Reading Rage: Authors, Stop Comparing Your Books to the Price of a Cup of Coffee

5 April 2016 by 58 Comments
Starbucks Cups

That’s not how any of this works. (image via The Guardian)

A’ight, authors. It’s been awhile since we’ve been in a huddle over here, but I’m gonna need everyone to huddle for this.

Are you huddling yet? Yes, that means you, too. Get in this huddle.

I’ve seen a lot of stuff being shared around about how people will pay $5 for a cup of coffee but won’t pay $4.99 for a book. This is always shared with some incredulity, like “I can’t believe you guys would COMPLAIN about $4.99 for a BOOK when you will pay FIVE DOLLARS for a cup of COFFEE. I worked on my book for MONTHS/A YEAR/YEARS and you will drink coffee in like TWENTY MINUTES so it’s definitely reasonable to ask for $4.99 for a copy of my book.”

I’m not going to say that it’s unreasonable to ask for $4.99 for your book, but I do feel like I want to point out that this is not, in any way, how economics works and also that I find it so annoying that I might not ever buy one of your books if you share that on your Facebook page/Twitter/blog/anywhere.


MUST BREATHE because otherwise I’m gonna burn it all down. (Source: )

First, I dunno about you, but it’s pretty damn rare that I pay $5 for a cup of coffee. Let’s get that out of the way right meow. My husband and I can both get out of Starbucks for less than $5 total, ninety percent of the time. A $5 coffee is a rare treat for me, so don’t go after my gat-damb coffee.

flat white

I will cut you if you go after my flat white, I’M. JUST. SAYING.

Next, I need to be frank with you: complaining about your potential customers’ spending habits is not a good look. I know, you’re not trying to complain, you’re trying to point out the ill logic that someone will spend $5 on a cup of coffee but not on your book. Thing is, that’s not illogical at all, so it just comes off whiny.

Why is it not illogical? It seems illogical, I suppose, if you think about it in a very narrow way. A cup of coffee might give me an hour’s pleasure, max, while a book will give me MULTIPLE hours’ pleasure so, clearly, your book is worth at least as much as that coffee. Maybe. See, there’s this whole thing where I don’t even know if I am going to like your book. I may already have a book I want to read and want a damn cup of coffee to go with it. Maybe I already have ten books waiting for me to read. Maybe I’m all full up on books right now and I have zero desire to buy more books.

When it comes to how much you can charge for a product, desire is the name of the game (also called “demand”). See, y’all are acting like we’re looking at your book like this:

4.99 I'll give you 2

In reality, readers often feel more like this with authors trying to get our attention:

randy marsh black friday

I don’t have enough $5 to buy ALL your books!

But either way?

Either way?

If you’re not selling sufficient copies of your ebook at $4.99, that indicates a lack of desire on the part of the potential audience to obtain your book at that price. It has nothing to do with coffee or what people are willing to pay for it. Some authors try to act like it stems from reader entitlement or a lack of “appreciation” of how hard it is to write a book, but readers can and do already pay upwards of $12.99 for ebooks and a whopping $25 sometimes for hardcover books because they don’t even want to wait for the cheaper paperback to come out. That’s a direct result of desire, not “appreciation”.

You can’t manufacture desire by comparing books and coffee to demonstrate that I should be willing to pay you more. That’s dangerously close to a guilt trip and, as a persuasion technique, guilt doesn’t win many friends or loyal customers. It’s dangerously close to “If you loved me, you’d be willing to XYZ”. “If you valued my work, you’d be willing to pay $4.99 for an ebook.”

Thing is, that’s actually almost true. If I desired your work, I would be willing to pay that. So your job is not enlightening me about the hours you put into writing or what else I could buy with $5, it’s making me want what you wrote. Make me want that book more than a flat white and I’m gonna buy that book and drink my shitty home coffee. Sex that book up and make me want it real bad. (You may not have to literally add sex.) Make me look at your book and do this:

shut up and take my money

And I promise you, I will gladly pay as much for your book–if not more–as I would a cup of coffee. It’s pretty simple logic: if my desire for your book is greater than my desire to keep the money or spend it elsewhere, the book will be bought. Otherwise? Probably going to hang onto that cash. Or hit up Starbucks. No matter how long it took you to write your book.

