How Much Should E-Books Cost?

TW Column by David Biddle

Don’t Treat Your Work Like Canned Tomatoes

 


At the beginning of December, I reduced the online price of my novel and a story collection. I wanted my books to be part of the holiday sales craze, so I took the e-book versions from $4.99 to 99¢. My royalties at those prices? About 30¢ a sale.

I smiled when I told my wife that I’d done this—a crooked, sad, maniacal smile. She gave me her best “WTF!” expression. And as it’s turned out, I should have paid attention.

Priced to Sell © Antony PranataIt’s way too easy for us indie authors to devalue what we’re selling. Way too easy. If we don’t rack up downloads right away, we go into pricechopper mode, as if our work is the equivalent of a can of stewed tomatoes that hasn’t moved.

What’s the best price for an indie e-book? Shoot, what’s the best price for a book in general? Publishers struggled with this issue immensely when everything was paper based. A first-run print job was a sizable risk, even with good marketing. According to bestselling author Kathryn Rusch, who writes the blog The Business Rusch:

By the middle of the previous decade, it cost at least $250,000 to publish a mid-list novel with a nice cover and an author advance of $10,000.

But with e-books, supply is limitless. There’s no cost difference between one or a million digital downloads. The only thing any e-book author needs to worry about is demand.

That’s a big worry, though. Building demand for a book is hard as hell for individual authors. You have to account both for what customers expect and what they value. The latter often comes down to subjectively defined qualities like skilled editing, effective plotting, character development, and use of language.

In the early days of e-book distribution, it was all about attracting readers. The best price back in 2009, when the Kindle was introduced? Free.

Many of the initial successful indies—like romance novelist Judy Powell and humorist/blogger Rachel Thompson—built big audiences by using what was then an open-ended system at Amazon that allowed them to offer at least some of their work for nothing.

In an interview with Forbes last fall, Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, says of a company study about e-book price points:

At the Apple iBook store, free books are downloaded about 100 times more than paid books. The lesson for authors who want to rapidly build their platform is that free books are a very powerful tool.

Yet, even if you opt for this tried-and-true route, there’s really no more “free” on Amazon—or Barnes and Noble, for that matter.

Last year, Amazon introduced its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) system, which has many fabulous features. As one example, in an industry notorious for inaccurate and incomplete reporting to authors and agents, its real-time online reporting system is a big fat raspberry at traditional publishers.

kmart faux sticker key 1 from a 1970's yarn sleeveBut the most prominent feature of KDP is a pricing system that allows the author to set his or her book between $2.99 and $9.99 in exchange for getting 70 percent of the take. KDP also allows authors a more flexible price range of 99¢ to $200 if they’re willing to accept royalties of 35 percent.

At Amazon, the lowest you can go with price is a penny off the dollar —with one exception. KDP members are allowed five “free days” in each 90-day period if they’re willing to sign a deal where they sell their digital title only through Amazon’s Kindle Store.

In 2012, many indie writers gave the “free day” concept a shot (or two or three). I did a three-day August run that resulted in 10,100 downloads of my novel. Some other indies have reported getting as many as 50,000 downloads when their books were free.

If you’re an unknown author, that’s absolutely amazing. It matches Coker’s findings in the Smashwords study.

But you burn through those days quickly, get drunk on the idea that so many people have your book, and then must reenter the real world of charging for your writing. In my case, after my free days, I priced my book at $2.99. I got two downloads the day after and then nothing for several weeks, no matter what marketing I did. By the end of September, I’d had enough. I’d written a great story that was professionally edited and formatted. If it could sit at $2.99 with no purchases, why not have at least a little pride and make it $4.99.

In fact, while Coker points out that, logically, 99¢ books sell better than $1.99 books and $1.99 books sell better than those priced at $2.99, here’s his key observation:

As price increased there were fewer sales. But what price yields the greatest income? And that was really interesting: We found that the $2.99 to $5.99 price band appears to be the sweet spot for indie authors, those prices over-performed the average in terms of income for the author. But 99¢ and $1.99 under-performed.

That’s because books aren’t commodities. They aren’t even really consumer items in the conventional sense. Each book is a unique world that readers step into and keep safe on a shelf or in their Kindles when they’re done.

Customers may love discounts on bestsellers, but they don’t buy any old book just because it’s cheap. Try imagining the equivalent of a supermarket sale sign, and you’ll see the problem:

While Supplies Last!
Prices Slashed on Sexy Literary Thriller!
Less Than a Can of Tomatoes!

