Monday, September 12, 2011
DOES THE .99 CENT PRICE SCARE E-BOOK READERS AWAY?
There's some validity to his comment. The perception of a cheap product is that's it's . . . well . . . cheap. Let's face it, if it sounds too good to be true, then it is—right? I mean if a stranger calls you at home and congratulates you for winning a free vacation you'd never entered to win, you hang up as quickly as possible—right? I do anyway. So it's understandable for readers to be suspicious.
Now it's hard to have a serious conversation about .99 cent e-books without bringing up John Locke. Just in the past year John decided to direct his focus on the publishing world and made no bones about the fact he wanted to be the most successful .99 cent author on the planet. Mission accomplished. It's easy to point fingers here, I mean if you live in a neighborhood of $250,000 homes and someone starts selling their investment houses on your street for $99,000—guess what? You now live in a $99,000 home.
But this isn't John's fault and he bears no responsibility for this situation. On the contrary, without John's success, hundreds of Indie authors would never get their books read without his rise to the top of the charts and subsequent media attention. It's not his fault we don't have his marketing skills. Remember, the guy was an extremely successful businessman before he ever laid eyes on the publishing world and set his goals.
So how do we break these preconceived notions? How do we convince readers to take a chance on an unproven commodity like a cheap e-book from an unknown author? Become a known author! That's right, you sell your books for .99 cents or $2.99 or $4.99 because you want to develop fans. There are hoards of readers out there just looking for new talent and when they find it, boy they'll latch on to you for life. You can't compete with James Patterson's name, but you can undercut his price to lure potential readers to your writing. And remember, the strongest marketing tool is word of mouth. People who do buy those inexpensive e-books will tell their friends about it and so on and so on.
Now here's the important part of this entire conversation: don't rush out there and throw garbage onto Amazon just because John Locke made millions selling these things and why can't you? If you're serious about developing a fan base, then write quality books, then write more quality books, then repeat. You may need to write 20 novels before you can make a nice little income from your sales, but it will be a result of your hard work and passion. And after all, isn't that why we began writing in the first place, because we had a passion to write? At least that's why I started and I think there's many of you out there who began the same way. Never lose sight of that fact.