19 Aug 2017

Why The Hell do Books Cost so Little?

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You heard me. Why do books cost so little?

Look at it this way. Some author spends hundreds of hours pouring their heart and soul into a story, writing hundreds of pages with great characters, beautiful backgrounds, and a good plot and story line. Once written, the book has to be edited, critiqued, proofread, edited again, and then published and promoted. The author might self-publish or could attempt to find an agent will pitch it to publishers. Finally, after all that work, the book might be sold on Amazon and other online stores, and in some instances may even appear on the bookshelves at bookstores.

Oh, but the journey has only just begun. Now the author has to market the book. This entrails scheduling and attending book signings at libraries, book stores (if professionally published), and other events all over the place, sending it out in emails, and promoting it on social media. The amount of effort required to promote a book can exceed the time take to write it by several times.

The author hopefully puts the book on sale for $4.99 for Kindle, and maybe $10.99 for paperback. After all, a lot of sweat, blood, and a bit of soul went into it.

If the author is like most, regardless of how hard he tries, the book will not sell at those prices.

So in desperation, it gets marked down for 99 cents for a week. After all, a few hundred downloads might result in a few reviews, right?

The long and short of it is, the book will most likely be set to a price of 99 cents or perhaps $2.99 for the Kindle version, and $6.95 or so for the paperback.

Yet this book took hundreds of hours to write, edit, proofread, publish and promote.

It hardly seems fair, doesn’t it?

So what should we do?

Readers – reward good authors by paying good prices for their works. $2.99, $3.99 or even $4.99 for a Kindle version is not an unreasonable amount for a novel or a non-fiction book.

Authors – learn how to market your book and promote it to audiences that are willing to pay reasonable prices for your works. sure, you’ll have to mark it down sometimes to get reviews or boost you up in the rankings, but with the right effort, you can command more reasonable prices.

Additionally, you’ll need to find other ways to monetize your books, including creating additional products and services related to your topic. For example, you can create courses, PDF downloads, live Q&A sessions and so on. I’ll discuss this in future articles.

And readers, when you like a book, take the time to leave a good review for the book. You can certainly give a little extra reward to an author whose works you’ve enjoyed by writing a couple of sentences and giving a 4- or 5-star review. It helps more than you know.

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