You can’t replace one book with another. For instance, I just bought the paperback version of Haruki Murakami’s mammoth 2011 novel 1Q84 for about $20. It’s fabulous. I also have roughly 20 books that I’ve downloaded for free this year from indie authors I know and another 50-plus that I’ve purchased for anywhere from $1 to $3.

But I’ve read very few of those downloaded e-books. I regularly attempt to, but things keep getting in the way—yet I am reading Murakami, an established literary author, in paper.

Skaggs Drug Center 9 cent stickerSo: Are we trying to sell books? Or to get people to read them—to enter the worlds we’ve created?

That’s not a rhetorical question.

Experienced authors like thriller writer Wesley Dean Smith regularly offer suggestions to indies about pricing. Here are his latest recommendations for 2013:

  • Novels: $6.99 – $7.99

  • Short Books: $3.99

  • Short Stories: $2.99

  • Short Story Collections: $4.99 – $7.99 (depending on the number of stories)

For Smith, indies are competing with traditionally published books. He also astutely points not only to the digital/paper divide but also to the psychology of buying books in either form. “If you have a $16.99 trade paper and a $7.99 electronic novel, it looks right to buyers,” he says.

The thing is, most indie authors don’t pay attention to this advice. The majority of indie e-books are priced from 99¢ to $2.99. That’s a lot of “WTF!” spousal faces.

But if Kindle and iPad owners liked an author’s 99¢ mystery or romance novel last year, maybe they’ll be willing to pay $4.99 or $5.99 for another book by the same author this year. Maybe they’ll pay $6.99 and $7.99 for other titles the following year.

Which brings me back to that beautiful face my wife made in December. She was right—and I’m paying attention.

In early January, I raised my prices to be more in line with what Dean Wesley Smith advises. As I move forward, I’m hoping that my potential readers will see value when they look at the price tag—rather than a deal.

I have a new novel coming out this spring. I assure you, it will not be sitting on the floor somewhere with a 99¢ sticker on it. But even at $6.99, it will be less than any traditionally published novel out there.

 


Publishing Information

Art Information

  • "Priced to Sell?" © Antony Pranata; Creative Commons license
  • "Kmart Faux Sticker Key 1" © Ganas Gan; Creative Commons license
  • "Skaggs Drug Center, 1960's" © Roadsidepictures; Creative Commons license

 


David BiddleDavid Biddle is a contributing writer at TW. His Talking Indie column recounts the ups and downs of being an independent publisher.

You’ll find information about his novel Beyond the Will of God and other digital fiction on davidbiddle.net.

“I felt sleazy and pathetic. I’d been reduced to begging my family and friends to buy my book.” — “Sorry, Your Buddies Won’t Buy Your Book”

 


 

Comments

For the past several years I've worked to convince Indie authors that they should not price their work too low, but in most cases I might as well have been shouting at the wind. The problem would seem to be that Indie authors think like consumers rather than publishers and sellers. If Amazon hadn't established a selling floor of $2.99 to earn a 70% royalty, the situation would probably be far worse. We sweat blood to produce our books, pay editors to help whip them into shape and artists to create covers that will help generate appeal, only to give it all away for free in the mistaken belief that we are getting exposure that will sell books in the future. In reality, most free ebooks are simply taking up space on someone's device, be it Kindle, Nook, iPad, or whatever. In rare cases where free books have seemed to generate interest and later sales, I argue that the book would have sold anyway with just some basic marketing effort. With one exception, all of my scifi e-novels are priced at $5.99. The exception, reduced to $3.99 in April of 2012, is my oldest novel and is priced low to serve as an introduction to my work. During the past two and half years, while other Indie authors have been spreading largesse among the masses, I've been quietly enjoying the fruits of my labor.

Your points, Lorraine, are spot on and really important. We're still in the incubating room with E-Books and this whole new Indie Author world. It will all grow, organically and synthetically at the same time.

As far as reviews are concerned in the indie world, the book blogging community is a profoundly prolific and energetic, eclectic and rabid resource. At the same time, genre fiction rules for them. It rules in the online book sales world too. For people like me writing general contemporary, somewhat literary fiction, there are bloggers out there, but they're 1) hard to find; 2) hard to pin down; 3) not paid much attention to.

