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.

1 comment:

Unbiased Blogger said...

Unfortunately, we, as a culture and as a society, don't value knowledge as much as we used to. This is a shame since the knowledge contained within books is priceless, even if it later gets refuted. It gives us a window into how times were, what thoughts were and how we've been able to evolve as a people.