Pricing a book. What does a price say about a book?

Since I’m all too new to this self-publishing thing, I wanted to make a short post about how much my books will actually cost.  My friends and I debated for awhile about this and I’ve come to the conclusion that I will make my first paperback novel on $2.99 while the Kindle e-book will be $1.99.  My friends told me that if I make the books too cheap around .99 cents, people may think it’s a horrible book and that the author could care less about the quality.  Which is the opposite of what I was thinking, because a lot of Kindle ebooks are .99 cents.  However, I’ve put more quality into my books more than anything else and I’m hoping that’ll help me.

I just hope people will recognize the quality and not the quantity.  I work very hard and put loving care and thought into each book cover design, even the storyline, the characters, and the interior pages.  Anyway, I should make them a little more in price, since I did spend 10 years of my life writing them.  “Never sell yourself too short,” my friends say.  I just don’t want to make them too expensive for people, because not a lot of people can afford books nowadays due to the economy being so bad and people losing their jobs.  The majority of people will spend their money on groceries not the next bestseller.

For I know the average person can’t afford such expensive books these days.  I will never understand why many new authors make their books way too expensive.  If you’re a new author (first time author) in the publishing business and don’t have the same notoriety as someone like Stephen King, then you shouldn’t be making others pay nearly $20 to $30 bucks on a novel they know nothing about.  Anyway, these are my thoughts on the matter.  I know some authors who go to independent publishers had no choice but to go with their high prices. I understand that completely.

Now, just think of yourself as the reader shopping around. What would you look for on that shelf in front of you?  Do you go for what really catches your eyes?  Is it the fancy book cover?  Let’s say, you do find a book worth looking at.  You check it out.  You turn the book around to read the backside, it sounds like a very interesting story.  Now, you look at the price.  It’s $80 dollars.  Do you find yourself cringing and putting it back on the shelf?  Exactly!  You put it right back on the shelf and wait until the price goes down.  We all have done it, especially since money is tight these days.  It’s why I think a lot of people aren’t buying many books these days.  They’re getting their books through Nook and Kindle as ebooks for $1.  However, I still think it’ll be many many years before print goes out of style.  I do like holding a book in my hands compared to reading an ebook online.  The smell and feel of a paperback book (not a hard cover) is refreshing… except when they get old and the pages start to change color, like the ones you find at the old local library.

4 thoughts on “Pricing a book. What does a price say about a book?

  1. I agree on the $0.99 issue. Hey, I love getting stuff for free — or near free. However, I feel like I’m robbing the author of something they deserve. I shouldn’t be saying this as a book buyer I suppose, but I think quality eBooks — if it’s possible to wade through the amateur stuff — should be priced between $1.99 and $3.99. That feels fair. After all, as a writer, I know that well-written novels deserve much for than one measly dollar.

    1. That’s so true. However, I don’t mind paying for books at the .99 cents range or even in the $5-10 dollar range. Once it gets over the $10 dollar range it’s a different story. I mostly buy a lot of nonfiction books, only ones that I need to read to help improve (self-improvement books). I remember one time spending $50-$60 bucks on a Writer’s Market book that wasn’t even helpful to me within a few months after it expired. I read it and found some interesting facts, like how to write a inquiry letter and find some agents, but I think the main reason for the steep price range was the free one year membership to their site.

      Other than that, it was a huge waste of money, because many of the sites I checked out either didn’t exist, went under (for whatever reason) or closed down due to bankruptcy. Also, within one year that Writer’s Market book is switched with a new one that is constantly updated, annually. So to keep up, I’d have to buy another $50 dollar book, which is crazy.

      There’s just so many new authors and new books out there I’m afraid to take a risk on books nowadays. I’ll buy my friend’s novels though, no matter what though, because I’m pretty loyal to them. I’m kinda picky still, but I’m trying to give other people a chance though. It’s just that it hurts my wallet and my ego when I buy a book and I just completely hate it… you know what I mean? I’ve read some horrible books in my days and I’m like “Why did I spend this much money on it?!”

      Anyway, it just depends on the author. If they want to sell their book for .99 cents, that’s fine. If they want to sell it for free, which I’ve seen people do, especially on Kindle ebooks to get more people to read it, then that’s fine as well. Some of them have sequels that are not free, so the first book is like a free sample.

      1. I never pay more than $12 for a paperback and $17 for a hardback. With so many choices online these days, it would be silly to throw away any more money than that.

        I’d like to think that free eBooks (the first in a series, etc) are quality written, so I give them a go. Although, there are many bad ones (because they are free?). The author must think they don’t have to be as scrupulous in writing/editing.

  2. I know right. Even the free ebooks aren’t all perfect either. For me, it takes time just to do all that searching for a diamond in the rough. It’s still a huge risk for an author to make their book free though, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Some new authors rush into their books, they don’t realize that their first book can make or break them later in the future. If they had taken the time to plan, edit, and rewrite their books slowly over time, they’d probably have more support behind them too.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s