I don’t mean to be a bitch about it. I really don’t. I’m just so. Damned. Tired. Of seeing this comparison. It’s not a nice way to get a customer to buy your book. It’s not a fair comparison. I know most of you mean well and want to support each other as writers–I totally get that. But when it comes to sales, you have to think of the person who is going to be handing over his or her money to buy your book. Think about where the money came from–a late shift at work, maybe, that led to a little bit of extra spending cash. A gift from a loved one. That money might be as precious to your audience as your book is to you, and you’re going to suggest to us what it should be worth?

nope nope nope

Like I said–not a good look.

What do you think? Am I just being a mega-bitch? Does this type of persuasion work for you? Drop it in the comments. Let me know.


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.

58 thoughts on “Reading Rage: Authors, Stop Comparing Your Books to the Price of a Cup of Coffee

  1. I agree with everything you’ve said here. To take it further: I have passed up 99 cent downloads of books that I’d pay 5x or 10x as much for, if they were available in another format (paperback, audiobook download, etc.) simply because I don’t have an ereader (best option). I already stare at my computer and phone screens more than is probably healthy, so I have no desire to read an entire novel on either of those. Sometimes the medium is the deal killer, regardless of price.

  2. Most of the time my reaction to that kind of logic is “but I WANT my macchiato” AND I’m probably spending gift card money at Starbucks anyway, soo…. yeah, it doesn’t cut much mustard with me.

    Also, I straight up don’t care how long it took you to write your book and I’m not even sorry about that (unless I’ve been waiting for it and you’re taking FOREVER). All I care about is how much enjoyment I’m going to get out of your book. I just paid $27 for a hardcover of The Last Days of Magic because I wanted the book, it’s pretty enough that I wanted it in hardcover, and I wanted to support my local indie store. I am totally not doing that with every book, especially if I’ve never heard of the author and I haven’t had a trusted friend recommend them.

    If I’ve never heard of you and you’re self-published, you might even have to give me the 1st book, just to get me to read it, before I’m willing to shell out cold, hard cash for your next book. The fact is – there are too many darn books out there already, including all the books in the library AND a bunch that I own, but haven’t read, that I want to read. So, you have to make me want to read your book and guilt isn’t going to do it.

    • There are literally almost 200,000,000 books out there for us to read, so the numbers are really not in an author’s favor.

  3. Completely agree. Guilt-tripping me is likely to make me stubbornly NOT do the thing they want me to do rather than caving. Nope, nope, nope. Especially because most people’s money is rather precious especially if they don’t have a lot of it, and coffee has a guaranteed effect that their book may not give me.

    Also, when you said this on Twitter the other day, I was thinking, “Who has ever bought a cup of coffee for $12” because how many books are actually $5? :P Still, even if it is $5, it’d better be a book I already wanted.

    • Good points, and worth considering as a newly minted author. I, too, have a whole stack of books waiting to be read. As a reader and prospective buyer of new books, it’s much more about having time and interest rather than having the five bucks in my pocket. Thanks for the insight!

  4. Also doesn’t wash, because there are a gazillion free books waiting at my local public library. Even quite new ones, although I might have to go on a wait list and hang on for a few weeks. I still buy books. Hard-copy if it’s a reference book, because who wants to cart a laptop around when they’re hiking and trying to identify a plant? A nice little paperback will do the trick. Ebooks for travel. Old books just for the nostalgia of revisiting the classics and the feel of the thin pages and gold leaf edging. I will take a chance on books, but I have to be feeling rich to spend $5 if I have no idea what it’s going to be like.

