Okay so I get a bunch of emails for new releases from various publishers (including one I don’t buy from anymore, but I like to see if there’s anything interesting that they’re publishing). Anyway, I got one of my regular emails and a story caught my eye. Now the publisher is one I may buy from, but the story really has to sound good or be an auto buy author in order for me to spend the money, and sometimes even then it’s not a guarantee.
Because generally the covers don’t catch my eye and (from experience) the editing hasn’t been that great. It’s the reason why if I do buy a book from them, I tend to skim read it (although I have caught mistakes even when doing that but that’s why I rarely buy from them).
Anyway, this story caught my attention. The cover was okay, the author is one I like, the blurb sounded interesting, but the price? It seems too much from my point of view.
The story is around 20k but the price is $4.99.
Is it just me or does anyone else think that’s quite high? Or $5.99 for 35k?
Putting on my publisher hat for a second, yes, I would charge that. However, I set up the costs to be along the lines of the word count so I’d only charge $4.99 for stories over 45k and $5.99 for stories over 55k.
Now, I’m happy to pay $3.99 for a story that’s around 25k when the publisher allows you to earn store credit or they have a Buy X and get 1 Free thing going on the website because eventually the average cost of the books would be less than what you paid for the individual books. Plus the authors make more by you buying directly from the publisher.
But $5 for a story that’s around 20k? It just seems like a lot. I’m glad it means the authors will make more, but I can’t help but wonder if they’d sell more if it was cheaper? Now I know that most publishers don’t allow authors to have any say over the costs of their books (so I’m not directing this at the authors) and that everyone wants to make money but I can’t help but wonder if they’re losing readers because the costs are so high? Add in VAT for EU readers and it becomes higher.
I can’t help but wonder how many readers would go elsewhere and get two (or more) different books that could end up being longer for the cost of that one. Sure the stories might not be as good but then again they might be better.
If you had a limited book buying budget, say $10, would you look at another publisher and get three or more books? Or would you get one (because both would be over budget) of the books I mentioned above?