Indie Author Tip: Consider Raising Your Book Prices

My new book releases on May 30, 2018 and is $12.00 to pre-order the paperback (this includes shipping within the U.S.) and I am not ashamed of that. I am worth it. Surely, those who support me can spend $12 in support of an Independent Author who does it all herself. I am not signed with a traditional or small press publisher, Literary Korner Publishing is my business (spelled with a K on purpose) and I run it myself. This book will be available for pre-order in ebook soon at $2.99 and will go up once the book is out. This thought led me to an Indie Author Tip I thought I’d share.

UPDATE: Revolution is now available for pre-order in ebook. ORDER HERE.

There’s nothing wrong with charging what you’re worth. There are lots of books on Amazon that are free. According to Google, there are between 40 – 60,000 free books swimming in the Amazon sea. Many of them are also poorly edited (if at all) and mediocre in production. If you’ve been publishing awhile, consider raising your book prices. Usually, when people pay for something, they invest their time in it because they don’t want to waste their money. Even if they dislike the book and feel like they did waste money, they still read it. Paying for anything adds value and when people buy something of value they feel committed to not wasting it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sit on people’s Kindles. I write books so that people can read them. Not so that I can say I’m an author and feel awesome about myself. No. I write to be read.

  • People are more invested in things they pay for. Higher pricing means higher quality
  • Pricing is positioning
  • Pricing is not length but value

If you’re not a new author (meaning you have multiple titles out) consider raising your ebook prices above 99cents and I would go as far as to say to do this for preorders as well. The reason is like I already said, there are tons of books available for 99cents already and they are poorly produced. Even if you sweat blood writing your book, paid good money to edit your book and paid good money for a decent cover (not to mention if you paid for formatting), to some readers it won’t matter. They will see your price and ignore it on the way to the “good” stuff.

Some people are also brand buyers. This means that they only buy stuff that are named-brands. This could be a book, a shoe or an article of clothing. But many of us are not famous writers and we are not well known (yet). For this, we are inferior by definition. We are not actually inferior of course, but brand-buyers don’t care how cheap the book is if they never heard of the author or are not familiar with the writing. They are not going to buy the book no matter how cheap it is.

I am no one special and you don’t have to listen to me. I am sure there are better articles written by better writers. However, I do pay attention and my suggestion would be that if you are a new author (never published a book before), set your price to 99cents for pre-order for the ebook and then raise the price (not too high though, remember no one knows you yet) when the book releases. If you are not a new author (multiple titles out) and you know that your book is a good read (you got good feedback on it, you got it edited and all that) I would say to start setting your ebook pre-order prices higher than the 99cent price point.

I would recommend 99cents or free only for a limited time. Maybe your book is free for one day or 99cents for one week but I would recommend putting a limit on it. I think that Indie Publishing has progressed tremendously and that better quality books are expected. You would not see a famous traditionally published author (who actually writes good books) with an ebook for pre-order at 99cents and as a reader, I notice that books above 99cents are the books that are actually worth the read.


Nora WhiteRenaissance: The Nora White Story – Book I is available now at $0.99 for a limited time. Offer expires when book two releases on 5/30. Buy it HERE.

(I am also in need of more book reviews so please, whether you like the book or not, leave a review. Every review counts!)

Mock Book Two

Revolution: The Nora White Story – Book II is available for pre-order in paperback. Buy it HERE

And in ebook HERE

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Can you afford to be an Indie Author? | Angela J. Ford

Finances are a big deal when it comes to Indie Book Publishing. For those who want to do it right, it pays in more ways than one to have a budget for every book you intend to publish. Check out this article from Angela Ford on ways to break it down and later, I’ll publish a separate post on how I break down the costs for my very own books. Until then, enjoy:

“Can you afford to be an indie author? As independent authors, we have to be aware of the way cost plays into self-publishing. Cost can mean the difference between turning book publishing into a business versus having a very expensive hobby. The question is, how much is too much? When do you know if your books are bringing in a positive return on investment?” – Angela J. Ford

Keep reading through to the original article here.

The Broke Author’s Secret Weapon – A Guest Post By Yecheilyah Ysrayl

What’s the broke author’s secret weapon? My guest blog post with Kevin Morris.

K Morris - Poet

Thank you to Yecheilyah Ysrayl for the below guest post:

Can we be real?