  5. You’re exactly right–it’s up to us authors to create the desire to read our books. And then just leave HOW you buy up to the reader…loan, library, cheapest format available (my usual option), whatever. Our job is to get that puppy into as many formats and places as we can afford or that the prevailing market allows (that’s a complicated topic in itself).

    Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Thank you! I’m an economist who turned into a writer and it drives me nuts trying to explain this to other writers. Demand and supply have nothing to do with the hours you put into your precious baby or how much YOU love your project. It has to do with how much someone else wants that baby. You want to stimulate demand and get a high price? Write a good book, then write another 5 good books, do good marketing, treat your fans right and then keep writing good books and pray for word of mouth to help your book take off.

    And anyone who gets between me and my coffee? I won’t just refuse to buy your books, I might kick you in the ankles as I go around you to get my caffeine fix.

  7. I think you put it very well. This January, I made a commitment that for the entire month, I would not eat fast food. Instead of indulging in a Sonic burger, I would purchase an e-book or MP3 from an indie artist. That was on me My decision because I thought it would be awesome to have something that lasted longer than it took me to digest the meal.

    It bugs me when people whine about buying their books, period. Whether it is a thirty dollar book or free of charge, it still costs me something precious to read it – time. I agree. Make me beg to buy your book. Don’t whine about how no one reads anymore. It makes an author sound desperate and kind of mean. It’s not a sign of the times that no one is buying your book, authors. It’s a sign of a bad synopsis or cheap-looking, stock photo cover.

  8. Susie, thank you for this I have been saying the same thing for years, but you put in a far more polite way than I ever could. I agree 100% with everything you said, as a book reviewer I now refuse to review or publicise any author that shares that stupid meme

  9. While I’m a self-confessed book whore… I mean book *hoarder* , if you mess with my caffeine… I. Will. F**k. You. Up.

    Great post, Susie. As an author, I understand the work, hours and soul that goes into storytelling, but that meme is like comparing apples and oranges then bitching that there’s no citrus in your Granny Smith. You sound like a lunatic and people will take a big step back.

  10. It’s not often I read an article and agree with EVERY word. Very well put.

    I recall a story in Viz comic in which a villain was stealing library books and selling them on the beach in order to put the ice cream seller out of business. This was of course intentionally ridiculous, yet it’s not a million miles removed from the coffee argument.

  11. Love the article, but I think you have missed out an all important word here…. Loyalty. In the past I used to buy a certain author’s books simply out of shear loyalty to that author because I may have read a few good books. How was my loyalty repaid? They started writing bad books, and I simply could not justify paying for the same story rewritten different ways over and over again. So I stopped buying their books and moved onto someone else.

    My point being, when you purchase a premium coffee no matter where (Costa, Starbucks etc) you pretty much know what your getting over and over, sometimes you may change it up a little e.g. caramel with that cappuccino for a change, and if one day your not happy or fancy a change you go elsewhere, or in other words you are in control of the final product you consume. But for authors to simply churn out rubbish and expect people to buy is kind of arrogant.

    • Loyalty is important, but I think you just demonstrated that desire outranks it–you stopped buying the books because you stopped desiring them, yes? 😊

  12. Pingback: Reading Rage: Authors, Stop Comparing Your Books to the Price of a Cup of Coffee — Insatiable Booksluts | gratuit

  13. Love this article, right on all acounts. Also, they’re comparing the price of a consumable to the price of an ebook (infinitely replicable). The price of that coffee is paying for the farmers, the packaging, distribution… not just the service. When it’s gone it’s gone. There probably isn’t that high a markup. With an ebook, you’ve already written it, it costs nothing to produce an extra copy (or 10 thousand). And you don’t have to sell cheap forever… if you can’t make someone want your book enough to pay for it, give it away for free until you have a thousand reviews. Yes it’s possible. Then charge whatever the hell you want for it.

