Alarming news of the impending death of the eBook format is premature. Though print is holding steady, despite declarations of its demise due to the digital revolution, the eBook remains the most viable option for the novice novelist or non-fiction writer just breaking into the business.
Since the boon in self-publishing is resulting in both an inevitable glut and embarrassment of riches for readers, indie authors find themselves getting lost in the crowd.
But in some ways, they have a competitive edge over their more established counterparts.
One of the biggest complaints from readers is that larger houses are now making eBooks too expensive, often pricier than the print edition counterpart.
Reasons for this are being explained as necessary to cover production costs, but many readers are still feeling ripped off, since the assumption was that the unlimited storage space along with the lack of physical properties would automatically make eBooks the cheaper, and therefore more attractive, alternative.
Big publishers often blame Amazon and other “middle men” in the marketplace for the fact that they “must” charge so much for both print and digital editions of popular bestsellers, and even mid-listed titles, but this pricing discrepancy between the majors and the indies is only going to provide more opportunities for the DIY author, whose overhead is relatively non-existent.
Amazon is indeed offering a much more cost effective way to distribute your own book via its Kindle Select platform, as well as its controversial Kindle Unlimited program, which allows readers who subscribe to the service unlimited free access to hundreds of titles, including many indie authors who just want to get their name out there to build a reputation that will be worth paying for down the line.
Of course, pricing your authorial debut or any of your books at, say, a paltry .99 cents may make it much more appealing to the impulse buyer unfamiliar with your name and work, but you have to adhere to these Kindle pricing guidelines in order to maximize both your presence and your profits.
Since there are so many people publishing their own books these days, you will need to do whatever is possible and reasonable to remain a player in frankly overpopulated field. As with any other product, strategic pricing is a key component to eventual success.
The main reason eBooks are here to stay is that affordability and accessibility is a tough combination to beat. Indie authors have the advantage simply because they can circumvent the typical corporate maze that is resulting in a price war and in many cases, slumping sales.
Don’t sell your talent short, but beware of overpricing yourself out of contention, too.
What do you think is a fair price for an unknown author’s eBook?
PHOTO: PICTURES OF MONEY