Self-Publishing has opened the door for writers to finally make their dreams come true. Dreams that were hindered by way of jobs that got in the way of writing, Traditional Publishing rejections, children that parents needed to raise first, a school that needed to be finished first and a slew of other reasons that has stopped the passionate writer from producing a book.

Not only all of this but finances also play a part.

Self-Publishing has allowed people who have always wanted to write books an easy way to do so. With the industry changing and demanding more in the way of excellence and professionalism for the Indie Author (stigmas are fading and authors can no longer afford to produce mediocre work), it is no secret that financial strain is what stops many writers from either…

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Writing and Financial Stability – The Harsh Reality

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When I was in the eleventh grade, Mrs. Labno, my AP Lit teacher, gave us our end of the year assignment. We were to write an autobiography or rather, a condensed version of where we saw ourselves as adults. I still have that paper today and looking back on my own words I laugh. I was a trip. Having written it at sixteen and to be a published author today makes me feel two ways:

(1) I’ve kept my eyes on the prize, pursued my dream and made it a reality. Unlike many who evolve into wanting to be a writer, I’ve wanted to be an author since I was twelve. My career choice has never changed.

(2) I can see what my teacher was talking about and will be forever grateful for her insight about what I’d then rolled my eyes to, which was this:

When Mrs. Labno, the little lady whose students towered above her, saw that I wanted to be a published author with the big house on the hill and white picket fence, she was the first to give me the realness about money and writing: “You may want to do something else on the side.”

“What?” my sixteen-year-old self, rolled my eyes and concluded that Mrs. Labno didn’t know what she was talking about. I was brilliant, obviously. Who did she think she was to say that my dreams weren’t going to come true? Just wait until I publish my first book and it hits The New York Times Best Sellers List. I’ll show her.

Of course, I was at the age where we knew “everything”. This was also years before Amazon and Kindle so my aspirations were to be published the traditional route and I had no idea of queries and agents back then. In fact, I knew little to nothing at all. Except that I was going to be a famous writer.

Fourteen years and eight published and two unpublished books later I’m still waiting.

Though not talked about often, financial stability is the elephant in the room and a huge determinant for writers who consider doing this full time. By full time I mean to write exclusively, as in not having other streams of income. What’s frightening is that many ambitious writers do the unthinkable. They decided to Self-Publish a book so they quit their jobs and waited for the money to start pouring in. They are still waiting.

Is it possible to make enough money writing and publishing books that you can do it exclusively? Absolutely. Is it possible you will go broke quitting your day job after publishing your first book? Absolutely!

Mrs. Labno wasn’t saying that it was impossible to make enough money as a writer to live, but she was saying that it will take lots of time, hard work, dedication, and many books before an author sees the kind of return that will give them the comfort to quit their day jobs (Exception: write a killer book that gets you a major book deal from which you then start your own business and then live happily ever after).

Mrs. Labno was telling me that I should not put all my eggs in one basket, that I should have something else on the side that can help contribute to my income until my writing takes off instead of rely on writing alone. Thanks to her, I didn’t come into this field with the mindset that I’m going to make lots of money and neither do I write for these reasons. In fact, before I graduated college I started work as a Phlebotomist while I was writing. Because of this piece of advice, I didn’t come into this naïve and saved myself some heartache and guess what? I want to save you the false financial expectations too.

“As I’ve said many times before, most authors will be lucky enough to make enough from their writing to cover out-of-pocket cash expenses, let alone any kind of a profit at all. I’ve argued long and hard with those who express disappointment at the meager return they’ve seen, if any, for all their labor, but I am going to repeat again here—money should not be the reason you write or publish.” – Susan Toy

If you have not listened in at The Publishing Success Summit (Comprised of 65 Book Industry Experts – Published Authors, Author Platform Mentors, Designers, Editors, Literary Agents and Publishers) at the close of last year that I am sure you’ve seen floating around WordPress, then you have missed out. Well, sort of. I’ll be quoting some of those people in this article. Speaking of quoting, multi-millionaire Tom Antion’s interview was the most real to me. In it he said:

“Books are the high credibility. If you’re an author people give you credibility. But the bigger money is in the CDs, the coaching program, and the mentor program, and all the other stuff that you can sell.”