  14. Pingback: How much is your writing really worth? | Creativindie

  15. I agree totally with what you said here. I dont fault people for not buying my book, but I also look at it from a specific point of view. I have a lot of friends and family that say “can I have a copy of your book?” I don’t want to be rude to them and I have never told them to skip their coffee and buy my book instead, but if they can buy a designer coffee they can surely spare a few bucks to support my writing.

    A similar example is a friend of mine is a singer. She shared some of her music on spotify and told another friend to check it out. The first thing out of the second friends mouth was “do I have to pay for it?”

    Sometimes I feel like saying “god forbid you spend a little money to support an indie artist.”

    • The whole thing is that we *do* spend money on indie artists (and all artists). But money is a finite resource for most of us and many of us already have a long-ass list of things we want to acquire. If you are jumping into the fray with a product to offer me, don’t expect me to spend money on it without doing something to make me desire your product . . . and sometimes, that takes time, recognition, and trial-and-error to see what the best way of making your work appeal to people is. Sometimes it means facing up to the fact that people don’t want your work as much as you’d like.

      Like, your singer friend’s friend could have been a lot more tactful, but expecting someone to just buy your music unheard or because it exists doesn’t really work for most people. We’re all overworked and underpaid, y’know?

  16. Yes and no. It would be so nice to think good writing always attracts the highest number of readers, but it’s not the case. A self-published author might be HORRIBLE at marketing, or might have terrible taste in cover design, or might have no idea how to game Amazon’s algorithms–that doesn’t invalidate them as writers or automatically mean their books aren’t worth 99 cents. The larger issue that affects good writers and bad ones equally is that ebooks are chronically undervalued. It’s not whining to point it out. There really isn’t another job (and I am using that word deliberately, because writing and publishing a book is more than a hobby even if a lot of writers do it part-time) where the worker is expected to be exceptional and original, highly skilled, dedicated and devoted, reliable and committed to their consumers, uncomplaining and totally undemanding of any kind of recognition in terms of money or praise–except possibly parenthood.

    • “A self-published author might be HORRIBLE at marketing, or might have terrible taste in cover design, or might have no idea how to game Amazon’s algorithms–that doesn’t invalidate them as writers or automatically mean their books aren’t worth 99 cents.”

      Well . . . I mean. It doesn’t invalidate them as writers, sure, but it does affect what people will pay for their work. The big publishing companies that get to charge $9.99 for their ebooks and upwards of $25 for paper copies also invest tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars into their titles; some of that investment is editing, some of it is scouting for the best work they can find, some of it is cover design and marketing. That’s how they get to charge as much as they do. For someone who just writes a book and sticks it on Amazon without investing in cover design, marketing, or learning how to use the platform . . . yeah, it does reduce the amount that they can charge for their product.

      “There really isn’t another job (and I am using that word deliberately, because writing and publishing a book is more than a hobby even if a lot of writers do it part-time)”

      I wouldn’t call it a job if you’re self-publishing, but I also wouldn’t call it a hobby. It’s more of an entrepreneurship. You’re taking a risk by investing your time and maybe some money into something that is not guaranteed to pay out, whereas a job is something that someone else hires you to do in exchange for a salary. And if you’re an entrepreneur starting a new business, you *are* expected to be exceptional, original, highly-skilled, dedicated, devoted, reliable, and committed to your consumers. You *are* expected to be undemanding and uncomplaining because you don’t have any right to demand anything of anybody–you’re putting yourself out there, nobody asked you to do so. My god, can you imagine if someone opened a coffee shop in your neighborhood and they complained about how people don’t come in and buy coffee–or worse, were demanding about it? Would you want to go to that coffee shop or go to one where the baristas are happy for your business and don’t make you feel guilty for not doing more?

      On that score, it’s the authors, not the customers, who come off as being entitled. I’m proud of anybody who writes a book and publishes it, but if you’re going to wade into a market where you literally have tens of millions of competitors, you’ve got to understand that nobody elected you to write a book and you’re not entitled to make one penny off of it. If you do well, that’s *great*. Really great. If you don’t, well, the numbers were never in your favor in the first place.

