Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pricing eBooks

The topic of the pricing of eBooks came up on a board I regularly post on.  Chiefly, why are eBooks so expensive?  There is, of course, a lot of different factors that go into this sort of thing.  Who has the rights?  Who must get paid?  So on and so forth.  It's the same thing that dictates every purchase one makes (unless, of course, you're one of those filth who believes you should just be able to exploit artists because they are there). 

The pricing of my short stories and Nothing Men was something I put a lot of thought into.  I put a lot of research into the novel (most writers do).  I had delved into everything from old gas pumps to Native American tanning techniques and was privy to some of the grimest footage anyone can imagine.  (A refrigerator filled with body parts and a several bins filled with the pieces of one man are two that stick out.  For the icebox, I'm not talking like a few feet in Dahmer's apartment.  I'm talking "packed" with discoloring limbs.)  The amount of research I put into it, though, wasn't going to play into my pricing.  This was something I did to make the story the best I could. No.  One question came up time and time again as I pondered a price.

What is fair?

What would I pay for the work?  Taking myself out of the equation and looking at it honestly, what would I pay?  I'm not an unknown in the world of publishing, but nor am I Clive Barker.  With that in mind, what can I reasonably ask for without sounding like a total dick.  And that's how I arrived at my pricing.  (Ironically, I sold more copies of Nothing Men, which you can purchase to the right of the screen, when it was full price.  I had briefly put it on sale as a special to some board readers and sold not a single copy.  Pricing most likely has less to do with a buying decision than one thinks.)

I think my prices are reasonable.  The works don't sell as well as I'd like, but I think that has little to do with pricing and everything to do with word of mouth.  There are a lot of eBooks out there.  Making mine stand out in a crowd has been difficult to say the least.  I have it available for ever eReader now, but the competition is fierce.  Standing out amongst the Young Adult vampire tales is a tough thing, especially when I write about subject matter that is a bit more hostile than what the average reader is used to taking in.  There is a market for it, though, including a few I didn't know existed (Brits who have a fetish for starving women, for example). 

I do think some eBooks are vastly overpriced.  I also think some are underpriced, as well (a complaint you don't often hear).  If authors had a little more confidence in their work, that could change, but the key point must remain relevant:  What is fair?  If you stick to that, you can't go wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment