There was some conversation in one of my author loops recently, after a couple of authors noticed that prices on their ebooks had been raised by their publisher. That opened up a long thread of comments, firstly filled with worry.
“Readers won’t pay that.”
“No one wants to buy ebooks that are priced higher than $5.”
I admit, at first, I wondered the same thing. But then I wondered some more.
Sure, the internet romance world is flooded by $0.99 specials and freebies. With the ladies of Love, Lust and Laptops, I have a couple of freebies myself. It’s a great idea and helps new readers connect with an author.
But does that mean all our books should sit a bargain-basement prices? No.
Sometimes I get discouraged because I see the bestsellers are the folks who often price themselves at a buck or two. Great deal, right? I admit I’ve snapped up a few of these cheap books myself. Often, once I read them, I’m disappointed. I don’t want to say all cheap books are worthless, but there are a lot of them out there with bad grammar, bad stories and bad cover art. And at that point, paying $0.99 isn’t such a deal anymore.
I don’t mind paying a little more, knowing I’m getting a good product. Remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for?” It’s often true. If you go too cheap, it can bite you in the bottom.
It’s sort of like umbrellas. I’ve bought a lot of cheap umbrellas in my life, the cheap and cheerful ones you can find at a dollar store. Invariably, they break or the wind snaps them. When I’m standing in the rain, getting soaked, holding a broken umbrella, I’m not so cheerful. However, when I’ve spent a few dollars on a well-crafted umbrella, it takes care of me. It keeps me dry and holds up in the worst storms.
I don’t want my books to be like dollar store umbrellas. I want to be the umbrella that lasts a long time, helping you feel good. I want to be worth every penny you spend on me. And I can guarantee, for those few dollars, you got a lot of hard work in return, from me and from the good folks at my publishers.
In the end, undervaluing ourselves isn’t the answer. When you provide a good product, people don’t mind paying. You’ll still find my books on sale here and there, but am I just giving it away? No.
I’m worth more than that.