Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Disenchanted Evening

You will meet a stranger, across a crowded chat room.

And their rant sounds like you wrote it.

I found this somewhere, nevermind where, a watering hole where disenchanted writers gather at sundown.

Just chiming in regarding your post about signing over electronic
rights and regretting it. I did say that I wanted to keep my electronic
rights, in fact I tried to negotiate on a number of points. I hit a blank
wall. First the editor didn't even reply to me - it took over a month to get
a response. When I finally did get one, I got a really blunt two line email
stating a flat no, the publishing company is not pursuing the contract on the terms you
requested'. I totally thought I was dumped simply for asking. I asked if
things could still go ahead if I didn't get those requested contract changes
- no reply again. It was really horrible. I caved in on the issue - I wanted
the book published and I had no bargaining power. 

The funny part is that writers still flock to these legacy abusers, I mean publishers.  

I think this is a terrible part of my personality, I think it must be lazy and it's wrong-headed.  Here is it.  I believe in letting people (and countries) make their own mistakes.  People don't seem to learn by taking advice.  They don't learn by one unpleasant thing happening to them, they only learn when it's crushingly painful.  One bad thing isn't a red flag that shouts "Look Out!  Danger Ahead".  Nah.

The unfortunate part of this approach is that other people not involved in the decision suffer too.  People who weren't consulted on the efficacy of this path pay for the mistake.  That's why running around like an idiot and shouting about the chasm up ahead is the only way to handle such instances but I stopped doing that.

So okay.  Enjoy yourselves.

I got the CreateSpace proof for Summer Horse.  The front cover seems quite plain to me but the back cover is terrific.  They/whoever the printer is did a nice job.  The paper and cover material is top quality.  There's something in the interior I want to tweak but it might impact the spine so I am on the fence about bothering.
That 300 DPI image wound up being just fine.

I raised the price of the Kate book today to $2.99.  It seems to me that for some people that 99 cents price is like an invitation to be a bitchy brat in public.  So now they can pay a more realistic price for an excellent book and maybe that will weed out some of the malicious feral children who complain about my poor "grammer".

Quite a few years ago I lived in a very small town in California.  I think there were 66 people in town, but maybe it was 100.  Again, we didn't have a post office. the mail was delivered by a post office closer to Santa Barbara.  Why they made that drive instead of using the mail in Solvang is a mystery.  I lived on the ranch where Sandra Bullock so unfortunately married that biker guy--but that was long after I left.  It was very lovely, the whole valley was gorgeous.  At any rate, the owner of the ranch was an incredible business man from another country--I'll leave out all those details because some day I'll write it into a book.  He had a small and of course very profitable business in town and was in competition with a similar business from down in Santa Barbara.  This man's motto was "I will not be oversold!"  If the Santa Barbara company raised their price, he would raise his price.  If you get into a price war, lowering your price, sure you'll make sales but you'll convince the consumer that this item has limited value.  His item was the best quality, it was the most top quality and the higher price proved it.

I understand the explanation of the 99 cent book being something of a gateway to your other work, and being a loss leader.  I understand how John Locke's books are all priced at 99 cents and he sells 1 every 10 seconds.  I've seen Joe Konrath play around with the prices of his own books--what's optimal and where he sells more.

I also understand that my work (you may feel differently) has intrinsic worth.  It has history and longevity.  There's something offensive to me about pricing my intellectual property at a bargain basement price.

I understand the stupidity of pricing an ebook in the same way you charge for something that has to be printed.
Summer Horse costs about $4 to print.  Amazon has their hand out.  It's a physical object.  I understand $10 for a paperback.  I don't understand $9.99 for an ebook.

Someplace between 99 cents and $9.99 is something realistic.  Even in bad financial times.  It's never good to sell yourself short or let yourself be humiliated because you really really want something.

1 comment:

Scott W. Clark said...

Glad you raised the price. Too many people rushing to the bottom in that fever swamp. Glad to see someone else not one of them.

Good luck to you.