Ninety-nine pennies for a thought.

There are lots of book-related things going on right now.  Lately I’ve split my time between working on THE LIMINAL MAN, and tweaking/editing the forthcoming second edition of A LIFE TRANSPARENT.  As digital versions of the latter are planned for the Amazon Kindle and for Smashwords, I have removed the link for the free PDF (and I’ll come back to this in a moment). As I type this, Erica is on her laptop, formatting the second edition in Adobe InDesign.  I aim to order the proof copy early next week.

TLM is coming along. I’m two full sections into chapter 8. It’s a heavy chapter, probably the longest in the book, and one where all the plot threads start to come together in a cohesive line. As some method actors might say, “I had to dig deep for this one.” My goal is to have the full, first draft done by August. At this rate, I think I may just hit that mark.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (like this guy), you’ve probably seen the promo trailer for ALT by now. What? You haven’t? Shit, son, you better get on that.

I participated in a discussion this week over at Indiependent Books regarding a debate that’s crept up in recent months regarding the pricing of eBooks. The matter is one of perception and worth in correlation to a title’s pricing.  A lot of independent authors and publishers are starting to price their eBooks at 99 cents. In my mind, that’s a fair price for a first-time author’s work in digital form.  If you read it and hate it, you’re only out a buck.  You can’t get coffee for that price anymore.  The argument, however, is that with a 99 cent price point, the perception that it’s cheap because it’s cheap will follow. The opinions are polarized: some think 99 cents is fair; others think it’s a sign of a crappy book.  Personally I think 99 cents is a solid price point, especially if it’s for a first-timer, or if it’s for an older title.  When I go shopping for books, I’m less likely to risk dropping a greater amount of cash on a first-time author. I’ve been burned before (lookin’ at you, Mark Haddon). But, if I pick up a title for a bargain price, and like it, I can guarantee you I’ll be there on day one to pay full cover price for the author’s next release.

So, what’s your take on this?  Do you think 99 cents is a fair price, or do you think it should be higher/lower?  Do you think a book’s price determines its quality? Leave a comment and let me know. It may determine whether I decide to charge across the board for all iterations of the ALT 2.0 eBook.

For now I’m off to bed to sleep and dream of weird, disturbing things.


2 thoughts on “Ninety-nine pennies for a thought.

  1. It’s a lovely idea. I’d do it. But on the other hand, I can’t see charging 99c for something that’s taken me over ten years to write. So… maybe 1.99 for the first one? Ha!

  2. I think the $0.99 price point is perfect for first-time or lesser-known authors self-publishing. It encourages people to give something they might not have considered reading a go, and that’s basically what that kind of author is aiming for, generating a readership.

    If I were about to drop a self-published book (I’m not, but I love this fantasy land already), I’d be looking at pricing the first edition at $0.99, and subsequent editions at maybe $1.99. Depending on interest in the first book, I’d adjust the pricing on the second book up to $2.99 but no more. Any and all books after the second, I’d be looking at maximum $4.99 a pop, but that’s it. Without a publishing house or a massive audience, you can’t really push the $5 (cup of coffee) boundary.

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