THE 99 CENT BOOK 10-8-2014
What does that say to the public about this precious piece of art that is unique and wonderful and you spent blood, sweat and tears producing? The practice just screams “I don’t think my book is worth anything.”
Why would anyone do this? Well, of course, the author is thinking if I can’t sell my book for $20, or $15, or $5, it will surely sell for only $1. The idea is to sell a lot of books. “If you sell a million books at $.99 cents, it’s still a million dollars (almost). But nobody sells a million books. And in today’s market for self-pub you can consider yourself very luck to sell 350. Will you be happy with $350 for the book you created? I think not. You are not doing yourself any favors. Your message to the public is - I’m so desperate to get your attention that I’ll give you my book for free (basically).
You may find this hard to believe but when people receive something for free (or almost) they aren’t vested. It didn’t cost them anything and therefore it doesn’t require any attention. Chances are, it will never be read. Even missionaries sell their pamphlets and bibles for a nominal fee because they know this. Another piece of psychology is that when someone wants something they will find a way to purchase it - no matter the price. It really is true.
More emphasis should be put on quality customers. In my philosophy, every book you sell should change someone’s life. (At least, that’s the aim.) Again, that’s easier with a non-fiction book, but it should apply to fiction as well. If you can change somebody’s life, the numbers don’t matter so much. The impact is what matters. The aim, really, is to create a lively conversation between authors and readers. But I’ll take fewer readers with more engagement than more readers who aren’t engaged. You want your readers to be waiting anxiously for your next book.