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message 1: by Livi (last edited Jun 08, 2013 12:06PM) (new)

Livi Best (ol040388) | 8 comments I just want to get something off of my chest. I do not understand why readers will get so upset over pricing! It's not as if $2.99, or even $5.99 for that matter, are exorbitant price points for well-crafted stories. Do they not understand the sheer number of hours that it takes to plan and produce even 10,000 words? A cup of coffee is $5! An hour of parking is $3! Paperback books can reach $20 in some stores! I have received a slew of negative reviews of ARCs that I distributed to beta readers, and many reviewers grumbled about length and worth. The worst part is that the ARC was roughly 28k words, with the final product consisting of about about 12k more words. Yet they have posted their reviews on Amazon, making it seem as if my book is only 3/4 of the actual final length. I suppose it is my fault for asking people to review, but I would think that they might at least cross check! The file on their kindles ended up at around 78 pages, apparently, but my final work's print length is logged at 170 pages on Amazon. How frustrating! Do any other authors feel my pain?

Even worse are the people who are jumping to review after reading the blurb, only to write, "I don't usually like this genre/type of story." Such is the life, I suppose.


message 2: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments I don't understand, why would someone complain about the price? They don't have to buy it if they don't want it! And why are beta readers leaving reviews? Their job is to help you publish, not review. Maybe you need to clarify your expectations before you sign them up? It sounds like craziness.
Also, I suggest checking out volunteer reviewers before you send them a copy. I learned that a while back. Make sure they read your kind of book and that their reviews are the kind you want to have next to your book. Also, that they actually do review the books they receive.
I know this isn't really empathizing, but maybe it will help you avoid such disappointment in the future.


message 3: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments I belong to those people who will grumble when the price is too high. However, I simply shelve as "too expensive", and would put that into a review only if I was lead into believing something is longer than it actually is prior to buying.

I wouldn't ever buy a fiction novel for $20, most assuredly not as a paperback at such a price. With an ebook, especially one which comes with DRM, I buy a license, not a book. I can't loan or re-sell it. I can't even save it in a loss-free manner. So anyone asking for more than 5-6 dollars for a novel, or 2-3 dollars for a novella isn't high on my TBR list, or in my favour as an author.

Heh, and I don't buy coffee for $5 either. My coffee costs 80 cents for 100g instant coffee, that's at least a week of drinking several cups a day.

It's all about perspectives.


message 4: by R. (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments I agree with what you are saying Olivia. Vent On girl! I have my first book in a series that was reviewed as three stars but their only complaint was the length. Also they said it was written as if a class assignment but the language and content surely wouldn't have been that way. The highest it has been priced is .99 and it is about 35,000 words in length. I hate pricing my books for free because now that is what some people have expected: something for nothing and then fail to realize that there are more traditionally published books priced much higher that drone on and on with too much detail. I am using my last five days of the free days promotion because they end soon. But after that I will not be using free promotions. They do nothing in the way for more reviews and our time and effort as writers deserve more.


message 5: by Mercy (new)

Mercy Cortez (mercy-cortez) | 56 comments Pricing is part of business. As an unknown writer like myself you know that your words will be considered a risk. People wonder if they will like your writing style etc.

I write many reviews for GR and my co written review blog and only once have I mentioned the price; simply because the author had a nice story but she was an unknown and I knew based on that her $7 short e book wouldn't sell as it wouldn't be worth the risk to prospective readers.

Any product is only worth what someone will pay for it, so if you aren't selling books or if you are receiving this feed back as a business head I would suggest a price drop promotion to get those reviews in.

But what readers often do not bear in mind we often only receive 35% of the cost of each book sold unless they are charged to over £3, I charge $0.99/77p for each book I have published so far.

So yes it may be unfortunate to be told your story you worked hard over is over priced but sometimes this feedback can help you.


message 6: by Mercy (new)

Mercy Cortez (mercy-cortez) | 56 comments Linda wrote: "Olivia wrote: I just want to get something off of my chest. I do not understand why readers will get so upset over pricing! It's not as if $2.99, or even $5.99 for that matter, are exorbitant pric..."

I think I pretty much agree with you.


message 7: by Shaun (last edited Jun 08, 2013 02:26PM) (new)

Shaun Horton | 248 comments It does seem like there was some mis-communication between you and your readers. It seems like you were expecting beta readers, while they thought they were getting ARC's. Lesson learned to make sure everyone is on the same page before works are sent out.

As far as pricing goes, my understanding of proper pricing for indie/SPA's is generally $0.99 to $1.99 for short stories up to novella's. $2.99 and up goes to actual novels, which the word count break for novels is generally accepted to be 50,000 words.

