What every reader needs to know

January 11, 2016 at 12:36 pm

everyreaderOn 2nd January I liked and shared a meme called ‘What every reader needs to know’ on my Facebook author page. Much of what it said resonated with me:

  1. The book in your hand is full of heartache, rewrites, edits and more rewrites.
  2. A book sold for .99 cents on Amazon nets the author only .17 cents. Please consider this when saying $1.99 is too much.
  3. Amazon will only recommend a book if it has at least 25 reviews posted. The 3-5 minutes it takes to post a review is the life or death of that book and determines if it is a suggested read. No matter how great a book is (or isn’t) Amazon will let it die a slow death without reviews.
  4. Not every self-pubbed author has an editor. Most of us aren’t rich and can’t afford $500 to edit a book, so be kind.

So much of it is true, not just for me, but for all unknown authors out there, whether self-published or not, so I thought I’d feature this in my blog for the next few weeks (although I will take a one-week break to participate in a blog tour for the new anthology I’m a part of, Glimpses of Light).

This week, I’ll start with number one – the book in your hand is full of heartache, rewrites, edits and more rewrites.

It’s common, when I’m attending any event trying to sell my books, to have someone try and ‘talk me down’ when it comes to the price. While I understand that we all struggle with money, I think my books, whether print or ebook, are reasonably priced, especially when you consider the work that went into them.

When I wrote the first draft of The Heir, my debut novel and the first book in the Verindon trilogy, it took about three months. Then I edited it. Then I edited it again. Then I edited it again. Times that by about sixty. Then I had the manuscript assessed. (Fortunately, by this time I had an interested publisher, so I didn’t pay for that. But many authors do pay for it out of their own pockets.) Then it had a professional edit. Then another. All in all, it took three years to get from the first draft stage to the publishing stage.

The paperback edition of The Heir was released at the cost (in Australian dollars) of $16.95. This is a remarkably reasonable price, especially when you consider all the work, three years of it, in fact, that both my publisher and myself put into it. Take out all the costs associated in labour, printing and marketing, and it honestly doesn’t leave a great deal left over for something that I spent major time on for three years of my life. Now, before you think I’m whinging too much, believe me, I know how fortunate I am to not only have a book published, but one that was traditionally published. That’s an achievement. But it hurts every time someone tries to talk me down in price because I know how much work I put into it.

The ebook editions of each of my books, when first released, were $8.99 AUD each. Again, considering the work that went into them, I think this is a fair price. However, most people think that ebooks should be dirt cheap. I understand why; there’s an expectation that they should be cheaper because of costs saved with printing. But they are cheaper. Remember, we’re trying to make a living out of this. There’s a reason a lot of us don’t make it to that many events. We have day jobs too, so we can pay bills. We don’t have much money. We’re trying to be authors, but it’s definitely something we do because we love it, more than because it makes us money.

So next time you see a book that you think costs a little too much keep in mind the struggling author who’s trying to live their dream. I know you work hard for your money, but so do we. Please help us out wherever you can and try and pay full price for a book written by an unknown.



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