      • Thank you so much for the article, but this comment absolutely wins the internet.

        It’s put perfectly into words why I also find those “support small businesses *because something feels-y*” memes slightly odd. I’m indie. Most of the music I love is indie produced. Likewise films. Lots of books too. And coffee. And cake. But I love those indie things because by and large the fact they are indie means their spectacularness can be unfettered. It’s great that running a small business means you can do cool things for your family, and I want everyone to be able to do cool things for their family and to eat and heat and stuff – but to be honest that’s why I pay tax. If you want me to buy your cake, make great cake. That way I get to give my family great cake and you get to buy your family great books.

        I’m not sure that makes sense – which is why I don’t have a publisher :p

  17. Person: Will you teach me to speak Spanish? I really want to learn to speak Spanish.
    Teacher: Sure. I can teach you. It’s 99 cents for the first three lessons.
    Person: Only 99 cents a lesson? Wow.
    Teacher: I’m not charging much for the first lessons so people will try them and sign up for a whole course.
    Person: So you’re not a real teacher?
    Teacher: No, I’ve learned Spanish myself, and I’ve trained as a teacher. I’m just starting off trying to make a living from it. I really love teaching and I’m really good at it but now I need students to pay me. I’ve been advertising in lots of places. I suppose the best recommendation is word of mouth.
    Person: So I’m letting you practise teaching Spanish and you expect me to tell people about it. Advertise for you, for free. And you want me to PAY for it. Sounds like you’re getting the better deal here.
    Teacher: Well…
    Person: I might not even like the way you teach.
    Teacher: I suppose not.
    Person: So you should give me the first lesson for free.
    Teacher: Free?
    Person: You’re only expecting me to pay 99 cents for the first three. What’s the difference?
    Teacher: But I need to make money or I can’t live.
    Person: Why don’t you get a real job?
    Teacher: Being a teacher is a real job.
    Person: But you’re doing this in your spare time.
    Teacher: Yeah, I have another job but if I can get enough students, I can teach all the time.
    Person: If you were a good teacher, you’d be doing that anyway. Anyone can be a teacher. The good ones make a living at it. The bad ones don’t. The market decides.
    Teacher: But I’m just starting out.
    Person: I mean, you’re talking about it like you’re special, or something. I could teach myself Spanish. It’s not that hard. Lots of people speak it.
    Teacher: Okay…
    Person: Learning a language takes up a lot of time. I don’t know why you think I have time to do lessons at all, let alone pay for them.
    Teacher: You said you wanted Spanish lessons.
    Person: You’ve made me angry now. I can’t think about learning Spanish when I have someone entitled like you asking me to pay money for lessons. BABIES speak Spanish, you know? Little children. It’s not that hard. You just think you’re special because you’ve spent some time learning how to teach it. No one ASKED you to become a teacher. No one NEEDED you to be a teacher. There are MILLIONS of teachers. If you can’t cut it, why are you crying to me about it? It’s not MY fault you’re not making a living by giving me lessons for free. It’s your fault.
    * walks off *

    • *Drool* I’m sorry, I think my brain died somewhere back there. If you think that physical work provided in person to a finite number of people with finite time spent in each lesson is equatable to individual sales of a piece of art sold by a first time author – you’re out of your fucking mind, I really don’t want to be mean here, but there’s no other way to put it. It’s delusional and it’s this kind of thinking that leads people to quit their day job and commit to self publishing as though it can support them with NO PREVIOUS WINS to prove that they have the audience to support that kind of life style.

      Also, this sounds really scathingly hateful to your audience, and there’s no faster way to make people dislike a quality writer, and sure as hell there’s no faster way to be forgotten about if, in all likelihood, YOU SUCK, than to pull a Phil Fish and decide that you’re too good for your audience.

      Maybe this isn’t the business for you if you have a thin skin and little concept of the inherent worth of other people’s time and money.

      *Walks off, shrugs, comes back with a pack of ramen* Here, you’re gonna need this in the months to come.