So literary fiction? There is certainly room for folks to review serious writers from that world. The lit pubs and mainstream media will not touch indie authors (yet). I can't tell you how many online sites I've approached. It sucks. It conjures up major swear words here in my head. But that's the way it is.

But you're right. Somehow social media needs to get wise to folks in the Indie World trying to make art. It'll happen, but it's going to take some time.

And thanks for buying my book, by the way. If you want to review it, Amazon and Smashwords both would happily accept your thoughts. It's a start.

Speaking from the vantage point of a literary magazine, we get many requests to review books, both mainstream and indie. The problem for us is the paltry number of hours in each day--even very long days--as I'm sure it is elsewhere. It takes time to assess whether a specific book would offer something of interest to our audience beyond its value as a writer's work (which, as a magazine for writers, we applaud in any case). Writing and editing a review and preparing it for publication takes yet more time.

In its early days, Talking Writing ran as many as a dozen capsule book reviews per issue, but we found that they generally weren't well read. We decided that time and effort was better spent on the type of reviews we now run, which generally either are round-ups of books on a common theme or focus on a single book that speaks to some aspect of writing. David Biddle's story of the hype around Chad Harbach's novel is a good example (published in the Jan/Feb 2012 TW), as is Fred Setterberg's discussion of We Wanted to be Writers in the current issue.

I hope the fact that we're working with David to offer the Talking Indie column to TW readers conveys our support of the indie writing community.

David,
I never thought that I'd get into e-books. My partner and I are actually considering moving out of our tiny apartment because, despite having 75 percent of our books in storage, the books that we have bought in the past four years are now sitting in stacks on the floor because the triple-loaded book shelves can't fit any more books. And still we buy.
Except, increasingly, I buy e-books because of a variety of reasons. One is the room issue. But most importantly, it's the convenience. If I need to find something to read at 11 pm on a Sunday, my only option is an e-book, available anytime. Last summer, when I was reading four or five books a week, I wasn't necessarily spending $90 in one shot, but I was certainly spending that over the course of a week to feed my hunger for books.
I have read a variety of books. Some have been the free downloads of classic books. Some have been the independently published less expensive books, but mostly, what draws me to buying a book on Amazon or elsewhere are the reviews I've read of the book.
While I sort of have a price point--12.99 for an e-book--above which I won't go, because once you're over 12.99, chances are you can find a paper copy close to the same price--I buy freely. And what drives me to buy is I read a fantastic review of a book that convinces me I need to read it right away, and my next stop is Amazon or iBooks and boom! I own the latest.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not the price that causes me to buy books (although I'm always delighted with a bargain.) What drives me to buy books are the reviews. And that, it seems, is a problem for the independently published books. Because they don't have the power of the literary houses behind them, they don't get reviewed as often, and I find myself loath to sort through a lot of books I haven't heard of online. Which directly contradicts my experience in bookstores and libraries, where I often pick up books I haven't heard of because being able to physically handle the book and read the first few pages will draw me to buying it.
So, that's the problem for me. It isn't dropping your price to .99. It's how do I find you in the first place? How does an independent author get the kind of publicity and reviews that would cause me to go looking for your book in the first place?
I've purchased your book because of your column here at TW, so obviously, that's a great way to get publicity. But how does an independent author get his/her book into the hands of reviewers who will be able to get people like me to read?
Maybe TW needs to start a new column in which we do book reviews of independently published books only so that we can bring attention to deserving authors who might not otherwise be getting attention elsewhere.

Pricing books on kindle and being a disabled aged reader

I loved this article. Thanks to David Biddle for writing it and T/W for publishing it. I've reposted it on a face book group of writers who have been together off and on since the old AOL writers' boards day along with an invitation that they subscribe to T/W. I've also sent it to a lot of my friends who I don't think subscribe to T/W but who are writers, published writers.

I think of these issues from two perspectives, as do most of you -- as a reader and as a writer. I have a small collection of my short stories that has been ready for the last two years for uploading as an e-book but I haven't been able to solve the pricing issue to my satisfaction or the cover issue. Reading this article/essay has re-ignited my desire to get the decisions made and the book uploaded.