I’m not going to say successful authors because you don’t have to make lots of money to be successful. Instead I’ll say authors who are well off financially, do not just write books even if they did get that book deal. They may go on to:

  • Open and run their own publishing house
  • Travel and speak
  • Found their own product line of things outside of books

Sometimes credibility can create a deceptive view of an author’s financial success. What I mean is that sometimes for those of us who aren’t where we want to be, it’s easy to look at someone we perceive as “doing it” and think they’re making  a lot of money. It’s the reason you don’t ever compare yourself. You don’t really know how people are doing or what they really know. They can be far behind what you perceive or admire you when you think you are admiring them. Sometimes you can say something to someone assuming they don’t know anything and it turns out they are a well of information. Don’t assume people don’t know what you know and don’t compare your success to someone else. Stay humble.

Anywho, a lot of stuff looks good on paper but when it comes down to what authors actually make that’s when it becomes apparent most writers don’t make much.

Too many people are not being real about book publishing. Instead, we’re recycling information like vacuums and leaving out the realness. The truth is that everyone has bills to pay and unless you can pay your mortgage or rent, light bill and Comcast bills (they be tripping with those prices smh) off the back of your book sells alone, you may not want to quit your day job. It’s no different than starting any other business. The exceptions are:

  • Someone invests some serious money into your writing career. Like say if EC happens to meet and impress Oprah *Waves to Oprah* 😉
  • A Spouse who makes enough to take care of the both of you while you get your career off the ground (Can you say a blessing??).
  • You already own a business or receive government funding (retirement, SSI, Disability) that brings in considerable income.

Unless you are in one of these categories I mentioned, if you quit before you have a financial plan in place that will help you to live until your writing takes off, then you will have to beg people to buy your book just so you can put food on the table and unfortunately for you, book buying is not like other businesses.

It’s a lot more work to get someone to sit down and invest their time in reading a book than it is to convince them to buy a bar of soap or try this new recipe which is the real reason it’s hard to get reviews to be honest. People must invest their time into reading your book which tends to be a lot more expensive than money. If it does not look interesting no one will take a chance on it. It’s simply just a waste of their time. I don’t want to sound discouraging here but that’s just the truth. People will always put their happiness first. Before me and before you. Sad, but true. At the end of the day people are out for themselves.

Authorpreneurship

In my own journey to self-sufficiency, I’m learning that the best way to make a real financial gain from writing is to not just focus on writing and publishing books alone but to also consider what I can offer readers that are beyond the book. This has led to what is now being called Authorprenuership, or the combining of writing books with a business model.

Since writing books is a business, Authorprenuership is something that should be second nature for writers but unfortunately for many of us, it’s not. Instead, we tend to learn about Authorprenuership after the book is written instead of years before. Though a new term, Authorprenuership is the common business sense that’s been around forever. The term is new, the concept is not. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • Paid Public Speaking Engagements
  • Monetized Blogs
  • Podcasting
  • Videos
  • Online Courses
  • Radio Show Appearances
  • Coaching Programs
  • Mentoring Programs
  • Small Publishing Companies
  • Products such as Bookmarks, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, Ink Pens, Notebooks

The idea is to secure other streams of income around the book.

I wrote this article weeks ago, and it has sat in my Blog Post folder on my laptop for some time. After reading it repeatedly, I hesitated to publish this because I’m still on my own journey and I really wanted to make sense to you before presenting this information. It wasn’t until yesterday, while preparing for a radio show, that I decided to blow the electronic dust off this article and get it out of the drafts folder. While scrolling through twitter I came across Income expectations for self-publishing authors by Lieze Neven. I’m a big component of confirmations (meaning that when I pray on something I wait until the answer is confirmed before I act. A man may plan his way, but it is YAH Almighty that orders his steps, but I digress) and this was another one of the many articles I’ve come across about writers and finances. In it, Neven  provides a breakdown on how much authors make on Amazon and the rankings:

  • Most books on Amazon sell LESS than 10 copies a year. If you would price your book at $0.99 this would mean you get $3 per book per year. Auwch.
    At least 90% of the books on Amazon will make LESS than $100 a year says John K.
    A small handful of books, not more than 1000 – will hit the gold mine.

Here’s a breakdown of the Amazon ranks and what they mean.

Rank = 10: Avg daily sales to maintain rank = 1,289
Rank = 100: 191 daily sales
Rank = 1,000: 28 daily sales
Rank = 10,000 : 4 daily sales
Rank = 100,000 : 0.6 daily sales.

