People in the industry are taking the pricing of ebooks seriously, and I think self-published authors should, too.
The funny thing is, it all seems like much ado about nothing to those, like me, who have never read an ebook.
I remember last year when I first released a digital version of Ghost Notes on Amazon for its Kindle device. I didn't, and still haven't, seen the final product. I had to shanghai my sister, who owns a Kindle, into buying a copy.
"Does it look right?" I asked.
"Fine," she said.
"Does it look like other digital books on the Kindle? Does it look like it's supposed to look?"
That was all I needed to know.
But as a self-publisher, I don't want to ignore this segment of the book-buying public. I have to put the same kind of effort into producing a quality ebook that I might into producing a quality book-book. I have to format it correctly, and I have to make sure it looks as good as--or better than--the other ebooks people are likely to read, and in each of the many formats they're likely to read them in.
Luckily, the book writing part is done.
But how much should you charge for a quality self-published ebook? And should you charge less because it's self-published?
Most of the wrangling between Amazon and MacMillan seems to be about prices that range from $9.99 to $14.99. That would be a nice take for a self-published novelist, but my approach to self-publishing is more modest. As I've said before, I think of myself as playing in the minor leagues of publishing, and I wouldn't expect people to pay for a game at Yankee Stadium when they're going to see the Toledo Mudhens.
They'll see some pretty good Mudhens baseball, but still.
Therefore, I've chosen the price point of $4.99 for the new edition of Ghost Notes the Ebook at Smashwords. It's available in any format you could want--even PDF if, like me, you don't own an ebook device--and you can download a sample of the novel for free! $4.99 seems like a reasonable price, and it might entice a few of those who balk at a $14.99 sticker price to buy my book instead.
What do you think? Would you pay top dollar for an ebook that's self-published? Would you pay anything?
Yours in laying down the law,
Try Ghost Notes, the award-winning novel, in print form for just $5.
Try Ghost Notes the Audio Book as an unabridged digital download.
Or try Ghost Notes the Ebook.