Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Pricing Debate on eBooks Continues

My thoughts on the whole subject sparked some more debate on the topic on various boards.  One of the more interesting things I noticed was that some readers are liable to spend more on books written by independent authors over those published by the major publishing houses.  They seem to understand that the indie authors struggle more, and therefore are "voting with their dollars."  They also are willing to pay a little more for those books.  Again, understanding the finances involved in being an independent author.  Granted, there are those who think the eBooks should all be .99 cents or free, and they are quick to point out that there are authors who make quite a bit of money selling for .99 cents.  That is true, but it is not the norm.

The eBook marketed is flooded.  It is hard for authors who aren't well known to get their work out there to be seen.  Self-promotion only goes so far, but word of mouth can work wonders.  That word of mouth can also drive sales despite whatever the price.

Amazon and Smashwords have it right.  Letting authors set the price sets up a situation much like eBay.  It is what the market can handle, and it is fluid.  If an author has found she has priced to high, she can lower it, and vice versa.  A good book is going to sell regardless ... if people know about it.  That, over pricing, is the key to selling books.

The market is still new enough that pricing will work itself out and a happy medium will be found.  While that happens, authors have to find a way to make their work stick out over all the other eBooks out there.  The playing field has been somewhat leveled, with authors now being able to get their books out there without the aid of a publisher.  Getting the rest of the world to see your book is the real challenge, and it looks to be that way for quite some time.

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