Even if these numbers aren’t exact, you get the point.

“Is it Worth It?”

I noticed in Liezen’s comment section that someone said that if these numbers are true then it’s not worth it except as a hobby. I disagree. Writing is always worth it!

Here’s the deal: Where do you want to be? What do you want? Imagine it. Write it down. Pray on it. Work toward it. Prepare for it. In the words of Oprah:

“I don’t believe in luck. To me luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.”

What she said. Even though you may not be making the kind of money you want to right now see right now as an opportunity to prepare. You don’t want to wait until the door is open to have things together. You want to have your business plans and everything already in place when that moment comes, not scrambling to adjust. You want to have an engaging blog, engaging social media, book reviews, someone somewhere other than yourself talking about your work BEFORE the opportunity arrives. You never know who is watching you, reading your blog posts, your social media, or your author website.  So prepare for your time to shine.

  • Have a professional author photo across your social networks
  • Have business cards
  • Have an author website
  • Have a blog
  • Have an email list
  • Have a business plan
  • Have an author media kit or portfolio
  • Have book reviews
  • Have bookmarks showcasing your book covers
  • Have author interviews and guest posts
  • Host live book signing events and take pictures. Add this to your portfolio.

Have something ready to show that special someone that you are already working. Be professional. Be ready. (And authors? Please don’t leave a review or rating of your own books! As much as possible, let others do that kind of thing for you.)

Thirteen revisions and many weeks of putting it off later, I decided to put my big girl skin on and publish this post because I think it’s time we start being all the way real about the financial aspect of Self-Publishing. Yes, this is a great time to publish a book but in the words of Nina Amir, the marketplace is flooded, and flooded is probably an understatement. The marketplace is a Hurricane Katrina of books. If I throw a penny into the sea, unless that’s a special penny, it’s not going to make any dents. This means that unless you are willing to do the work (producing an excellent quality book, writing the book, promoting the book, building platform, speaking networking, blogging, etc.) then people will forget you.

I hope this has been helpful for those considering this route. Writing and publishing is both exciting and liberating but before quitting your day job remember, it takes time and security of multiple income streams to be able to be realistically financially independent. It takes establishing strong author platforms and building a business model around the book you wrote. The book is important because it gives you credibility and authority, establishing you as an expert on your topic. What gives you money? All those other things.

The moral of the story?

Don’t come into this hoping to make lots of money out the gate. That takes time. If you’re writing specifically for financial gain writing and publishing books is not the place for you. You’re in the wrong field.


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is an author, poet, blogger, book reviewer and author of “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) and other works. For updates sneak peeks of other projects, nuggets and tidbits, video tutorials, writing inspiration, and more, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

Self-Publishing: The Business of Writing 101 (6 Basics)

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When I published my first book, I didn’t see my writing as a business. It was just me doing what I’ve always wanted to do. However, as I began to learn and as I continue to learn, I quickly discovered why Self-Publishing requires so much work: It’s a business.

That doesn’t take away from the fun of it, but the realization did help me to become more organized. I quickly learned why no one was buying: I wasn’t working! Writing is working, technically, and I was doing plenty of that. However, I was not working on the skill of writing, researching my industry, understanding tips to help me to write better books, promoting, marketing, and everything in-between. I was writing, sure. But the business of writing? I didn’t even know it existed. I was a writer and that was all. When I got into the business of writing however, that’s when I  became an author.

From The Online EC Dictionary:

Writer – (noun) a. a person who writes b. a person who writes stories, letters, books, manuscripts, manuals, c. a creative person who enjoys writing things down d. an artist who paints pictures with words

Self-Published Author (noun) – a. a person who finances, publishes, markets, and promotes their writing; b. a writer whose job is to publish books, may include attending book signing events, interviews, applying for grants, entering contests, etc., c. entrepreneur d. writer who paints pictures with words and then sends them out into the world.

