So, you want to charge more than 99 cents for your ebooks? Here’s how!

5 November 2012 by 31 Comments

99centdreams

So, I was reading this article that someone linked on Twitter about what the 99 cent eBook price-point “means” or whatever to the future of self-publishing. If you know me at all, you know that I was eye-rolling pretty hard over some of the stuff in the article. Even the title itself is telling–indie authors question the price. Duh, of course they do. Everyone wants to get maximum payday from their work, amiright? But indie authors–you guys aren’t the ones buying the product. Do you see where it might get a little sticky if you start price-questioning?

Here’s the good news! You do have control over what people pay for your product, although it’s not in the way you might think.

One tactic I see overused (overused in that, it should never ever be used, ever) in trying to get readers to pay a “fair” price for self-published books is to tell us how hard indie authors work to put out a product, and that we should pay more because they spent a year writing it, made a monetary investment, poured their soul into it, etc. That their work is “worth” more because of that. Authors? The longer you continue to feel this way, the longer you will not get paid what you think you should be earning for your books. You might be protesting at me already for saying that, but I intend to show you why what I’m telling you is true.

The first thing you should never, ever forget: readers are not generous patrons of the arts, they are customers.

Writing books is a creative endeavor. Selling books is business. If you want to wear both hats, you need to know when to take one off and put the other on. When you’re marketing, you need to put on your business hat. If you forget this step, you’ll only stumble into earning a living writing by being lucky–do you want to leave it to luck?

One lady in the comments of the article I linked went off about how readers “should appreciate” how much time and effort went into writing a book. She made a point that we wouldn’t expect free lattes at Starbucks, why should we expect free content? Two things came to mind right off the bat: one is that, publishing is a multi-billion dollar business. We clearly do not “expect” free content, as those billions have to be coming from somewhere every year. The second thing that made me cringe when I read that is that, if Starbucks had taken her attitude of demanding that people “appreciate” their product and pay the price that they demand, they would have been long out of business by now.

Imagine when Starbucks was new, and you were used to getting coffee for less than a buck. You walk in and yow! A coffee with foamy milk was almost three dollars. Imagine if you’d asked the barista, “Hey, why is the coffee so much more here when I can get it for fifty cents down the street?” and the barista answered back, “Hey, man, I got up at four o’clock this morning to grind beans and brew coffee. I have to foam the milk every time someone orders one of these things. It’s worth that much because I have to put a ton of work into making that foamy coffee for you!” You might have been impressed with the amount of work that goes into it, but having never tried the coffee and not knowing anything about it, your real question wouldn’t really be answered–and that question is, “Why should I be paying more for something that I can get cheaper elsewhere?” The attitude probably would have turned you off completely to boot.

And remember, your customers have a lot of options because you have a lot of competition.

You, as an indie author, have an enormous amount of competition. In 2003, there were 300,000 books published. In 2011, there were three million books published. In 2012, that number could end up being as high as fifteen million, according to the number of ISBNs issued just this year. This is called market saturation, and it’s the real reason that you have a hard time making money off of your books. It’s not because your “entitled” customers want free content or don’t understand your blood-sweat-and-tears contribution to your work. There’s simply a glut of self-published fiction. Most of us do well to read fifty to a hundred books in a year, much less three million or more.

What that means for indie authors is that, if you randomly decide to charge more for a book just because you think it’s worth more, there are hundreds of thousands of competitors willing to step right in and take your sale. In the free market, competition is a major factor in determining what you can charge for a good or service. If you opened up a retail store and decided to charge twice what your competition charges just because you “feel” your goods are worth more, your store would go out of business. It’s the same idea with your books. You cannot charge based solely on what you think your book is worth and expect to do well. You cannot tell your customers that they “should” appreciate your work and pay based on that. They will go somewhere else.

How Starbucks got people to pay more for coffee.

