The Story Between The Stories #002 – Our New Author…and Pricing

There are two good reasons for me to post another Sudden Insight Publishing blog the week after starting this column. One is that we have been working with a new author on getting her first book together, and today is release day! The other is an outgrowth of that, a conversation that we had when it came time to look at pricing. Let’s start with the exciting news…

We were contacted by a local woman who has been thinking of publishing a series of stories for several years now. At first we balked, in private: her initial description of the first book sounded like unfamiliar territory to us both. It was clearly romance, and adult romance in particular, and neither of us are readers of either genre. We talked about whether we wanted our first new author to be a romance author, and if we would be up to giving her publication the attention it deserved.

Then we met with her again. She explained the story a little more, and outlined the series. She gave us a copy of the first hand-written manuscript, and told us to give her a call when we decided. It didn’t take long to decide. This is definitely a romance, but it’s a paranormal romance with some very poignant human elements to it. I was hoping, after hearing the series outline, that I would enjoy the book as well. It turned out to be more than I had expected, and better than I had anticipated, and I saw possibilities start to open up right away. We called her back, asked for her patience, and then spent the next two months testing it.

In our defense, we hadn’t decided on pricing or timelines, we had other books to work on, and we hadn’t even considered typing up hand-written manuscripts. I mean, Dawn typed up nearly a thousand pages of my scrawl to make Walking Between Worlds happen; but nobody else offered that on the sites we were using for our cost comparisons, so we hadn’t thought to offer it. We couldn’t move forward until we had figured out what we would offer individual and bundled services at, and how we would handle a publishing package. We got it all together for her before we even posted it, and drew up a contract so we could move forward. Finally.

In her defense, she didn’t really get impatient. She was very gracious through every step. I had a new software program* that I wanted to get accustomed to before getting started on my next book, since I plan on doing my own typing from here on in, and I thought typing up her manuscript would be good practice. I didn’t have to do anything but read and type, and it helped get me ready for Zombie Zero more than I had expected. By the time I was done with the book, I was able to immediately print it out and start handing it out for notes and editing. I expected to be doing all the heavy lifting on the edits, but it turned out that the ladies polished this gem up far more than I did.**

Today is the official release day for the culmination of all of this. The Book of Desire: Anne, by Marilyn Kahr, is now available on Amazon/Kindle for $0.99. It is also available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you like paranormal romance, I think you’ll love this book. I’m not even a fan of the genre, and I did. That is the price she wanted to offer the e-book at, and we thought her arguments for doing so were good ones. That leads us to the next subject, another thing that working with Marilyn has had us discussing regarding the entire Sudden Insight library.

I saw something pretty clearly when I was a little kid, and I remember saying it a thousand times: “You can make a product that not everyone can afford, but that lends a certain pride or prestige, and make a lot of money per unit sold, and sell few units; or you can make a product that nearly anyone can afford easily, and try to get that product into as many hands as possible.” It’s an oversimplification of business, but it rang true here. I hate to be ‘either/or’ when I would rather be ‘both’***, and this seems a good place to apply that philosophy.

My e-books are going to be $2.99 starting today, unless I find some compelling reason to make them $0.99. We will encourage authors that publish with us to go with one of those two prices moving forward, barring unusual circumstances, although the final decision will be in their hands. Why these two numbers? Most folks with a publication up for sale on Amazon know how it works. Amazon pays 70% at $2.99, which is a fair deal for seller and buyer while offering a low price to the reader. Below that, Amazon pays 35%. The only good reason to price below $2.99 is to drop your book to $0.99, in my opinion. Both prices are great deals, if your book is worth reading. I can see good reasons to price short or serialized books at $0.99, and we are doing that with my first book, Stumbling Backasswards Into the Light, and this new publication. Longer novels seem fairly priced at $2.99, which is where my novels will likely be priced from now on.****

And finally…print books.***** The one remaining physical retailer of books won’t put most indie books on their shelves for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons often cited is that pricing needs to be comparable. I think I finally get that. Just as we were trying to reflect the quality of our product in our e-book pricing last year, we were also trying to give folks a smoking deal on the paperback. In one way, we had it backwards; in another, we just didn’t have things figured out yet; nor did we have the ability to bundle packages on our website to circumvent Amazon’s rule that prevents most producer to customer direct discounts.

Now we’ve got that all figured out (finally). Our print books will be available online and in-store for prices that reflect the quality and size of the publication. There are nothing but good reasons to show that independently published books are as good or better than traditionally published works, and our prices on print books will rise to reflect that attitude as statistics continue to support it. Look for price changes coming soon, my e-books going down and my print books going up. The trend will continue with other books we publish, unless otherwise requested by the author(s). If you want a smoking deal, on any Sudden Insight Publication, look for bundle deals on our website. We’ll put together as many possible combinations as we can, to get the best price and experience to each reader. Volume discounts(what you might call two or more) will also be available.

Thanks for reading!
Jay Norry
Author, Editor
Sudden Insight Publishing
Jay@SuddenInsightPublishing.com

*Shout out to Scrivener!
**Shout out to Awesome Girl, AKA Dawn Marshall!
***Shout out to T. Harv Eker!
****Shout out to the big guys, who price electronic files that cost nothing to generate, once compiled, at print book prices(whu…?)
*****Shout out to Michael R. Stern, for asking before I could answer.

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