Mind Your Own Business!


I have decided to take a short break from the afternoon’s writing activity to express my abject disdain for all those writers out there who insist on telling the rest of us how to price our books.

“If you price your book cheaply, you’re devaluing your work!”

“You get what you pay for!”

“Don’t you have any self-respect?”

“You’re ruining it for the rest of us who value our work.”

I have a message for you. It has to do with performing a physiologically impossible act.

On practically every writers group LinkedIn hosts, some stuffed shirt initiates this claptrap, and dozens of others jump aboard the We Are More Worthy! bandwagon. Ironically, a lot of them have books on Amazon priced around $9.99, with few or no reviews and rankings >1,000,000.

So, how’s that price workin’ out for ya?

To make matters worse, it is apparent from their comments that many of them have no understanding whatsoever of how ebook marketing works, how free or reduced-price promotions drive additional sales at higher prices, how they drive traffic to an author’s other work, generate reviews, recommendations and other social media exposure.

To all of those folks, I say do your homework and MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

I shall now return to the press conference scene for Full Irish, wherein Shannon McGonigle Forté will reveal an important and influential Irish politician to be a sissy and a liar.


11 Responses to “Mind Your Own Business!”

  1. 1 Peter Robbins

    Pete, why don’t you say what you really mean! I always like that about you.

  2. Pete, I’m in agreement with you. Currently I have two regency mysteries that I self published, after professional editing and professional cover art. Both books are $0.99 and I’m very pleased with the sales I’m getting. Also, you’re right about the less expensive driving people back to the higher priced books. With several of my regencies released through a publisher the ranking are slowly increasing especially on the UK Amazon site.

  3. I’ve decided to price my book at $10,000 each. My sales might be lousy, but I only need to sell one or two.

    • 7 Pete

      Might want to start at the current average advance for TP novels – maybe $5,000

  4. Everyone has their price point, where they simply will not buy a digital book no matter how much they want it. Especially when price is not a true indicator of writing quality. I’m especially amused when I see a self published author price their book so high, with no excuse of publisher costs.
    I am absolutely sucked in by .99 specials. If I like the writing I will grab up everything I can find by that author. If I don’t like the writing at least I’m not out too much money.

  5. 9 Sheryl Dunn

    It’s a new world out there in publishing, and I feel somewhat sorry for those who are hanging on to the old ways, yet I understand them because in one way, I’m one of them. Not on pricing issues, however.

    But part of me is having a difficult time letting go of the idea that by self-publishing, I didn’t make the grade somehow, and this little, tiny, feeling is an emotional thing. It’s not logical at all because I’ve studied the publishing business long enough and in enough depth (and I’ve studied statistics) to know that many hugely talented authors (Pete being one of them) never get a major publisher.

    I think that younger writers who learn about today’s publishing environment don’t suffer from this particular niggle, but us old folks have a hard time letting go.

  6. It behooves all writers who are self-publishing to do some research on issues like pricing and not to react from an emotional place — “I deserve more than 99 cents. I’ll charge $9.99 like the big boys do.” What I like about your posts is that you don’t demand others do as you do. You write about your own experiences (like with Book Bub) and how it worked for you. Too many self-appointed experts out there. It is annoying.

    • Usually, those “experts” have one book for sale, priced at $9.99, with no reviews, ranked >1,000,000. Yes, I’ll take that advice!

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