  18. I’m in the minority here. I didn’t think the meme’s intention was to guilt readers in to buying books, but rather to put in perspective the amount of time and effort that is involved in writing a book. Basically, readers need to stop complaining about the price of books. Don’t like the price of that plain white Gap T-shirt? Then go buy your white T at Walmart. A wedding planner is too expensive? Then don’t hire one. Readers have NO idea what goes in to the writing of a book, just like parents have no idea what goes in to the teaching of their children. Both authors and teachers are severely underpaid, imo.

    • The price of a book has nothing to do with its inherent literary value or how much time was spent writing it, which is another reason these memes are annoying.

      Go to a bookstore. You can buy books that cost ten years to write for the same price as books that cost one year to write; you can buy bestsellers with recycled plots for the same price as great works of literature. One has nothing to do with the other.

    • (Also, I’m totally fine with not spending $5 on a book I don’t want; the memes don’t usually say “don’t buy it if you don’t like it”.)

    • Readers do have an idea about what goes into writing a book as social media is full of passive aggressive posts telling them what goes into writing a book. I think the correct assumption should be a lot of writers don’t know what goes into writing a book. I have never seen a single author, who I consider to be a professional author share any of these memes. Hell one of the biggest names in genre fiction in the UK still has a part time job, but I never see him posting all of these passive aggressive posts.

      Even the one about the helping an author by buying, spreading the word and reviewing gets on my nerves, as it feeds into this notion that writers are special and should get special treatment. I don’t see memes for plumbers flooding social media. Far too many people get into writing thinking that they can throw a book together, chuck it up on Amazon and become an instant internet sensation. And when thery don’t become an instant success they start to blame everyone else for their own failings.

      I receive over 200 books a month to review and 99% have no business existing, I wish everyone would realise that there isn’t a writer in all of us.

      On the subject of the cost of a book I have no problem with cost I’ll pay what I think a book is worth, I own paperback, ebook and limited edition hardback copies of the same book, I’ll gladly pay over £100 for a limited edition of a book I love, sadly though the days of being able to do this on a regular basis are long gone thanks to having two pesky kids, and when I really like a book I have reviewed that was sent to me for free I always buy a copy of the book so when I cross post the review to Amazon it shows up as a verified purchase. And if it is a physical copy of a book I either donate it to the local library, give it to the kids school or leave it in a cafe with a note saying “please read me”

  19. I think you’re in the minority here because the folks commenting are discerning, educated readers who understand what is out there, know what they like and most certainly DO have an idea what goes into writing a book.

    They also understand that coffee vs book is a horrible analogy in all facets. I’m not certain I would want to read somebody with such a tenuous grasp of craft that they would consider it a legitimate argument.

    Wait a minute … there are people who complain about the price of books?

    Or are they complaining that some books aren’t worth the price?

    There is a difference and it is not small.

    • Fair enough. I don’t buy anything self-published, unless it’s highly recommended. And anything else is simply a matter of subjective tastes, even if it’s pubbed by a reputable house.

      I guess my point was people need to stop complaining about the price of books. Yes, there’s an influx of books now, just like there’s an influx of porn. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Be more fucking discerning if you don’t want to waste your money.

      I’m a struggling single mother, yet I just gave $15 to a rap artist for his CD simply because I admired the fact that he came up to me in the parking lot of a coffee place, was personable, inspired, enthusiastic, and I respect that as an artist, because I know how hard it is to get anyone to recognize your art. And I don’t even like rap.

      • I mean… I honestly agree with you about getting what you pay for, that just wasn’t my point. As a reader, reviewer, and purchaser of books, those shitty “you should be able to spend $5 on my [usually self-published] book if you’ll spend $5 on coffee” images/posts/whatever are usually directed toward me and people like me, and it’s irritating to be told how I should value something.

        I don’t complain that it’s $5 in the first place and, tbh, I’ve never heard any other reader say that $5 is too much for an ebook in general. Authors usually pull out the “$5 isn’t too much for a book” when they want to generate sales; my point is that we have already spoken by not buying the book in the first place.