Starbucks did not get to be where it is by just demanding that customers appreciate the quality of their product. Howard Schultz had a vision, and he knew it would be difficult to pull off in America because of the price point at which he would have to sell to be profitable and grow. He put a number of policies into practice that would help him achieve his vision:

  • top-notch customer service that was unlike anything most people had seen before
  • product consistency and insane(ly good) devotion to quality
  • great in-store ambiance
  • customer education about the product, such as where the beans come from and why they cost more (“arabica beans” wasn’t a major selling point outside of specialty markets before Starbucks made it a thing and told people why it’s better; now it’s everywhere)
  • sampling so that customers could try the product firsthand and know that it wasn’t the same Maxwell House that the diner served down the street (this is a HUGE one. It’s the quickest and best way to convince people of quality.)
  • specific customer service policies that would encourage brand loyalty and make both customers and employees feel like part of the “family” (remembering names, drinks, calling employees “partners” and allowing them to share the company with stock options, giving employees the tools to bond with customers to keep them coming back)
  • being innovative in corporate responsibility, such as giving even 20 hour per week employees health insurance and getting involved with various community and national volunteering or humanitarian projects, so that people would get warm fuzzies when they thought of Starbucks
  • encouraging customers to participate, taking ownership of their experience with customized beverages

All of these policies added value to Starbucks in the customers’ eyes so that the customers would feel A-OK about paying more for coffee. Starbucks didn’t just demand that the customers appreciate their product, they demonstrated why their product and company was superior and deserving of customer dollars. It’s the business version of “show, don’t tell.”

Self-published authors can do this, too. You can. But you have to start with the idea that you’re not entitled to a single sale just because you wrote a book. I’m sorry; I know that’s harsh, but it’s absolutely true. Once you get rid of the notion that you are entitled to make a living being a writer just because you wrote a book and published it online, you can start building your audience and reputation from the ground up.

Show us why your book is worth more than the thousands of other books that we could be buying.

Did you notice in the Starbucks list, I left off “buy great beans”? That was a given. Starbucks would have failed if they had crappy, second-rate coffee. (I know, some people hate the taste of their coffee–but they do use quality beans. It’s a matter of palate rather than quality.)

Writing a book that people want to read, that is a given. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be self-publishing.

You have to do more to stand out in a crowd of, literally, millions.

Adding value to your work goes beyond just writing a good book. It even goes beyond getting your book professionally edited and getting a professional cover design–right now, the lack of those things are huge issues in the self-publishing world, but you need to treat your book like these services are mandatory, or you will be behind the curve when innovations spring up to help separate the first draft manuscripts from the polished books. (They’re coming. They’re already in the works, even–I personally know people who are tackling this issue.) Once that happens, you will still need to separate yourself from the people that didn’t get left behind. You also still need to compete with traditionally-published books, which will nearly always be shined up good before they’re launched.

[Yes, I used “good” on purpose there. I’m from Kentucky, it’s part of my DNA.]

Anything that makes your book different from other good books, or that makes it stand out, or that makes you stand out, tell us about it. If you can’t think of anything, that might be the underlying problem in not being able to get more for your ebooks. We pay more for branded items than off-brand items, so brand yourself and let us know who you are and what you do.

Remember that overnight success doesn’t happen.

You know The Bloggess, right? Blogger, author, “overnight success” (that took a decade)? Her book has been really successful, and she earned every bit of it by working her tail off, putting out free content, for years. That’s really the hard truth about becoming a writer and being successful enough to pay your bills: you’re going to give a lot up for free, or cheap, until you earn out your payday. When you self-publish, you’re skipping a huge advantage that traditional publishing has: a built-in audience. Distribution. Reader trust. You’re starting at, or close to, zero. Just like any other business, you’ll have to operate in the red for awhile until you build up your reputation and customer base. This isn’t anything surprising or abnormal–unfortunately, almost nobody gets to skip to the head of the line.

Case Study, or, how you can apply this in the real world.

Someone that sj and I both love is @ChuckWendig. He’s an author who has built himself an audience that most self-published authors dream of building. He has published fiction (some of it is through Angry Robot, not sure about all of it) and self-publishes books about writing. He also blogs at Terrible Minds.

Wendig may or may not have launched Terrible Minds with an eye toward adding value to himself as an author (I’m not a Wendig Expert), but that’s exactly what seems to have happened. By writing well about something that he’s passionate about, he draws in a lot of traffic; by writing well and putting it out there for anybody to read, he can more easily make conversions when it comes to sales because we already have proof that he can write. When you can become a fan of someone for free, you’re a lot more likely to open up your wallet when they put something out for sale. (In the Starbucks model, this is “sampling” and “customer education.”)

Wendig is also amazing at social media. He puts out great tweets that are share-able, which gets him more exposure; he also talks to people who talk to him, in a nice way that doesn’t make them angry. I’ve even had conversations with him where we disagree about stuff, and he was still super nice about it. He respects his readers and doesn’t expect things from them, or go off on rants about how shitty it is that they will only pay x amount for his books. This adds value to his brand, because a person is more likely to pay someone that they like for content. (In the Starbucks model, this is “customer service” and also general brand identity.)