Now -- the perspective of a particular kind of reader:

I read e-books because I have very bad arthritis in my hands and can no longer hold books or turn pages without pain. And cataracts considerably diminished my vision so reading pages with normal font sizes was becoming (or had become) impossible. So for me my first Kindle was a miracle, a soul saver, a recall from the depths of all the bad places, a rekindling of the great joy of my life -- reading. I could manipulate the size of the print!!!! A miracle! I could see!!!!! After cataract surgery I could see incredibly better --- I think cataract surgery is the best of all the fix-old-people tricks they've come up with. The diminution of hearing, the pain of walking on arthritic knees, the various other losses -- all tolerable so far as long as I can see and read!

So, thanks to whatever imaginative and creative and entrepreneurial forces conspired to bring kindle into my life.

But then there is the cost problem. How can those of us with living on the limited incomes of what our society deems in "enough" for people whose disabilities make them economically non-productive or too old and poor for incomes beyond social security afford to buy books?

I get most of my books either from the daily Kindle email about low priced or free books or from the free books -- reading and rereading some of the "classics" has been fun and surprising. For instance, I discovered that I don't like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE very much at all. The author treats the mother of the young women with such contempt that I can't STAND it. She reminds of Bruno Bettleheim talking about schizophrenogenic mothers, about refrigerator mothers. I have loved Cranford as much as I did when I first read it fifty years ago. I've delighted in the opportunity to download volumes of Chekhov's short stories and even given away two of my sets of his stories (I still have one that I can't bear to let go even though I can no longer hold those books -- they are just too beautiful and I can see them!)

I now have over 800 books in my second Kindle and I've read a lot of them, maybe 2/3 of them. Most are cozy mysteries and I read them with greatest pleasure when they are available in a series. They have been my companions through hospitalizations and recuperations, through very very tough times. It always makes me sad when books that are so restorative are talked about with disdain by those who think they aren't literature, or aren't literary, who think that there are some genres or sub-genres that are less deserving of love and respect and admiration. Reminds me of the jealous heart behind Hawthorne's kvetching about that mob of damned scribbling women. It always will -- although there are others who think that the disdain is more genuine (not to suggest that jealousy isn't genuine, just that its expression is most often cloaked), an expression of learned snobbery. A sort of manifestation of classism based not on SES (socio-economic status) but based on taste.

I do, however, also read what is commonly referred to as “literary fiction” and have had great experiences with some authors new to me, often books recommended by friends.

STILL and all, there is that problem of the relationship between price and product that continues to bother me, maybe all of us.

Charging half the price of the paperback version for an e-book – well, I can’t make notes in the margins, I can’t easily page back and forth to keep track of whatever I want to keep track of – motifs, characters --, the ability to attach annotated post-its which is one of my ways of indexing my books for my use, for my research, oh, all sorts of things that electronic books lack that what I still think of as “real” books have – the smell of a book, the feel of the pages between my fingers as I hold the top right corner of the page on the right side of the book, turning them slowly or quickly, slowly from reluctance to leave the page or quickly from eagerness to get to the next one.

Obviously, I could go on writing this sort of mawkish paean to books, the real things and then electronic ones, but I’ll stop now. Just saying – there’s a reason why I think e-books should be less than half the price of a “real” book. And if you don’t write not just to get it out of you, not just because you have to, but because you want to have people read your work, than why not just stay home and masturbate? Yes, it would be great to make a living at it – who among us has not wished for that divine life? – But would you really be satisfied to sell one copy of your book for a million dollars a year but have ONLY that one reader?

Susan, what a great commentary on my piece here. Thanks for putting so much thought into the issue of pricing. I can't respond to all the great points you make, but you hit on something important that I may not have made clear. The really important take away anyone moving into the E-Book realm should see is that there are so, so, so many great deals on books -- from FREE to $9.99. For all intents and purposes most indie books, even my novel and story collections, are close to or lower than half the price of paperbacks ... that's a pretty incredible shift to the entire business model of the publishing world. It's revolutionary.

One other thing I would say, is that while software and applications are still very primitive compared to what they could be, the tablet reading experience usually provides more power to manage notes and highlighted text than dedicated readers. To me (I have an iPad as well as a Kindle) the note taking option for my tablet is quite useful when I'm reading a book for professional purposes (research and book reviews). Writing in the margin of a paper book is great, but having a database of notes and highlighted text at my beck and call is truly liberating. I haven't done this yet, but by summer I hope to be ept enough with the EverNotes app to move note management power up a notch while reading.

