Today, I wish to talk about something that has been bothering me for a while. Time and time again I notice that books are being sold for as cheap as 99 cents. I am not talking about the used or unwanted books you sometimes see at the entrance of libraries. I am discussing the ones that are being sold online, brand new and in various formats.
Why would an author sell years of his hard work, hours on end sitting, pondering, late-night struggling while going over his written work, and paying thousands of dollars to have it edited only to then sell it for 99 cents?
Do we have such an abundance of books out there that their work is only worth 99 cents after everything they go through to publish it? If yes, why bother?
Are they playing the number game? Assuming they will sell in millions and so 99 cents will still make them a profit?
Are they just doing all this for fun? They don’t anticipate any sales, and so they do not care what the outcome is after it is published?
If you value and deem all this hard work to be worth only 99 cents, why would anyone else value it any higher?
In fact, if you dig deeper into the psychological influence you make in having a potential reader ponder over buying your 99-cent book or someone else’s 10-dollar book, you will notice that the buyer will pick the 10 dollar one.
This is because they unconsciously believe that if they buy a book that is 10 dollars, then it must have something more to offer than a 99-cent book.
It is like the catch and chase theory. If you offer something for free, then it is not that appealing. If you make it a challenge, then everyone will be interested and will want to know what all the fuss is about.
People don’t buy a book because it is cheap, they buy it because it sounds good, the reviews are good, and the cover is appealing. So in my opinion, you are selling short on everything you sacrificed in producing. Why should you not enjoy having the satisfaction of expressing your thoughts in your book and also enjoy the exposure of it alongside the financial security of which it brings?
Next time you wish to give away something for free, please consider it may be worth more than that.
Written by Jeyran Main
Categories: My Reflections / Articles