Wendig also regularly engages his audience. He runs writing contests on his blog (in the Starbucks model, this would be under taking ownership/customizing one’s experience there) and asks for feedback. His audience is not just full of people that followed him through a promotion who tune him out when he puts out content; they’re participating. They’re turned on, so to speak. This undoubtedly helps his sales.

If you looked up Chuck Wendig on Amazon, you might notice that some of his non-fiction books sell for $2.99. If you look more closely, you’ll also see that these books are full of content that he has posted previously, for free, on his blog. Let me say that again: people are paying for content that they could read for free on his blog. He organized it by topic and made it available for e-readers, which is always good for convenience, but they didn’t need to buy them. They wanted to own the content because they friggin’ love his content.

Chuck Wendig didn’t write a book, kick back, and then put it out there and wonder why people weren’t buying it. He hustled his ass off to build an audience (whether he did it to build an audience or whether he hustled his ass off and the audience came, it amounts to the same); that audience, in turn, values Wendig enough to pay for content even when they can get it for free. And they value him enough to share him around to their friends and create new fans. He didn’t demand that they recognize his value, he demonstrated it over and over.

If you want to charge more than $.99 in a market where you have to compete with millions of other people, you need to figure out how to do that. Don’t tell us that you have value, go out and show us you have value.

Are you a self-published author? Have you found any self-published authors because they created an online presence? Do you have any tips for other authors that have worked for you? Do you like cake? Drop it all in the comments below!

 

 

Susie

Susie is the Bitch-in-Chief at IB and is also a contributor at Book Riot. She's an ice cream connoisseur, an art fanatic, a cat-mommy of three, and a wife. She runs the @thebooksluts Twitter account and may be slightly addicted.

31 thoughts on “So, you want to charge more than 99 cents for your ebooks? Here’s how!

  1. I’m a self-published author with one book out, and I’ve received many compliments from reviewers about its quality. The reason I’m getting these reviews at all was because I opted for the KDP Select program for the book’s first 90 days online, and over 41,000 people downloaded it during its freebie days. That’s the power of free, and it’s helping me create a market for my books one reader at a time.

    My ongoing strategy will involve a price no higher than $3.99 (mostly because Amazon, through its emails, is training customers to see $3.99 and below as the “correct” value price for ebooks – have you noticed?) with 99 cent promotions as a discovery price to bring in new readers.

    Note that I said “strategy.” As you pointed out, Starbucks had a strategy based on quality and service, and once they found the formula that worked, they implemented it carefully. I’m still at the discovery stage as I move toward publishing my second book, and I’m well aware that I’m not likely to make a substantial living from my writing until I’ve got 10 or more quality titles out there. That’s hard work and will take time AND money.

    As for “online presence” I do what I can, but I know I can never be another Chuck Wendig. Some authors can drive sales by blogging, some can’t. I suspect my route will be the slower one of attracting readers who want to engage with the book rather than the author, and I’m OK with that.

    • The $3.99 price is interesting… I was thinking throughout this article that $3.99 is about right. Below that, and it feels “discounted”. Above that, and I hesitate, although I think I buy things at $4.99 on a regular basis, too, if it’s someone I know I’ll like.

  2. 1. I love cake. LOVE IT.

    2. I love this post.

    3. Chuck Wendig has also self-published his Atlanta Burns stories (currently Shotgun Gravy and Bait Dog) and has a few others out through (I think) Abaddon Books. I think he treats every day like it’s NaNoWriMo, which is why he has so much content out there (the fact that it’s good content is something else entirely, and I’m not certain he hasn’t made some sort of deal with the devil to keep it up).

    4. Now I have this song in my head.

  3. Thanks for the twitter dialog last night. It was fun.

    You’ve said so much that’s right here. One thing that’s left out (I think… hard to keep it all in my head!) is the idea of time as value proposition. For Starbucks, that comes in two flavors: (1) making me more efficient, and (2) letting me kill time.

    In the first case (efficiency), even when the lines are long, we’re still talking about food and specialty beverage in a couple of minutes, on your walk to work. (I don’t do that, but I see hundreds do it every day.) People with money will (almost) always pay a premium to save time. Starbucks GETS this. They have someone asking people three or four spots back in the line, “Can I get something started for you?” You pay while the barista is making your order. Time saved makes my life better.

