Authors: Stop Selling Short -by Jeyran Main

Today, I wish to talk about something that has been bothering me for a while. Time and time again I notice that books are being sold for as cheap as 99 cents. I am not talking about the used or unwanted books you sometimes see at the entrance of libraries. I am discussing about the ones that are being sold online, brand new and in various formats.

Why would an author sell years of his hard work, hours on end sitting, pondering, late night struggling while going over his written work, and  paying thousands of dollars to have it edited only to then sell it for 99 cents?

Do we have such an abundance of books out there that their work is only worth 99 cents after everything they go through to publish it? If yes, why bother?

Are they playing the number game? Assuming they will sell in millions and so 99 cents will still make them a profit?

Are they just doing all this for fun? They don’t anticipate any sales and so they do not care what the outcome is after it is published?

If you value and deem all this hard work to be worth only 99 cents, why would anyone else value it any higher?

In fact, if you dig deeper into the psychological influence you make in having a potential reader ponder over buying your 99-cent book or someone else’s 10-dollar book, you will notice that the buyer will pick the 10 dollar one.

This is because they unconsciously believe that if they buy a book that is 10 dollars then it must have something more to offer than a 99-cent book.

It is like the catch and chase theory. If you offer something for free, then it is not that appealing. If you make it a challenge, then everyone will be interested and will want to know what all the fuss is about.

People don’t buy a book because it is cheap, they buy it because it sounds good, the reviews are good, and the cover is appealing. So in my opinion, you are selling short on everything you sacrificed in producing. Why should you not enjoy having the satisfaction of expressing your thoughts in your book and also enjoy the exposure of it along side the financial security of which it brings?

Next time you wish to give away something for free, please consider, it maybe worth more than that.

-Written by Jeyran Main


Jeyran is a blogger, consumer reviewer, book editor, book promoter and a freelance book translator. Her website Review Tales demonstrates her thoughts, reflections and works.

14 thoughts on “Authors: Stop Selling Short -by Jeyran Main

  1. Actually the competition is fierce. An author will put their book on sale for $.99 and have it highly publicized (BookBub, various promotions on blogs). They are paying for that publicity, btw. What they are hoping is that they can acquire new readers who will fall in love with their work and then buy from there on. Since I’ve started book blogging and participating in book tours, I’ve had my eyes opened. There are some tremendously talented people who are selling their ebooks for almost nothing, but they are being published by the ebook side of the major publishing companies.
    Also, if you’ve ever tried to publish short stories and poetry, you will be paid by most journals in copies. That has been going on for years.
    As far as financial security? Only the creme de la creme make enough to live off of.
    Every writer loves the fantasy of being creme de la creme, but reality is against them. That’s not to discourage perserverance, but keep the day job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. Also, people *are* buying the cheap books. My friends and I like the daily newsletters with book deals: free, $.99, $1.99. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you can find new authors. Flipside, if you hate the book, you don’t regret having bought it, which is very nice when a lot of people don’t have disposable income.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I get where you are coming from. i am one of those persons who prefers cheaper books and even second hand books. It again comes upon affordability.
      Maybe the author “presumably” is feeling bad about the condition of the writers worldwide.


    3. Definitely. Considering how much enjoyment readers get from books and how little a writer might get in return monetarily is a sad commentary on arts versus, say, something like acting and professional sports. (Oops. Home actors don’t attack me for not including them in “artists”. :) )

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No. I think the author here is trying to highlight the consumer base and their way of thinking.
      Readers generally don’t go for cheaper books. They prefer books with simple and elegant cover, interesting introduction with a price tag ranging between 2$ to 10$.

      Liked by 1 person

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