I love red tags and clearance. My kids constantly moan when I say I'm not buying something because it's full price. I'll wait for an item to go on sale and will rarely buy something at regular price. Sometimes the waiting makes me appreciate it more.
But there's a difference between sale and clearance. Don't get me wrong, the occasional amazing product marked down beyond all reason will produce an embarrassing squeal of delight from me. More often than not, however, I wonder why an item is on clearance. Is it defective? Unpopular? Not selling well?
As an author, I know the time and energy that goes into a novel or short story or even an article. A piece of me is in every work I produce, a little blood, sweat, and tears if you will. How do I assign a value to that? I'm also an avid reader, and I want to purchase as many books as I can.
Mom and I originally had a small press publishing our novel, Depression Cookies. The owner was a lovely man who encouraged us and was our editor. He helped shape our novel. Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly as we were nearing publication. We panicked. We didn't know where to turn. We turned the wrong way, to Xlibris Corporation. I would self-publish again, and have met an amazing community of independently published novelists, but I would never go through a company like this. However, those rantings are for another post.
Xlibris set our price. $23.99 for a paperback and $9.99 for Kindle. Highway robbery if you ask me. But they didn't. Mom and I sold 600 of our own books (which we purchased for $10+ a piece) for $15. Much more reasonable for a paperback. I didn't know about Smashwords for a long time, and then was completely daunted by it for a while longer, so I didn't think I had any control over my Kindle price.
We are happy to announce that we are in the process of uploading to Smashwords and will be promoting our book there soon.
But, back to pricing. What's a fair price but also shows value and worth? I don't want to turn off a reader, but I also don't want them to question the worth of the product. The reader should be thinking sale, not clearance.
What eBook price screams clearance/less value, and what price seems like a bargain/good value?
My Last ROW80 update for 2011:
I value my ROW80 buds and hope you will offer some guidance on the subject above, although I know many of you struggle with this question.
I've been hard on myself this round about not meeting goals, but I must say I've accomplished more writing this holiday season than I have in years past. Normally, I'd use the holidays as an excuse. Not this year. And I have all of you to thank.
I wish all of you the best of the holiday season and many words (and other blessings) in 2012. I'll see you in Round 1 2012!
Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O'Brien