it to that point. Great post though!

JC Lynne said...

Sometimes I feel like throwing a dart is as effective. So far, I've had no complaints about 14.95 for the hard copy book. Spin the wheel!

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