The Business of Writing 101: The Basics

  • Author Platform – This is by far the most important part of your journey. BEFORE you publish your book, make sure you have either a blog or website that showcases your writing and personality to some extent. This is the most powerful way for people to get to know you. Why should people get to know you? Because you are not just a writer. You are going from Writer to Self-Pub Author my friend. No longer do you just paint pictures with words, but you are about to send them out into the world. But first, you need to introduce yourself to all of your potential readers. (I suppose you don’t need to start a blog but in my experience this blog plays a critical role (more so than a website and FB) in helping me to run my writing business by giving me a platform where I can receive instant feedback and constructive criticism on my work before I publish. I mean, look at all those faces subscribed to The PBS Blog, we can’t let them down now can we?) Below are the 10 Best Blog Websites of 2016:

Top Free Blog Sites

  1. WordPress (Yes, we’re number one baby!)
  2. Tumblr
  3. Blogger
  4. Medium
  5. Svbtle
  6. Live Journal
  7. Weebly
  8. Postach.io
  9. Pen.io
  10. Ghost
  •  Social Media – Set up your social media pages BEFORE publishing your book, not after. Primarily, set up a Facebook Page or Group, Instagram,  and Twitter account. These are the 3 basic social platforms but do not be deceived by the hype: They may not all work for you. Play around with what’s out there and stick to the one that works for you. YouTube is another platform, and Pinterest is another. I’ve found Twitter is my best home base. By Home Base I mean that place where I receive the most interaction. For you that may be Facebook or Instagram. Find the right platform for you, not for others. In fact, you want to be on the platform your readers are on. This means identifying your Target audience and then placing yourself in the places they are. In any event, start your social media craze before your books is born.  This will give you another easy way to share your writing and also connect with others.
  • Newsletter – Place a newsletter sign up form on your blog or website and start to collect emails early on. How to ensure people are actually reading your emails is a separate post. Right now we’re focusing on the basics and basically, get that newsletter up and running early on. Some people say not to worry about the newsletter if you have a blog. I say do worry about it. Look at it this way: Your email list is a permanent tool because if your website goes down or your blog or your social media pages you still have access to the group of readers who love your work. By collecting emails, you can reach people on a most personal level (Tip: Don’t sound all businessy (< Yes, made up word) in your emails. Let your personality shine. People like to connect with other people so be yourself). The link below is a good start for researching the email newsletter service that is right for you:

The 25 Best Email Marketing Newsletters and Apps

  • Investment – Save your money. I know, not a lot of people talk about this when it comes to Self-Pub and it was the furthest thing from my mind when I set out to publish my first book but you can do better than I did. It’s a mistake to think about the financial aspect of book publishing during the publishing process. Everyone remember the 6 ps? Say it with me: “Proper Planning Prevents Pissed Poor Performance.” There’s nothing like a strong foundation and so yes, save your sheckles. Investment doesn’t have to be a scary term. It’s not like you’re buying stocks. Investment just means to put money toward a product, or service for profitable or material gain. I don’t like fancy smanshy words so let’s keep it simple: You’re saving money to go toward your writing to increase the chances of you making a profit because as with any business you have to be willing to invest in your work.  You will need to pay for book cover design, editing, formatting, and the cost of print books, business cards, book marks, and promotional items (all of which increases the books chances of selling and i.e. you making a profit). While there are tons of free ways to produce all of these to some extent, for a truly professional outcome it’s going to cost you some investment. Let’s face it, no one wants their books to look bootleg. Createspace’s available book cover freebies? I don’t think so. There’s just too many Self-Pub books to read to take the easy route. Cover design is the difference between me deciding to read your book and make a sandwich. (The most important investment is time. At the end of the day the books that sell are the books that are well written. At the end of the day it is still about the story so make sure you’re putting time into your writing).

The most important investment is time. Make sure you’re putting time into your writing.- Tweet This

  • Streams of Income –  Authors aren’t rich. Well, most of us aren’t (Can’t speak for you six figure Indie Author makers. Y’all better work!) So, for this reason, if you’re deciding to quit your job and write books, first you need to take the time to invest the money you have into your book publishing business. Yes, I said publishing business. No, I won’t explain, we’ve been over this. Writing is a business. So, back to the point, before you throw in the towel you may want to  seek grants or enter contests where the prize is large sums or even small sums, of money. The most wise thing however, is to take the money you’re making from your 9-5 and invest it into your writing. (I think those with jobs who want to write books are in a great position. You have the financial resources to save!) Writing a book doesn’t mean you can’t get a part time job or offer other services that is going to put money in your pocket to dedicate to your books. One of the first things you’ll notice as you begin your journey is that the money you do make from writing books is going to often go back toward your work. Everything made is going to go back in and it’s going to be many years before you start to see some real profits. However, you can avoid the feast of famine with proper planning, investment, and multiple streams of income.