I recently reviewed a book using my Kindle, and while I could highlight and bookmark text, not being able to keep notes was a serious bummer. I don't know for sure, but maybe the KindleFire allows this option.

Lastly, because it's so weird, I just want to point out that the belle of the ball right now in the literary world is George Saunders's Tenth of December (it's awesome!). I bought the E-book version for $12.99 the day it came out because I wanted it immediately. IMMEDIATELY is quite a luxury, isn't it? Also, I saw that the price for the hardback first edition was over $26.00. Pretty much half price, right?

Well, as I write the E-Book price is still $12.99. But the hardback price is now $14.20. Even with shipping costs bringing the total cost to $18.00 I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy that second "real" copy because I know I want this awesome collection of stories in my library sitting right next to my Alice Munros and Barry Hannahs and David Foster Wallaces. If I weren't so impulsive there, in a way I'd have saved myself $12.99. Oh well, the other take away everyone should understand is that when you spend money on books you're supporting writers. And, trust me, we all need support. So, I don't feel so bad. Georgie Poo is a mensch and his stories push the envelope for the rest of us. I'm happy, poor as I am, to give him some extra jack.

Thanks again for your comments. Thanks, in fact, to all who have read this column. Watch for my next one in a few weeks looking at the relationship between indie authors and indie booksellers. Keep reading.

It's interesting to hear how many don't read the ebooks they download for free. I rarely do, but I always read something I pay for. I've also noticed that books that are free often get a lot of negative reviews from people who wouldn't have ever paid for the book, because it clearly just wasn't their cup of tea, so I don't think it's the wonderful marketing strategy some would have authors believe.

I have short stories only going free on Amazon and have individual short stories and a short story collection at 99c, so the cheap buys are there for readers if they want to taste my work without spending too much. My novels, however, are set at $2.99 for one that is 200 pages and $3.99 for 380 pages. I firmly believe that quality novels should not be priced below $2.99. Here's a post on what I think we should charge, but I actually charge about $1 less than what I'd like to simply to stay in the same bracket as most other Indie authors I know. http://tahlianewland.com/2012/11/23/ebook-pricing-are-indie-authors-thro...

Unfortunately, a higher price does not mean a better book as any reader of Indie books will tell you. I've reviewed several indie books and even bought one at around $7.99 that were terribly written. The authors apparently had inflated opinions of the quality of their work. A reader that pays that much for poor quality is much more likely to swear off indie books entirely than one that pays $2.99, so I recommend that new Indie authors charge no more than $2.99 until they get enough reviews under their belt to indicate that their work deserves to be higher priced.

'I say stand by your Muse — don’t cheapen the results out of desperation.'
I agree with KC. I'd rather not sell books priced at the right price, than sell them at the wrong price, to the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

Fascinating, baffling topic. I'm wondering if it might not be too soon in the burgeoning ebook phenomenon to learn much of lasting value from these early studies and surveys, especially with Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing program in its infancy and seeming to continually evolve. As to the freebie promotions, they definitely get attention, but so long as buyers remain more fascinated by the downloading and library-building aspects than in the reading it might take awhile for the market-piquing buzz that a paper book giveaway can create to emerge.

I understand the 2.99 - 3.99 findings, tho, as it seems even in this new dynamic of curiosity and instant gratification in the ebook realm, a sense of true value still attaches to pricing, no matter how arbitrary.

I still think there is something to the old adage that giving away milk for free does not encourage the buying of the cow. As a fellow writer, I certainly understand the hunger for exposure and the titillation of seeing a "hit" of some 10,000 readers potentially reading your work... However I think we need to halt the insanity and follow the lead of performers in the music industry. What we do is real work, even when it is not Top Ten stuff. If we do not assign a reasonable value to our work and stick to it, no one else will either. And if we all cling to the same standards, people will have to accept that you get what you pay for. I don't mind giving away a tease of my work, but as long as I need a roof over my head while I write, I will not be satisfied with giving away what costs me so much. I say stand by your Muse -- don't cheapen the results out of desperation. When the public wants it bad enough, they will pay for it. Until then, I'll give my work away when physicians, lawyers, and software engineers give their work away because people "want" it. It's time to take our profession back.

