Monday, June 24, 2013

The price of a story...

So, I am thrilled to announce that the 5th book in the Zomblog series is out today. Zomblog: Snoe's War is available for the masses! A few things cropped up during this book that made me really think. The biggest was that the story ended and I looked at my word count (just barely 50,000) and I was puzzled. It seemed that there had been more story than that as far as word count. Now, I do not expect the Zomblog books to match the DEAD books in the word count department, yet this book BARELY qualified for a novel length. (50,000 words is the minimum standard.) I knew for a fact that I was not going to go back and jam in some useless filler in the story just to get a few more pages. I decided to tack on the That Ghoul Ava short stories that you can find if you purchase That Ghoul Ava: Her First Adventures. I included them at the end of the 6th DEAD book, but I know that it is a bit silly to think that everybody who has read one will necessarily read the other. I know I have a lot of crossover, but it is not likely to be 100%. That will hopefully introduce a few new people to my Ava books (which I have HUGE plans for) and justify the $2.99 price tag. Of course, if you have already read the Ava story...well, I do think that you will still find this Zomblog tale very rewarding.

So, once I gave it some thought, I decided that I needed to reflect the book size in the price. To quote Dennis Miller, "I don't want to go off on a rant here, but..."

Pricing is a real issue (and I may just go on a nasty tirade on the subject in the near future...stay tuned). There is a supposed "sweet spot" in the ebook world when it comes to price. Depending on who you are talking to, it is anywhere between $2.99-$5.99. Here is the thing, there are a lot of people who believe that low priced means cheap, yet the majority--at least as far as I have found--simply think that paying $7 or more is absolutely ridiculous for an ebook. Personally, I think that if you are charging $5 for just over 100 are ripping people off. But that is JUST MY OPINION. 

I can't jump on that train. So, despite it being a new release, despite the fact that I could no doubt tack on an extra buck, I just can not bring myself to let the new Zomblog book be priced higher than $2.99. Is it indicative of lesser quality? I do not believe so. I just put myself in the place of the consumer. If I am looking at a book like the new DEAD that comes in over 115,000 words at a very reasonable (IMOA) price of $4.99, then the new Zomblog is worth $2.99. Could both be priced higher by a buck or so? Sure. But if one more person can scoop up my book at that price, it is worth it. 

Yes, this is what I do for a living. Yes, I am trying to support my family on those sales. However, I am also in this because I am more than just a little egotistical. I love the attention and I love having readers. I check for new reviews every single morning as I get situated and ready to start my day. I actually get a little giddy when an email comes from a stranger that found my books or (even more exciting) heard about them from a friend. I dig hearing from groovy folks like SelinaLynn who gushed over being named in the new Zomblog: Snoe's War dedication.And then there are the honest-to-goodness friendships that I have made like Vix Kirkpatrick and Catie Rhodes (did you get your juicer?). Those are things that can't be given a price. That sounds kinda cliché, but it is absolutely true.

So, now I sit back and wait for the feedback...good or bad.


  1. well my comments on pricing are always the same unfortunately! I WONT pay ott prices for an ebook, recently SK put his new book up for £10.99 thats disgusting and I wont buy it FULL STOP. Most of the Indie authors I buy are around the 77p-£3.50 mark. I often Beta read those authors but I will ALWAYS buy that book! you need to feed an author!
    However, this post has made me think, yet again, about how much of a snob I have become, I stick to my fav' authors, they keep me in books that I enjoy on a daily basis, some are so good (mentioning NO names!) that I can read them repeatedly (like I used to do with the famed SK) and find new things each time. With this I am now getting to the point where I am reluctant to pay for a book that is over my £3.50 limit, nor will I ever buy from an author I dont know at that price.... so am I missing out, I would not have been so picky with a paperback?
    Yes & No.... I now rely on these wonderful authors recommending others to me, especially on the recent Blog Tour!
    So now what begs the question is... what happens if you are not part of the "IN crowd" of authors - at least in my (small) world.

    1. As somebody who felt like he was on that fringe of the reader radar, I think it is simply a matter of keeping the nose to the grindstone. Some of your peers will eventually come along and see what is going on. And if you have a few fans in common...that helps broaden the exposure. I am finding "new" writers every day. And since I have always believed that there is room for a lot of us to live this dream, I enjoy reaching out a hand to those willing to take it. Becoming one of the "IN" crowd just takes persistence and belief in your ability...and win over the best readers ever.

    2. I just feel fortunate to be part of your "in" crowd.

  2. Looking back there were only 2 ebooks I bought that were over $12.00 and the prices were set by the big publishers because the authors were big names and series I had already invested in.
    I would have to say 90% of the books I read now are priced between free promos to 5.99. I am always willing to pay more for a paperback/hardcover knowing the costs are much more for the author themselves.
    There is genuine pride when you can not only provide for yourself/family but also get a pat on the back for the work you have done. Personally, I would pay more for a book farther into a series because I am invested and cannot just leave in the middle. When you announced you were publishing a new book in the near future, you offered the first one at a reduced rate to get more readers to begin the series it was a great idea. Not only did this help new readers to discover you, It showed you care about your product and are willing to meet us halfway, making it easier for readers to give you a shot. What have you got to lose?
    Setting the prices yourself at reasonable rates helps the readers. By pricing too high you run the risk of not selling any books at all because it looks like you deemed yourself as elite. I think by setting your prices in conjunction to the overall value of the finished product is admirable. It is a delicate balance of perceptions; priced too high to sell, priced too low to care.
    I will continue to do my part as a fan and offer you the "Street Team" job of recommending your books to everyone I can. Word of mouth is one of the free services I can provide.

    1. And I will never take that support for granted.

      I was blown away recently when the FIRST book of the DEAD series landed on Amazon's Top 100 Horror titles for the first time ever after I decided that book one could be priced at 99 cents. If it is good enough, the readers will continue on with the story...and if not, they are only out that almost) buck. So far, I have to say that it is proving to be a sound strategy. I am poised to have my best month ever as far as sales are concerned.