Cover design is the difference between me deciding to read your book and make a sandwich. – Tweet This

  • Less Talk, More Action – I’m a workaholic for a reason. In fact, many entrepreneurs are. There’s a saying I try to always keep in mind as I work. It helps keep me motivated and planting seeds: “Bad boys hit hard, but move silent”. Self-Publishing is the “IT” thing right now. Everyone wants to show that they’ve written a book even though the reality is that not everyone has the skill. While it’s exciting to boast of having written a book, make sure you’re also sharpening your writing skills, and doing the hard labor on the back end that ensures proper presentation and production of the end product. Make sure  that your books are actually reaching people. I’m not saying to quit because no one read your book because that’s not the reason (I’d hope) that you write in the first place. What I am saying however,  is that I love to write, but I refuse to keep pushing out work without also monitoring the growth and development of that work. As part of the Self-Publishing process, I do not just write books and neither should you. I also study the writing field, calculate the financial cost of publishing a book, surround myself with professional men and women who could help me, surround myself with family members and friends who will support me, and write books that will expand conversations and start discussions.

Bad boys hit hard, but move silent. – Tweet This

Self-Publishing: Pricing Your E-Books

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Price. Money. Mulah. Paper. Dollar Bills. Dough. You get the point.

The financial aspect of Indie Publishing is not something I speak much about or that I hear much about in the blogging world. Maybe its because money has always been that personal thing that belonged to just us. In many ways, this is true. How much is in your bank account is not something you sound a trumpet about nor should it be. Not only that, but there’s a lot of things I’ll never tell you about my financial life. Even in relation to Book Publishing. Some things are just best kept on the low.

But, what I will share is some important tips for pricing your books. Specifically, your eBooks. Believe it or not your book price has a role to play in your books overall image. What do I mean by image? I mean that when someone comes along, or scrolls along, through Amazon’s list of reads and sets their mind on which one to pick, there are a few things that make up the books overall image in the mind of the reader. This is not something that we, as readers, are always consciously aware of, but it is something that we do on that subconscious level. We are looking at:

– Book Title

– Book Cover

– Book Description

– Book Price

Usually in that order, but this is not always the case. Remember that when I write posts like these they are based on my personal experience in this field because I think experience is just a good teacher. So, in my experience (you may have done your own research), usually readers tend to decide to purchase a book based on these elements and in this order but not always in this order. In the event a reader is not judging in this order it usually has something to do with the price. This is when book pricing takes on a greater role and rises from the bottom of the list to the top.

I believe that the relationship between marketing and buyer habits is connected. Meaning that by paying attention to how people buy books, this can give me some insight on how to better market or sell them. So as an avid reader, I pay attention to myself in how I go about purchasing a book and usually I’ve been known to bypass books based on price. If the book looks interesting but the price is extremely too high, I may skip it. Not that I won’t come back to it, but you don’t want to give me the room to come back. You want me to make a purchase out the gate, sorta speak. Books I skip based on price tend to look something like this:

– The Title is not very encouraging, but it will do

– The book cover is plain, but I can work with it

– The price is too high

In this list I’ve ignored the other mediocrities and made up my mind to give the book a try. However, I looked and saw that it was $6.99. For the most part, these are instances where I just can’t. These are also instances where price can be the first determining factor in eBook sales even against the title, description, and cover. Sometimes all of these can be on point but the price is still too high. Now, prices of books can also be too low! But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, lets get some insight on how we should price our eBooks and what these prices should be based on. Now, I’m going to let someone a bit more experienced discuss this part. This excerpt is from an article written by Laurence O’byran whose services I acquired not too long ago to assist with the launch of the final book in the Stella series. Laurence is the author of three traditionally published novels from Harper Collins and runs a book promotion service I’m sure you’re tired of seeing on Twitter ; ).

What Is The Best Price For An Ebook/Kindle book in 2016?

Free

Only if you have a closely linked series and book number one can be priced at free to get readers started on your series.

.99c

If you are a new author and you want make it easy for people to buy your book, and you want to increase your total earnings. This price can be used for a short period to get your book onto a best seller list and then you can move the price up. When deciding a price do not consider the effort put in to write and produce it, consider what total earnings you want. By pricing at .99c, and then increasing the price you can achieve higher earnings. I have seen this working.