      • “I guess my point was people need to stop complaining about the price of books. ”

        I don’t see this happening anywhere around me. If anything, the proliferation of other — more expensive — entertainment options has made people more appreciative of the reasonable price of books in general.

        “I just gave $15 to a rap artist for his CD simply because I admired the fact that he came up to me in the parking lot of a coffee place, was personable, inspired, enthusiastic, and I respect that as an artist”

        *smiles knowingly* My favourite book purchase ever came a couple of years ago when a random guy on a bike knocked on my door. He was selling his memoir (about travelling the world on a bicycle) door-to-door in Toronto. Had a wonderful conversation with him about his travels, religion, writing and publishing. He self-publishes (or, more correctly, set up his own press back in 1992 to publish his work) He’s sold 40,000 books door-to-door. No eBooks at all.

        He got the sale and I was the one who felt grateful.

  20. Yep!!! And I always think to myself “but I’m allergic to caffeine and don’t drink coffee ever so your book should be free then” as I never spend anything on coffee! This logic totally backfires on them with me!!

  21. I don’t buy paper booms anymore for several reasons. One is going green. I’m also disabled and can’t bear the weight. I also live in a place very limited storage. E-books don’t require paper. Also, best price that e-books under the price of the paperback. You don’t have to print them or replace them when the price changes. I’m on a fixed income so I don’t even look at books that are over $7. Recently saw a big named author charging $14 for the eBook and $15 for the regular paperback; not even a trade paperback. I won’t be guilted into paying a lot of money for a book.

    • Good point about the weight. I like ebooks because I can make the font big. I bought a magazine the other day and could not read it, the font was so difficult and small. there must be many others in the same boat, with various problems that make ebooks a real blessing!

  22. I recently saw an author ranting about how buying his books used or going to the library was terrible and akin to robbing the author! Needless to say it put me right off. As you say, who’s that author to tell me how to spend my money?!? If I don’t want to allocate my resources to new books, for whatever reason, ranting at me to give that dude my money is not going to change that.

  23. As a P.S – Dunkin’ Donuts has an Any Size Free deal every Monday now, so a large iced coffee is $.99. Which is pretty fucking sweet.

    You gotta go to my store for the book hook up, though. We got the book hook up good.

    • Whoops, not ‘free”, obviously. Although that would be the most amazing business practice ever and they should do it immediatally.

  24. Yes! You are a mega-bitch, but everything you said is 100% on the nose. Sometimes the world needs some mega-bitching! Bring it on :) #Truth
    I spent three years on two books and they are both currently .99. Why? Because it’s a great way to find new readers who may not have bought my work before at 2.99 and 3.99, considering I’m still a relatively new author. I think 4.99 for a book is getting a bit steep, actually, though I will be asking that much for the third book in my series (because of its length and because it’s the 3rd book in the series, and because I have a fan base who believe my work is worth that much) I agree, if writers spent less time bitching and more time polishing amazing work, editing it, giving it an amazing cover, giving it away for free or cheap in the beginning, especially, eventually you’ll build a fan base (if you write a bad ass book that people love) and people will gladly pay 4.99 for your work. But it takes time, work, and great customer service. If I hear someone bitching about stuff; lack of sales, etc., there is no way I’m feeding into that negative lack of professionalism by buying their book.
    (Excuse the sloppy form and lack of proper punctuation. I have a 3 yr old acting crazy in my lap. It’s amazing I got this far… :)

  25. This is a great post and not bitchy at all imho. Plus, you nailed the basics of economics in a fun-to-read way.

    One more thing: the comparison of “creating a book” and “drinking a coffee” is completely invalid anyway. It’s like trying to compare pears and apple juice. After all, “creating the coffee” (including growing the trees, harvesting, drying, roasting and transporting the beans to where they’re needed) takes just as long as writing a good book, maybe even longer.

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