    In the second case (killing time), any business traveler knows Starbucks is a great place for free wifi. Most business hotels charge $12 to $18 per day for internet access. Guess what? While I’m typing this comment, I am sitting in Starbucks having paid way too much for a simple cup of coffee but having saved $$$ on a cell data plan. And it’s worth it here–great space, quiet background music, interesting flow of people to watch, and coffee.

    For a writer, we have to be aware that time is one of the most valuable resources any human being has. When people start reading a book, they are committing a portion of what little time they have on this planet to us and our story. We owe them something of value. We’ve all had experiences where we come away saying, “THAT’s two hours I’ll never get back.” With all the other things competing for people’s attention (not just other books but blogs, politics, facebook, sports, school, activities, television, etc., etc.), we should be honored any time someone gives us their time to consume what we’ve created. No matter how long it takes us to create it or how much work we put in.

    A great meal takes an hour to consume. A movie takes two hours. Modern Family is what, 40 minutes if you fast-forward commercials? An NFL game is 3 to 4 hours. You can get from San Francisco to Paris in less time than it takes a lot of people to read a book.

    I think sometimes authors (who are for the most part “voracious readers”) fall into the trap of thinking everyone reads at their pace, or reads as much as they do. Most people, though, have so little time and so many things to do that starting a book is the beginning of a commitment.

    Pricing is an incredibly difficult question for good independent authors. (Pricing may be the most difficult question in any business.) I originally priced my first self-published novel at $2.99 because I wanted people not to be turned off by the expense, but I didn’t want to come out at under a dollar. I think my product is worth the time people will spend with it. I think when they finish, they will want more. They will want the sequel. They will come away saying, “That was time well spent.” The pricing for me is an ongoing experiment, with the goal of building a reputation over the long run such that eventually the casual reader will gladly pay $11.95 for my print books and $8 to $10 for my ebooks, even though I have no intention of ever charging them that much for the ebooks.

    Sorry for the very long comment. Pricing is a very muddy topic, but your points are spot on.

    • Great comment, Peter. You’re absolutely right about time. We had a rule at Starbucks that the whole transaction couldn’t take longer than three minutes; we tried reeeaallly hard to hit this goal because we were absolutely accountable for it (of course, some Starbucks are run by shitty managers and you don’t see this… but that’s what they’re SUPPOSED to do).

      I hate reading a book through the end and finding out it sucks. I may have ranted a time or three on that very topic.

    • Don’t apologise for the length of your comment! I have to agree that most authors fall into that category of ‘voracious readers’ and as such it can be difficult to imagine people not leaping headfirst into a novel but rather spending weeks(!) reading one book. I have yet to self-publish anything, although I plan on having something out there quite soon – I’ll definitely be pricing at .99 cents, as although I know I’ve worked harder than that I also know that there is no ‘gate-keeper’ in self-publishing and so unfortunately there’s probably a lot more crap out there. So, if I charge too much, people will be put off from buying my book because there is no means of quality control. I also see e-books (from an emerging writer’s perspective) more as a means of building a brand and as a gateway to that traditional publishing scene.

      In terms of ‘building market share’ (it seems so strange as a writer to be trying to think like a marketeer, but that’s just the way it is) I currently use my website (http://chriswhitewrites.com) as a means of convincing people I can actually write and I also use Twitter (@chriswhitewrite) to prove that I’m a human, who has interests other than plugging my stories. I soon will be changing the format of my blog, away from only posting original fiction and into the whole ‘this is what tickles my fancy, and this is exactly how I feel about it,’ mainly to give myself more time to work on my fiction.

      Now I too have written a too-long comment. Great post, and some great comments too!

  4. You’re dead-on with all of this. Especially the part about this being a BUSINESS, and having to treat it as such, and also having to HUSTLE. That may not be what writers want to hear, but it’s the truth; a large part of the reason writers assign their intellectual property to publishers is so they don’t have to do the business end of it, and that’s totally legit. But if you’re self-publishing, you must must MUST accept that all parts fall on you, and you’re gonna need to treat it like a business and hustle for all the recognition you can get.

    And yes, that includes setting a reasonable price point (whatever works best for YOU with trial and error, not what’s trendy) and offering a top-notch customer experience. ‘struth.

    • I have been really business-y lately, heh. For some reason I am just nerding out on business. My best friend from high school would be proud of me.

      You and I frequently see eye to eye on this stuff. That’s why I love recommending your press around when I can; I know people will get the right experience!

      • Dawww, thanks! You know how much I think about business, and I like reading intelligent posts that take a critical view of the whole thing – and by critical, I mean in the best sense of “dissecting how this whole thing can work well, based on parallel examples.”

