The roving reader may love those 99 cent eBooks, but that price point is ruining the market and giving authors zero return on their hard work. Yes, I said it.. I am a voracious reader and of course love a good deal once in a while, but knowing that my authors are getting short changed on books that have taken them months to write, then edit and finally release makes me very sad.
How did this 99 cent deal become the norm? Why do readers expect that to be the pricing of a full length novel? I see reviews for books where the reader has paid nothing or .99 and they feel free to say that the book wasn't even worth that.... Or even worse, I have seen readers who are so inclined to email an author to ask them to send a free copy to them because they can't afford them. This is so wrong and it makes me cringe.
When I first started book club and began having published authors over, I asked a USA Today Bestselling author what her return was on a paperback book that sells for $6.99. When she told me that she got 28 cents for each of those books, I wanted to choke. Why would anyone want to be an author if that's the return on a book they put their blood, sweat and tears into? Obviously the love of writing and sharing the written word is more important than making money to some. Why do we pay more money for a cup of coffee but gripe when a book is more than a dollar? We shouldn't.
I am disheartened when I see an author friend of mine being undersold. It shouldn't be this way, and everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes down to it. Authors who consistently price their books at 99 cents are doing a disservice to everyone else who wants to make a living. There should be standard pricing for each length of book and it shouldn't even begin with a 99 cent novella.
Fact: We see Indie authors all the time who have their books at .99. Maybe the justification for it is because since they are the ones making the money back, it's okay to have that book at .99. It isn't when one thinks of how much actually goes into the publishing of a book. The cost of editing, formatting, the cover, the promotion is only the tip of the iceberg. It can easily cost an author over $2000.00 just to get the book up on Amazon, and selling 2000 copies of that book does not give them that money back.
To be honest, if I hear that a 75,000 word eBook selling for $3.99 is too expensive, one more time, I may go ballistic. I do disagree with some publishers pricing an eBook at the same price point as a print book, to be honest, I'd rather have the print book in my hands for $6.99 than a license for the eBook for that very same price, but that is another issue for a later date.
Many may not agree with me, and that's fine. I do think we need to rethink our attitudes when it comes time to buy an eBook. The hours of enjoyment we all get out of reading a book that evokes our emotions and our intellect should be worth more than a buck, bottom line....
Feel free to comment... I welcome debate...