Sunday, 21 August 2011

You get what you pay for... don't you?

I've been thinking, recently, about self-publishing for Kindle. Not for Inevitable - I'm not yet ready to give up on the traditional publishing route, and I maintain that if a novel is not picked up by a publisher, there is usually a reason, hard as it is for me to feel my baby is unloved in the world.

But I've been writing a book about learning languages - I'm actually more comfortable calling it an eBook, since apart from anything else it will be short, and of course because I'm planning to e-publish.

The received wisdom about becoming a bestseller on Kindle is this: price it as cheaply as possible.

I don't like this. I don't like it at all.

Doesn't it ever cross your mind, when you are buying something - is there a reason why this is so cheap? It's one of the arguments I make in my book, in fact - if a tutor's prices seem to be too good to be true, be wary - they may not think of themselves as a professional. So, by the same token, if you are putting out your book for next to nothing, are you not sending out the message that it's, well, not very good?

According to this month's Writing Magazine, "In the US, people do seem to equate price with quality and many refuse to buy books at 99 cents as they assume they aren't very good. The market in the UK definitely seems to be different on that score, with readers seemingly happy to snap up a bargain".

I love bargains as much as the next person - hence my obsession with second handbookshops and inability to come out of them empty-handed, even when I have a Eurostar to catch and already far too much to carry - but I am siding with the Yanks on this one.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

3BT: writing, coffee, and summer

1. I lie in bed, wishing I weren't awake, and inspiration strikes for the article I've been simultaneously excited about and terrified of writing. Three hours later, it's done, and I'm pleased with it, and excited that my name (albeit my pen name) is hopefully, for the first time, going to be in at the bottom of an article in a magazine that can be bought at WHSmith.

2. My new coffee machine gurgles and gargles and splutters, and makes me the perfect, grain-free coffee.

3. I put on suncream for the first time this year. It smells of holidays. After half an hour's swimming and thinking about my writing, I sit in the sunshine sipping at Schwepps Agrum', reading Mslexia (which, coincidentally, also has my name in this month). I feel tired and relaxed, almost as if I'd spent the day on the beach. I love the summer - better late than never.