Pricing Your Ebook

Greetings and salutations!

The Amazon vs. Hachette Book Group battle has re-opened that can of worms known as the “how much should eBooks cost?” debate. Indie and self-pub writers have to make their own decisions on pricing their eBooks, and the rules for doing so constantly change. So just how much should indie writers price their eBooks?

Notable self-published writer Dean Wesley Smith suggests pricing eBooks between $2.99 – $7.99, depending on length of the title and other factors. Part of his reasoning behind his suggestions is that indie writers are competing against traditionally published books and their prices.

I have never considered my books as competing against traditionally published books because book lovers tend to read more than one book per year; meaning it isn’t a zero-sum game where if a reader buys a traditionally published book then that same reader is unable to purchase one of mine. But that doesn’t mean I disagree with Smith’s recommendations. He has sound reasons behind his suggestions.

I believe that if there is any competition between indie titles and traditional published books, it is not about prices but content. In this article, author David Biddle writes:

You can’t replace one book with another. For instance, I just bought the paperback version of Haruki Murakami’s mammoth 2011 novel 1Q84 for about $20. It’s fabulous. I also have roughly 20 books that I’ve downloaded for free this year from indie authors I know and another 50-plus that I’ve purchased for anywhere from $1 to $3.

But I’ve read very few of those downloaded ebooks. I regularly attempt to, but things keep getting in the way–yet I am reading Murakami, an established literary author, in paper.

I am exactly the same way. When I pay for a book, I feel more inclined to read it–and the more I pay, the more inclined I am. The thing is, I’ll rarely purchase an eBook over $2.99 and have never purchased one over $5. In the same article, Biddle asks a serious question: “Are we trying to sell books? Or to get people to read them–to enter the worlds we’ve created?”

My answer is both. Your answer could be different.

In this interview on Radikalnews.com, writer, filmmaker and publisher behind KUBOA Press Pablo D’Stair explains why the eBooks he publishes are free:

I just can’t get behind selling e-books. Nothing against those who do, but it’s antithetical to my “upbringing”. Unlike a lot of people, I always used to dream of books being cheap enough to produce that I could print them and just give them away, haha. . . . [E-books] are free to produce, people like to read them, and with the variety of “reader devices” for all intents and purposes one looks just as nice as any other so it makes the whole free literature thing workable, no sweat.
So, for me, the e-book revolution was a godsend because one could not ask for a more cost effective way to distribute literature for free. It costs nothing, it gains readers—and even if it doesn’t gain readers…it costs nothing, so what the hell, right?

When it comes to pricing eBooks, it should boil down to writer’s/publisher’s goals and mission. When you try to “follow the rules” the rules will end up change. There’s no wrong answer, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Most importantly: stay true to yourself.

 

Poem Published: “Our Stories”

Greetings and salutations!

My poem “Our Stories” has been published in the Summer 2014 edition of TimBookTu. I’m excited to have my work appear in this online journal featuring fiction, poetry and essays from African-Americans. I’m glad “Our Stories” was accepted, because it speaks to the power of African and African-American literature and history, especially as a way to combat stereotypes, prejudices and centuries of white supremacist slandering of African peoples and cultures.

Read “Our Stories” on TimBookTu.

New Story On Wattpad: “Wizard’s Curse”

Greetings and salutations!

I added my first story on Wattpad. It’s titled “Wizard’s Curse.” It’s about Sam, who gets abducted from her retail job by a self-proclaimed wizard, and taken to a magical world where she is the “Chosen One” of prophecy. But Sam seriously doubts the credibility of her wizard advocate and the ruler of the land she’s sent to defend.

I’m posting this story in parts. You can read Part 1 on Wattpad. Story comments and votes are appreciated.

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

ajhayes:

My latest review on Bold Book Blog.

Originally posted on Bold Book Blog:

A Girl Called Fearless

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka takes place in a reality where fifty million women died from cancer caused by a synthetic hormone called Scarpanol, which was injected into beef. In a matter of years, millions of homes were shattered as mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and grandmothers fell victim to cancer. Once the cause of the cancer was exposed, America began the long process of healing its wounds, and the Paternalist Movement emerges to “protect” women and girls. But with a lack of voting-age women to counteract their agenda, Paternalist elected officials begin implementing patriarchal laws which strip women of their rights to work, gain an education. The Paternalists push legislature that allows fathers, or other male relative, of minor girls to essentially sell teenage girls to be married in what are known as Contracts—the girl promises to marry someone, and person pays the girl’s father or male relative…

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Join Me on Wattpad!

Greetings and salutations!

Well, I’ve joined Wattpad–the free reader/writer online community. Writers post stories in short, manageable sections; readers read, vote for, and comment on the stories. Users can be both writers and readers.

I first heard of Wattpad a few years ago, but was skeptical about the whole thing. I don’t mind reading other writer’s works, but post my own writing? Nope! People could easily plagiarize my work and many literary magazines and journals won’t accept anything that has appeared previously online.

Then I changed my mind.

First, I really can’t stop someone from stealing my work. I’d much rather not have my work stolen, but if it happens, then I’ll cross that bridge when it comes. It’s not something I should lose sleep–and possibly an increased readership–over. Other people’s actions are out of my control.

Secondly, I occasionally submit to mags and journals. I’m not obsessed with having someone else publish my work. I entered writing through self-publishing, and that has gotten ingrained into my psyche. I get “publishing withdraw” between long gaps in published work. Besides, I think I’ll like having my work read by readers and receive feedback from them (I hope).

At the time of writing this post, I haven’t added any writings to my profile. I’m still getting used to the site and reading other people’s work (including Thriller Suite: New Poems by Margaret Atwood).

I will add my own work to it soon. I’ll keep it updated with new and original pieces, probably on a weekly basis. Come follow me on Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/ajh_books.