As said, once you're established, you can always raise or lower prices later.


message 8: by Livi (new)

Livi Best (ol040388) | 8 comments Thanks for the replies, everyone. I forgot to mention that the book was actually free for some of the readers (KDP promo) which is why I was so upset!

I hope you feel better, Linda ;)


message 9: by Cypher (new)

Cypher Lx (CypherLx) | 51 comments Just a few points about price and reviews.

I have had my books downloaded for free through the KDP Select program and only receive one review out of thousands. The problem with the Select program is that too many readers have come to expect something for nothing and will download book after book for free and won't read most of what they have.

Another thing that I disagree with is pricing a full novel at $0.99. I did it and had virtually no sales. When I priced my books higher, I had more sales come in. Now, I wouldn't go higher than $5.99. One of mine is priced at that, but it's also a long novel (in excess of 100K words). But I also wouldn't go lower than $2.99 for a novella length book, unless you are doing a sales promotion or have a sequel coming out. For example, is book two or three of a series being released? Place the previous books in the series at a lower cost to bring the readers in for the new one.

That's just my opinion. Take it for what it's worth.


message 10: by Denise (last edited Jun 09, 2013 12:43AM) (new)

Denise Baer | 321 comments Pricing is a tricky thing with books because there are all types of readers out there. There are readers who read without any knowledge of what author or book they're reading. There are readers who just want easy reads, and then there are those who like challenge reads.

It sounds like there was some miscommunication, because your beta readers shouldn't be reviewing. They're supposed to give you 'private' feedback. Sending your ARC to reviewers is a different story.

My eBook is priced at $6.50 and my paperback is at $14.95. I'm an unknown author, but I'm not about to giveaway my work. The way I look at it, if someone wants to read a book based on the synopsis, reviews, etc. then they'll buy it. As a reader, I'll pay money to read a book, I don't sit around for free. For those who just want low cost books, or free books, they aren't my target audience.

Denise Baer
http://www.authordenisebaer.com


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim | 469 comments Personally I think the sole purpose of the sub-$3 book is to produce a heap of cheap stuff so that Amazon can point to it and say "Look, all this is only available on Kindle, buy a Kindle now"

I've talked to people who have deleted unread and unopened hundreds of free books off their Kindle. Easy come, easy go


message 12: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Jim wrote: "I've talked to people who have deleted unread and unopened hundreds of free books off their Kindle. Easy come, easy go ..."

Well, and I have learned about and read wonderful new authors this way, authors who now are on my auto-buy lists.


message 13: by Denise (last edited Jun 09, 2013 12:57AM) (new)

Denise Baer | 321 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "Jim wrote: "I've talked to people who have deleted unread and unopened hundreds of free books off their Kindle. Easy come, easy go ..."

Well, and I have learned about and read wonderful new author..."


There are positives and negatives to free downloads.

You probably have found some wonderful new authors, but many new authors think that if a book is downloaded, it's being read. That is not the case. I, along with many other people, have deleted many free downloaded books. So on the one hand, new authors might get one or two new readers. On the other, they are removed from many of Kindle. People won't think twice to delete free books, but they will if they paid for it.


message 14: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Denise wrote: "So on the one hand, new authors might get one or two new readers. On the other, they are removed from many of Kindle. People won't think twice to delete free books, but they will if they paid for it. ..."

Sure, but I wouldn't have BOUGHT any of these books. I buy what I know or what is very much recommended by trusted friends. I'd not go and simply buy a new author just for the fun of it. Money is too dear for that.


message 15: by Rinelle (new)

Rinelle Grey (rinellegrey) | 38 comments I suspect that people are underestimating the number of free books that are being read! I have a link to my webpage (where I have extras, deleted scenes, character profiles etc), and after a free promo I inevitably get quite a few new hits on these pages. And I'm guessing that only a percentage of the people who read my book click on that link (no idea what the percentage might be, but I'm figuring it's probably small), so more than that are reading it. I also have more people signing up for my mailing list (which exists for no other purpose than to send out news of the next release).

I'm not under any illusion that everyone is, but saying only one or two people will is a underestimating.


message 16: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Rinelle wrote: "I suspect that people are underestimating the number of free books that are being read! I have a link to my webpage (where I have extras, deleted scenes, character profiles etc), and after a free p..."