        But when it comes to how I run the press? God, I HATE interacting with people, especially in a customer service capacity, but I also believe in making sure people have a quality product and a quality experience. So that’s the priority.

  5. This is great – very well said! I read a lot but as you’ve mentioned there’s a ton out there. I can certainly appreciate the time and effort someone puts into writing a book, but the bottom line for me is that I can only read so many in my lifetime. I need a good reason to pick one book over another, whether it’s self-published or from a traditional publisher.

    I love cake. Cake is the best.

    • Cake IS the best.

      That’s the reason I tend to go for trad-published books vs. self-published books, really. I don’t have any trusted method of discovering self-published books that I will like and that are high-quality, etc. I’m often choosing books that I need to review here, so I don’t have a lot of time to wade through a bunch of titles before I hit on a winner–and who wants to do that, anyway? I imagine some sort of vetting service is on its way soon to help us with that. ;)

        • The trouble with Kirkus is that they charge self-published authors $425 to review a book ($575 for the express service, which still takes 4-6 weeks). And there have been murmurs about the quality of the reviews. So only a fraction of indie authors use this route to visibility.

          The Indie Reader website reviews self-published books and used to push Kirkus but now says it doesn’t charge for reviews. This is good in that the playing field is level, but of course an author may wait a long time for her book to be fished out of the pile. UNLESS she enters for the Indie Reader Discovery Awards, which cost $150 for the first category (more if you want to enter in more than one) but guarantee a review.

          Good book bloggers are swamped and often don’t take self-published books. Amazon reviews are seen as suspect. Thousands of new self-published titles emerge every month. It’s no wonder that readers have difficulty finding good new self-published work! And when self-published books like On Dublin Street rise to the top of the rankings despite a plethora of quality issues, that’s the image the public get of self-publishing.

          The solution imo would be a trustworthy, independent review site that employed (as in paid) good reviewers and charged a reasonable amount (under $100) for self-publishers to submit a book, with the promise that each book would be carefully considered but rejected (no refund) if the editing or formatting was bad. All books that passed that test would be reviewed…this is why I stipulate paid reviewers because you’d want to attract people who write great, honest, witty reviews. Anyone care to start this site?

  6. I, strangely enough, do not like cake. I also do not like WordPress, which seems to have swallowed the comment I left earlier.

    But I did like your post, and the gist of my long comment was that as a self-published author I realize a) that the road to success is long and arduous and b) that Starbucks has a strategy based on quality and service, and we need to follow that example.

  7. This is a great post. As a relatively new book blogger, I have found myself frustrated by self-published novels much of the time (actually wrote a post about it today). I don’t like having to go through so much work to figure out which ones are the gems, and which ones are the suck. But when I don’t have to dig so hard to figure that out, it makes me a happy reader.

    Also, cake? Love.

  8. There’s this one author I follow, and I have a couple of his books, but I haven’t read them yet, whom I used to think had interesting posts; however, for months and months, most of his posts have been complaints about readers and most of those about the $0.99 price point. It’s really gotten old. The only reason I still “follow” him is that I haven’t taken the time to go unfollow him. It’s tiresome to hear the same old thing all the time.

    In the same vein, I got slammed by an “author” for giving him a bad review. As a fellow author, I should have understood how much work he put into his novel and automatically just given him a good review. Of course, after all of that, he admitted to not having edited the book. And he expects a good review just because? Seriously? He had that whole entitled attitude and even said something like “I wrote a book, so I deserve to have people appreciate it.”
    Riiight…

    • AARRRGGHHH that drives me nuts. Both of your examples drive me nuts when I see those attitudes around the internet. Do they really think it’s endearing them to readers and reviewers?

      • I don’t actually know what they think. The guy in the first example seems to think that only other authors follow his blog, which may be true. At the moment. But, if he does gather any fans, well, fans like to do things like follow blogs, but they don’t like to be bashed over the head all the time and told how bad and wrong they are for not being willing to pay more for a book.

        The second guy just needs to not be writing. Seriously. At least, he shouldn’t be publishing. His writing is juvenile, like high school level at best, and he acts like someone killed his cat for even pointing out his editing deficiencies let alone any other issues with his writing.

  9. Yeah – I’m a voracious reader and I still can’t read all the books that I WANT to read in my lifetime, so I really resent any time spent reading bad books. I want to give indie and/or self-published authors a chance, but it’s hard for me to give up the slot to something that might be bad. Not just “not my cup-of-tea”, but really bad.

