There is a new change to give authors a leg on Amazon Kindle. A little history: The reason authors priced low was to compete in the market. It was the lowest price. There was no incentive to price higher, to charge the value of the work, because no one would take a second look if it were priced higher than another author’s cheap work.
That was why $0.99 ruled. And it sucked, because that means you only got $0.30 per book sold. If you were a full time writer, making a measly 30k per year, that’s you selling 100k books a year! Just to make a living! As much as we write for the love of it, that kind of pricing harms authors. It also is detrimental to the indie market as a whole, since it established $0.99 as the only price to pay for a indie book.
I really view $2.99 and up giving the %70 royalty as correcting an injustice. $2.99 and a %70 royalty is what the standards should have always been. It just took a while to implement. And lets face it: you’d have to sell 100,000 books on kindle per year at $.99 a piece to make $30k annually. Now, you only need to sell 15,000 at $2.99, which is actually doable. If it had been this way from the beginning, this question wouldn’t even arise since it would have been the norm. However, the only way for $2.99 to work is for most people to jump on board. It should become the new minimum for full-length novels. Personally, I have one at 2.99 and another at .99, just so there is a cheap option to be seen in the market, and then a higher price for my much longer, and much more serious works. I usually look at books from a “time to read” standpoint when it comes to personal pricing, but that doesn’t mean a shorter book cannot be worth more than a longer one. Equal content, length matters. Different content, length doesn’t matter as much.
Any cheaper than $2.99 now doesn’t give the %70 royalty. That’s fine because at prices lower than that, the additional costs of the e-book, the invisible ones, aren’t as well covered overall. Amazon gives everyone free 3G – that costs them money. They do have a business to run. If they only made $0.30 on each $0.99 book sold, would it cover the cost of the bandwidth used by that book + all the additional business behind it? Just as things weren’t really fair to authors, it isn’t fair to the company as well.
Everyone deserves to make a living doing what they love to do. It isn’t charity work. Yes, it is what we love to do, and only want to do. This makes it more feasible. That’s why everyone should expect good indie books to start at $2.99 – it’s a step towards making indie authorship worthwhile.
Note this is only one method. It’s not the only one, and for some reason there are probably those that would disagree with the entire thing. I personally think that doing what you love for a living would be the best way of life. I know that doesn’t fit in with the industrial world all that much, but it sure sounds nice. Besides, aren’t there people that want to do all the jobs that some of us hate, those are their loves in life, the things they want to do? Let them do what they love, let me do what I love. Let me produce something and actually derive benefit from its worth.
They are a corporation, and ultimately looking out for themselves, but right now Amazon seems to realize that by just taking a small % of each sale, they can improve their business by empowering individuals. They make money helping other people make money. It’s amazing. Hopefully it keeps going in the right direction. There is always the possibility of change. For now, this pricing change is good. Expect, enjoy the fact that indie kindle books will start at $2.99. If it isn’t good, there is a refund anyways!
677 words I could have used in a novel.