I agree. I've also noticed that 1-2 permanently free stories work exceedingly well to attract new readers.


message 17: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 321 comments Rinelle wrote: "I'm not under any illusion that everyone is, but saying only one or two people will is a underestimating. "

You're right. My comment of one or two was a underestimation, but I'm not underestimating the number of free books that aren't being read. There are plenty of people out there on the hunt for free books, and they will download those free books with no guarantee they'll be read.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not denying those who do give their books away for free. I'm just saying that I've seen several comments on Goodreads about people happy that they had 500 free downloads or more and that they're building an audience. Many new authors think these downloads mean 500 reads, and it isn't so. If that's the way an author wants to build an audience, I say go for it, just be realistic about it.


message 18: by Mercy (new)

Mercy Cortez (mercy-cortez) | 56 comments I have had a few giveaways and free days and I must have "sold" around a thousand free units. As a reader I to download free books but only read them when I'm not waiting for another book to come out but I do find some great books this way

I got Held by Kimberly A. Bettes for free and it isn't my usual genre and was completely unlike me to read a horror book but it became a favourite of mine which I rated five stars and I literally cannot wait for the sequel; so I know that yes readers may download it and not read it but I am only after those one of two that do and rate it and recommend it to friends, because that's how the ball starts rolling and interest comes in.

I think free days are great and personally I was going to have my books free on Amazon but wasn't allowed and so maybe it is just that to me the money side of things is a bonus. I don't want to sound high and mighty because I certainly see why you would want some money for writing a great book and working for hours over it but my personal opinion is that I write for me not for the money.

So yes those free days may only get you two reads at the time but then someone sees those reviews and buys your book etc.

What I'm also curious about is pricing and quality. I wonder if readers view a cheap book and automatically assume it will be of below quality than a higher priced story.


message 19: by Ian (new)

Ian Stewart (goodreadercomIanStewart) | 41 comments Mercy wrote: "I have had a few giveaways and free days and I must have "sold" around a thousand free units. As a reader I to download free books but only read them when I'm not waiting for another book to come o..."

Some sites that host free Kindle books demand four or five star reviews before accepting them, so potential readers have some kind of marker to judge a book. They can also check out the Amazon website of the book and read the review. I think freebies are a useful promotional tool but as Denise says you should be realistic about how many are read.


message 20: by Emma (new)

Emma Faragher | 31 comments I have to say I feel that the sample chapters are being rather underrated in these threads. I wouldn't spend money on a book that I knew nothing about, I would get the sample chapters and if I wanted to keep reading after that buy the book. (Free books don't offer sample chapters which is probably why the higher percentage of deleted mostly unread books). And yes I think that many readers automatically assume that a very cheap book doesn't have to be as good. But readers who dismiss books for being cheap or indie published are missing out on a whole load of great reads. They are also unlikely to change their minds just because the price is higher. Just my opinion.


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Stewart (goodreadercomIanStewart) | 41 comments Emma wrote: "I have to say I feel that the sample chapters are being rather underrated in these threads. I wouldn't spend money on a book that I knew nothing about, I would get the sample chapters and if I want..."

Emma, if you go to the Amazon site of a Kindle book - free or not - (by clicking on the URL) and then click on the cover it will open to give you a sample of chapters. For shorter books it may be two or three but with my long historical novel, for example, you access eight chapters.


message 22: by Emma (new)

Emma Faragher | 31 comments Oh, maybe I will curb my purchasing of free books in that case. I've always used the download sample option (which is an absolute god send for me) but isn't available on free books. I think the sample chapters are a great, risk free way of assessing if you like the style of a new author (or even if you like the new book by an author you've read before), do others not make full use of the feature? It just seems like everyone always says that people are afraid to try a new author but I don't understand why they don't read the sample chapters to see if they like it before buying. (Not that I can really say much as an author because my sales are abysmal, I'm mostly writing from a readers perspective)


message 23: by Rinelle (new)

Rinelle Grey (rinellegrey) | 38 comments I hadn't thought about using the look inside feature on free books! Good idea. Though personally, when it's free, I just download it anyway if it sounds interesting.

Mostly I do get to free books. I haven't been recently, because my favourite authors all seem to have new releases this month (who, funnily enough, I discovered from freebies mostly!), but I'll get to (most) of them.

Yep, I'm not under any illusions that most of the downloads of my recent free promotion won't be read. But if even 5% of them do, that's 350 new people reading my book.


message 24: by Ian (new)

Ian Stewart (goodreadercomIanStewart) | 41 comments Emma wrote: "Oh, maybe I will curb my purchasing of free books in that case. I've always used the download sample option (which is an absolute god send for me) but isn't available on free books. I think the sam..."

"I've always used the download sample option (which is an absolute god send for me) but isn't available on free books."