.99c can be used during a launch period, for a relaunch with a new cover, or for when you add a new book to your series. How long you stay at .99c will depend on total sales and whether you are continuing any paid promotion periods. It will also depend on if you have a new title coming out in the near future and what level of buzz you already have for the title. If there’s a lot of media attention on the title your period at .99c may only be a day or two.

$2.99

This is the recommended price long term. It’s considered by many to be the sweet spot for long term Kindle book sales. This price may also be appropriate if the first book in the series is $.99c. Your earnings should go up when you reach this price point. The period at .99c is used to gain you exposure, build that vital word of mouth and get you as high up the rankings as possible, with as many reviews on Amazon as possible.   

And that is pretty much the extent of the primary cost brackets that are good for eBooks. Yes, just these main three. Anything else is going to be too expensive if its not a popular read by a well-known author or the other components (book description, title, cover) are not up to par. And even then anything over 2.99 is too much. I’m speaking from personal experience. I realized too late that the first book in my Stella Trilogy was too high and because I published through Lulu at the time, I have to re-submit  blah blah blah to change it. So what happened is that the other two books did much better financially than the first. So, don’t be like me. Although $3.99 is not extremely too high, it is something I need to change, even possibly marking Book One in my series down to $.99 or even $1.99. Paperback books is a completely different subject matter and this is where you make your money at if you want to set high prices. Paperbacks are supposed to be more expensive because of the cost to print and so you can reap a nice profit from those print book sales. For eBooks however, though profit is to be made, it requires a little more strategy because of the competition. Like I said, marketing your book how you yourself buy books can come in handy, for instance:

When comparing your book to the pricing of others, consider that a big percentage of book sales are now going through sites such as BookBub, where free and .99c books are the norm. If a reader can buy a known top name author’s ebook for .99c or your ebook at $4.99 or more, what do you think they will do? – L. O’Bryan

What would you do? Exactly.

What Langston Hughes Taught Me About Writing

Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes, Google Images

What known historically famous writers, like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, have taught me is that writing (far as fiction, / non-fiction, poetry, novelist type writing), is not about making money. Before you throw your stones at the computer screens listen carefully: You can surely make money, but writing is not about making money, if you can understand that. Though I write for a “living” I can honestly say, with my integrity intact, that I have written not one book and not one poem with the intent to make money. I don’t think any writer sits back and says, “Self, lets’ get this best seller on out the way shall we?” Personally, I write because I love doing it and I publish because I love sharing it. But, how did Langston Hughes help me to understand this?

For those of you who are not already familiar, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston are two of the biggest names in literary history. Just mention The Harlem Renaissance and their names are the first to come to mind. When you look into the lives that they lived however, you see two interesting facts: a). Both were very famous b). Both were very broke.

You wouldn’t know it from the looks of it. Not the way their names are plastered into history books. Not their quotes and faces and the people they’ve known. In fact, to the untrained eye one may come to think these people were rich. Yes, just like any “successful” Traditional or Self-Publisher always before the face of the people. The truth is that Langston Hughes had many side jobs throughout his career that made him money. This included many speaking engagements, teaching, traveling the world, and even working as a bus boy at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington. Hughes attended Lincoln University but that was because he couldn’t raise the scholarship money to attend Howard. In addition, both Hughes and Zora worked closely under Charlotte Manson, their rich white patron (she was also a big racist but that’s another story) who paid them for the work they published (she also dictated the works they could / could not publish). They also worked closely, most especially Hughes, with Carl Van Vechten (infamous for his book “Nigger Heaven”) who got him lots of work.

I do not say this to discourage anyone from being an author. I say this to say that there is a passion and a drive to writing a book that has nothing to do with royalties and books sales. This is what the promotion and hard work is all about, or at least mine is.  Writing and promoting books that people want to read. There were times where Langston Hughes could barely pay his rent and yet he still managed to know pretty much everyone there was to know during the Harlem Renaissance and the era to which he lived in general. This is a man who was surrounded by millionaires and billionaires on a regular, not because he necessarily  made the same kind of money but because of the way that his work changed people who were drawn to his message. This is what it’s all about: Changing lives. This is also why the Traditional-Indie argument is so stupid right now. It doesn’t matter how you publish the book and whether or not you’re “making it rain”. What matters is whether or not your book has a voice. If it does, then the people will gather to hear you sing.