I have probably written about $0.99 cent ebooks ten times on my blog. So why not an eleventh time?
When I see extremely talented and many well known authors having to reduce the price of their books to under a dollar, I just want to cry. There is no way that this price has any justification at all for a quality 100,000 word book. Perhaps in a second hand book store, and even then I think the price for a beaten up paper back copy of Treasure Island would be priced higher.
The self publishing bonanza has only been a bonanza for Amazon as they have meticulously gone about creating content for their Kindle devices. The model is an old one. We saw it with MP3 players that were 99% full of free music until exploited so brilliantly by Apple. Amazon has encouraged ‘kitchen table’ writers to wham out 20,000 words, publish it on KDP, call it a book and price it a $0.99. So obvious was this tactic that ‘book spammers’ soon caught on and started whacking out 1,000’s of titles as well.
Yes, it has been wonderful for those who have had their life story sitting in a bottom drawer for twenty years. A chance finally to have it published.
However, for those who wrote and still try to write for a living it has been nothing short of a disaster. Before the ‘rush’ that was created by Kindle and the ebook, I was happily writing away and selling books as an Indie writer and satisfied with my lot even though I never had eyes on being a star. My books sold regularly each month, and I even had quite a few readers who requested signed copies. So regular in fact that I got to know the staff at the Post Office quite well. I wasn’t getting rich, but I felt rewarded for my work.
But this was ‘way back’, like a whole year ago when books were still books. Selling between $14.95 and $17.95. OMG! Don’t those prices look so high now?
In the last two months I have sold three copies in book form. In the same two months I have given away over 5,000 ebook copies of one of my titles as Amazon made it a victim of their ‘Price Matching’ rip off some time ago, and I gave up fighting a monster. For the rest of my titles, it seems that $0.99 is the new Apple-cum-Amazon decided price for digital downloaded content.
The $0.99 pricing model forced upon the market my Amazon is killing the book industry and will result in Amazon ‘owning’ literature as Apple own music. But hey, that was the idea all along wasn’t it?
But I want to put up at least some token resistance. So I’ve created my own online book store, which I know will not take over the world. However, it does give me a sense of satisfaction in giving readers a choice. If a reader buys one of my books through one of the big online retailers at 99c, my cut is around 20% after all costs. But at 88c per book from my own store it is around 90%. I am hoping there will be some readers who would prefer the latter option.