Emma, I don't understand your comment. I just checked out one of the free books currently on offer and was able to read a sample chapter.


message 25: by Emma (new)

Emma Faragher | 31 comments Then maybe my inability to function with most technological things has could be out again. I will endeavour to look next time. But it's not the point I was trying to get across anyway. I'm just not being very articulate today. Maybe I will check back on the thread in a few days and see what's happened. Sorry, I seem to be still half asleep.


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Stewart (goodreadercomIanStewart) | 41 comments That's okay. Maybe its a country problem. Amazon can be a bit quirky.


message 27: by Rinelle (new)

Rinelle Grey (rinellegrey) | 38 comments There are two different ways of doing it. You can download a sample to your kindle, which isn't given as an option for free books (that I've been able to find), or you can click on the 'look inside' feature, which allows you to see the same content in your webpage. (But may not be available at all on kindle, I haven't tried?)


message 28: by Emma (new)

Emma Faragher | 31 comments Yes, what I was trying to say was that I normally use the download sample option. I hadn't realised there was a look inside feature until it was mentioned yesterday i think!


message 29: by J. (new)

J. Gleason (joegleason) | 3 comments Denise wrote: "Pricing is a tricky thing with books because there are all types of readers out there. There are readers who read without any knowledge of what author or book they're reading. There are readers who..."

My instinct is to agree with Denise, but is there a rule of thumb for new authors? Are there price breaks for word counts? I understand the need to invest in your readers and build an audience, but what value is an audience that doesn't buy?


message 30: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White You probably wouldn't believe it but I actually had a REFUND of an e-book on Amazon! I mean, really? The book was about $2 and they refunded for it!

I heard that people do that so they get to read the book, claim they're unsatisfied with it and get their money back. Shocking, but they think it's a great way to read a book for free.


message 31: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 321 comments Elaine wrote: "I heard that people do that so they get to read..I heard that people do that so they get to read the book, claim they're unsatisfied with it and get their money back. Shocking, but they think it's a great way to read a book for free. ."

Sorry to hear that someone refunded your eBook. I've heard of this happening to authors. It's very sad that someone would go to such lengths to cheat someone out of money.


message 32: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments Wow, to ask for a refund for something at such a low price seems like more of a statement to the author then it is about wanting the money back. But hey it will happen and some people are like that, sorry that happened to you though!


message 33: by C.M.J. (new)

C.M.J. Wallace | 193 comments I, too, was once visited by the evil refund fairy. Don't take it too personally. As Linda said, it happens for a number of reasons.


message 34: by Jim (new)

Jim | 469 comments Rinelle wrote: "I hadn't thought about using the look inside feature on free books! Good idea. Though personally, when it's free, I just download it anyway if it sounds interesting.
...."



Actually I think the 'look inside' feature is one of the things Amazon does right. I checked with one of my own books and you get to read the first 24 pages out of 190+

I've found it invaluable as a reader when looking for books, it strikes me as enough to get a feel for the book


message 35: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Horton | 248 comments Refunds are part of the game. Most people don't even know they can request refunds through Kindle. That goes for readers AND authors.

Personally, I'm not one to begrudge anyone a refund. In the current economy, people are counting every dollar and penny, and if they happened to accidentally click on "Buy Now!" instead of preview or something, fine. Heck, even if they want to return my book because it somehow incensed them enough to want their money back, I'm not going to whine.

After all, the loss of one or two $1.35 royalties shouldn't be the difference between eating for a day or making a rent payment.


message 36: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White Shaun wrote: "Refunds are part of the game. Most people don't even know they can request refunds through Kindle. That goes for readers AND authors.

Personally, I'm not one to begrudge anyone a refund. In the c..."


No that's so true. I just never knew you could do that. It was more me second guessing myself with a - Did I market it wrong? Did I mis-represent somewhere. I didn't know that accidental 'Buy Now' clicks were considered refunds. Don't you get like so much time to say it's a mistake? I never thought about it that way before.


message 37: by Aaron (last edited Jun 11, 2013 10:41AM) (new)

Aaron Gee (aaron_gee) | 13 comments Unfortunately, the problem you seem to be having is one of perception. What you perceive the work to be worth, and what the reader perceives. Obviously, there is something to be said about the time invested in crafting (writing, editing, revising) a story, but what I think you're missing is the expectation of the reader. If your work (which in this case would be classified as a novella) is being sold for $5.99 (for the sake of argument) as an ebook, the reader is expecting a work comparable to what they can obtain from a well known author. For the sake of this discussion we will use Stephen King. His novella THE MIST is currently selling on Amazon.com for $6.29. The collection of short stories that contains this work is THE SKELETON CREW, and it is selling for $8.99. Mr. King is a well respected, prolific author with a rabid fan-base. His fans know that he writes a minimum of 2,500 words/day and that he is a legend in the literary world, and has been for decades. This is where the perception disconnect comes in. Your readers are holding you to like standards. When they are disappointed, or feel that you're not up to that level of delivery, they will complain about things like pricing and quality.