    So… in the Starbucks model, I love being able to download sample chapters or read the first book free. I guarantee that, if you reel me in during the sample chapter, I WILL buy your book – even if it’s more than $.99 because I want to know how the story ends. If, however, you have a bunch of typos and grammar errors, I am unlikely to check out anything that you ever write again, even if it’s free.

    The other thing that’s hard for me under the self-published model is that a lot of it is genre fiction. Don’t get me wrong – I read A LOT of genre fiction. Too much, probably. But… I’m not going to read BAD genre fiction and a lot of the the self-published stuff is terrible. Let’s face it, a lot of traditionally-published genre fiction is bad, so an indie author already has to get over that hurdle. Plus, there is a ton of it out there, so there’s even more competition for my attention.

    I have to read a lot of YA because I teach kids and I don’t really mind because a good story is a good story, but I’m probably not going out of my way to find indie or self-published YA both because of the quality issue and because of the fact that I’m unlikely to ever be able to assign it to my kids. That being said – I read both of the first Amanda Hocking series despite the editing issues because the stories just grabbed me and I was willing to pay more than $.99 for them. I’m still pretty sure that the first book of hers that I read was free though.

    Even with all of that – since I’ve resolved to return to my first love and spend more time reading literary fiction (because of you guys), the competition for both my time and money has become even more of an issue. Let’s face it, there are a lot of quality classics and traditionally published books out there that I could be set for reading material for a long, long time. Heck, even if I just limited myself to books that I own, but haven’t read, there would be a lot of competition for my time.

    Anyway – not really sure if any of this adds to the discussion or not – just got back from a five day camping/NASCAR extravaganza and I’m a bit tired and punch drunk as a result.

    Oh – and I love cake. Cake is awesome and is always the correct answer to the question “Cake or death?”

  10. Wow, this is one awesome article.

    I stopped by because I am always gathering information for that day when I have finished my book and it becomes time to sell it. I love your distinction between a “creative hat” and a “business hat” and I think it’s something a lot of self-publishers forget.

    And there is a lot of overlap between selling books and blogging – it’s all about giving people a reason to give you their time/money/attention. If you’re really as good as you say you are, they will stick around and read/buy/share your product.

    I’m glad I found your site today – I’ll be coming back for sure!

  11. Such a great post.

    I work in marketing and I know that even the best products won’t sell without a marketing push. The good thing about social media is that it doesn’t have to cost you anything except for your time. So make the most of it and stop alienating your fan base by talking about money.

    I’m checking out Chuck Wendig right after I post this…

    • I’m just going to have a private gloat for a minute that someone in marketing thought I wrote a good post. :D

      Also, I lurve your blog name.

  12. Pingback: What's my novel worth: a beer valuation

  13. I’m so glad that you wrote this very frank and detailed article. As an indie author, I’ve seen quite a bit (both good and bad) when it comes to indie publishing and the indie authors out there.

    The debate over price point will never go away, but I can say form experience that it does take blood, sweat and tears as well as the marketing push to get you out there. When I first published in February 2010, I didn’t know how much to charge. I was stumbling around blind so I priced my book $10 less than the paperback. I saw very few sales for the longest, despite my earlier attempts at marketing. It wasn’t until I discovered JA Konrath’s blog that I changed my pricing and saw my sales rise.

    I wasn’t afraid to price my books at $0.99 and was rewarded for my efforts. Once I gained readers, I experimented with the pricing, marking my newer ones at $2.99. Once you gain readers who enjoy your style, they will buy your “product” because you’ve proven your quality.

    A big help (for me) were bloggers. I made sure to read their review policies before submitting and I never got angry even if I was given low marks. I know that reading is subjective and everyone has an opinion. I always take the opportunity to be thankful that they took the time to even read my book in the first place and leave a review. I also make sure to take an criticism, study it and, if necessary, make changes.

    As for the authors that were cited in a previous comment who felt “entitled” to good reviews, sorry to say, but they are living in a different dimension then the rest of us. No one is “entitled” to anything. You have to earn it. If your product bites, then customers will happily run to your competitors.

    Being proud of your product is all fine and dandy (some of my Virginian coming out) is all right, but beware of too much hubris. Make sure that “bragging rights” are valid by having the quality to back your boasts.

    Otherwise, you’ll be feeding readers a bitter cup of tea.

    • Really great comment! And also…

      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for reading submission policies. THANK YOU SO MUCH. That makes book bloggers the happiest pandas. You rock.

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