This is a great article. I had my ebook, Entice Me priced for a few months and then put the price down to 99 cents, hoping masses of people who buy it. As I kept reading writers becoming best sellers once they put their ebooks price down to 99 cents. I trailed this for a month. And had my lowest amount of sales ever. After reading this, I put my price back up to what I feel it is worth. I put a lot of my self into the story, I want people to enjoy it. And I feel you are right. There are those who get free ebooks for the sake of something to read and to fill their kindle, but may never actually read it. Or provide a negative review because it wasn't there interest, just a freebie. If all self-published authors unite to put their ebooks at a reasonable price, then ebook buyers will have to buy what they really want to read and love it. Thank you for giving me that little nudge in changing my price.

Readers subscribing to Kindle is much like collecting. At the start of any collection ( let's say elephant figurines, for example), you tend to grab at everything. But as the collection grows to immense proportions, you become highly selective. That is what I see is happening here.

"...lately, I’ve come round to purchasing indie e-books instead, because it’s the right thing to do."

Gregg, yes, you're right about that, and it makes me wonder why I didn't go ahead and buy David's book on paper rather than going for the free download. "Free" can be irresistible, but it doesn't serve those of us trying to make a living through our creative efforts. All of this speaks to the value of reasonable pricing for e-books.

A problem often arises in the consumer world when we're confronted with too many options, especially when they all seem like "deals." Market research indicates that too much opportunity can freeze consumers into indecision. Think about buying tires for your car or a new TV at BestBuy.

Buying a book in the old days was such a treat. You go into Borders or your neighborhood store wanting to check out the latest Alice Munro story collection and you come out with five other books you couldn't help yourself with. And they all cost $15 - 25, maybe more. And you were so excited! A book of Randall Jarrell essays, a new bio on Anais Nin, novels by Naipaul and Matthiessen, a brand new copy of Annie Dillard's "Teaching a Stone to Talk," plus the Munro, of course. You just dropped, say $90. And it felt utterly glorious.

Fast forward to the bookstoreless planet. I love Ebooks. Don't get me wrong. I just bought George Saunders new Tenth of December and was fine paying the $11.99. And I am super happy reading it on my iPad Kindle App. But it's really hard to go online these days and spend $90 on books. You have about 200,000 free books to choose from and another 300,000 (or a million, who the hell knows) between .99¢ and $3.00. Then there are all those just above sitting below $9.99. And, finally, the crazily priced $15.99 bestsellers, or the trade first-runs like Tenth. How do you decide? It's crazy. Sometimes I think going the "free" option is just the easy way out.

It's like we all need to grow a new pair, only we don't quite know what the pair is supposed to be a pair of...

I almost envy the 50% of us who don't read. God bless America.

"...so long as buyers remain more fascinated by the downloading and library-building aspects than in the reading..."

Matt, I hadn't thought about this side of it recently, but it matches my experience. When I first got my Kindle, all the other Kindle owners I know told me about the extensive libraries they'd built up of free downloads of classic books. I spent the first week cruising through the classics and building up and organizing my Kindle library of free books. Then I began looking up authors I love and bought my first (and only) full-priced e-book (The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch). Since then, I've acquired an extensive collection of books through the Kindle daily deals--all of them ones I'd already been planning to read and might well have purchased on paper or borrowed from the library if I didn't own a Kindle.

However, I've ended up reading very few of those e-books, although I have been reading books on paper. I find I use my Kindle mostly when I'm out of the house. I did download and read David's book Beyond the Will of God, but (I'm almost ashamed to admit) I picked it up when it was available as a free download. If it hadn't been available for free and the price had been more reasonably matched to the paper version (per Wesley Dean's Smith suggestion), I most likely would have purchased the paper version, which is what I usually do with authors I personally know.

Yes, a fascinating topic...

"Build a base, work on the Amazon algorithms," etcetera and so forth. I've read a half dozen e-books on what to do and why. But at some point, it seems to me, we write what we write because we want to. And as much as every one of us wants to build readership, it's a crazy undertaking compared to doing what we love.
David Biddle, your reminder is appreciated. Our work has value. I'm a KDP author, and while I'll like use the free option at some point--likely when I roll out the paper edition, or the book trailer--there's just something about giving it away that seems to devalue the process.
I've got a few freebies on my Kindle, including a good many old books purchased that way. But lately, I've come round to purchasing indie e-books instead, because it's the right thing to do. Doing so encourages me to feel that my work has value too.

If we do not respect our own work as professional writers, we have no reason to expect anyone else to. Thank you so much for this excellent reminder.

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