You have to be tuned to your audience. If you're trying to pay for an author's lifestyle without building an effective revenue/fan base you will be sadly disappointed. The basic economics of supply and demand dictate what can be charged for goods and services. If the public is saying that your novella is overpriced for the quality they are getting you need to lower the price to reflect their perceptions. Zig Ziggler said "There is no reality, only perceived reality." (Others have made similar quotes). The trick to book pricing is understanding what your audience is willing to pay for your work. If that doesn't meet your expenses, then perhaps you shouldn't quit your day job.


message 38: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Horton | 248 comments It's in the Amazon TOS which you should have read through before clicking you agree. Here's the cut and paste version.

"Returning Kindle Books

Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. Once a refund is issued, you'll no longer have access to the book. To request a refund and return content, visit Manage Your Kindle, Click the Actions button next to the title you'd like to return, and select Return for refund, or contact customer service."

I know it's hard to work through all that lawyer approved spiel, but when you become a published writer, you are effectively starting your own business and it become VERY important to be aware of exactly what terms you're agreeing to on different websites.


message 39: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 138 comments Denise wrote: "Steelwhisper wrote: "Jim wrote: "I've talked to people who have deleted unread and unopened hundreds of free books off their Kindle. Easy come, easy go ..."

Well, and I have learned about and read..."


Not true. I will delete if I've paid for it. If it's not hooking me then it doesn't belong on my Kindle right now. I still have it on my archive. If I later find that I need to read the book and I made a mistake, I can re-download it. I have never requested a refund. I keep every one of the books I've downloaded in my archive. Maybe one day Amazon will tell me that I've maxed out on my storage space, but until then deletion is not an irrevocable decision. I may one day decide to read your book even if I deleted it a while back.


message 40: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I don't understand why authors think I should be reading a book as soon as I download it on my Kindle. I have a ton of books on my shelves at home that I purchased and have yet to read, I may never read some of them and I don't feel that I should crack them open as soon as I get home with them, I will read them when I am in the mood for that book. I think the same applies to Kindle books.

On the price issue, I will never spend as much on a Kindle version as I will a paperback book. When I have a paper version I can loan it to people, give it away or do whatever I want with it because I own it. The same cannot be said for the Kindle version, so I don't feel that it is actually my book so I am not going to pay as much for it.

And anything over $2 for a novella seems a bit extreme. Novellas just don't give you the same in-depth story as a full length book so I won't pay that much.

Authors can write what they want to write and they can price at what they think they are worth but they should keep in mind that if a reader won't pay that price for whatever reason then they just won't be authors with books that have been read.


message 41: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Isaac (stephenrisaac) | 16 comments Melissa,

Download my book @ https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

Read it whenever you'd like to and it is 100% free! :)


message 42: by M.R. (new)

M.R. Forbes (mrforbes) | 11 comments My refund rate is a ridiculously consistent 2%


message 43: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Stephen wrote: "Melissa,

Download my book @ https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

Read it whenever you'd like to and it is 100% free! :)"


M.R. wrote: "My refund rate is a ridiculously consistent 2%"

Do they give you reasons for the returns or just the % number?

I've never even thought of returning a book from my Kindle. I didn't know you could and can't think of why one would.


Why thank you Stephen! Your book sounds intriguing to me, I actually put it on my TBR -this month list! (there are 14 books on the list at the moment, but it is early in the month!)


message 44: by M.R. (new)

M.R. Forbes (mrforbes) | 11 comments No reasons, just a total. No matter the region or volume, it seems to always work out to ~2%.

I know some people buy/read/return, but I find it easier to just go on the assumption that 2% of the people who purchase my work find they don't care for it. You can't please everybody.

Personally, I'd never return a book either, but to each their own.


message 45: by Mellie (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 538 comments There are industry standards about novellas and full length novels. Anything under 40,000 words is considered a novella, and around 50,000+ for a full length novel.

As an aside, I think short stories are up to 20,000 words, then 20-40,000 is where the novella defination kicks in.

I believe the issue is one of perception amongst your audience, you have priced you book as a full length novel, when it is a novella. I believe most novellas are priced under $2.


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