Apr 182011
 

… a lot of work, with little pay.

I imagine this isn’t what readers want to hear from a self-published author… well from any authors, really. I’ve decided to take a pricing stand with Shadow Cat. So why am I telling you this? Well basically, it’s like any goal… to keep me strong.

You see, I’ve been dinking around with the price of Shadow Cat ever since it went live. I started with an introductory price of $0.99 then bumped it up to $2.99. It didn’t stop there. Shortly after I lowered the price again. Some weeks I’m fiddling with the price every chance I can get. Why? Because I really like sales. I’m not going to lie to you. I want folks to buy my books. I’d really like to make an significant income. I’m not asking for a living–at least not yet. I’d be happy with a couple hundred dollars of extra spending money each month. Seriously… I’m being modest here and probably selling myself short in the process, considering the work I put into Shadow Cat.

I’m going to tell it to my audience like it’s straight for a moment, whether or not you agree what my time is worth or not, or even if Shadow Cat is worth one brown penny.

It took me two and half months to write the first draft of Shadow Cat. I’m not talking an hour here or an hour there. During that two and half month period, that was my full-time job. Some writers write faster, some write slower… but that was me. For those of you who work  full-time jobs, imagine working your job for two and a half months for no pay. That was me… ticking away, word after word, with no guarantee of pay. And trust me, I didn’t do it simply out of love. I wanted to see a profit at the end of my hard work.

My work with Shadow Cat didn’t end with the first draft. For the next year (not like the first draft, but on and off), I edited, revised, and rewrote Shadow Cat no less than five times… all for no pay… no guarantees, just a dream. Then I sent it to critters for advice, corrections, and lots of heartbreak. Then I was back to the editing and revisions again. I’m just saying, it took a lot of time to prepare Shadow Cat for release.

I’ve received quite a few wonderful reviews praising Shadow Cat. I’ve also received two not-for-me reviews, and even those were wonderful and thoughtful. I consider myself lucky, because unlike many who have gone through the novel writing process for many, many years to hone their skills and produced scores of manuscripts for no pay, Shadow Cat was my first full-length novel.

I’m sure someone out there is thinking… oh, her first novel… the one which never should have been seen. Yes, my first, but don’t let that fool you. Like I said, the reviews it’s received are pretty decent. And being the social recluse that I am, I had no face-to-face friends or family to skew the results of my reviews. Each one was acquired the good old fashion way–by submitting requests to review bloggers. And of course there were people who read Shadow Cat on their own accord who added their piece. Thank you all! That’s not saying I didn’t ask a few folks (critique partners and one friend) to add their honest review, which they’ve yet to do. Though I’ll admit, I did ask one critique partner if she thought it was a one or two,star, please let’s just keep it between the two of us. Haha She’s opted out of telling it to me straight, but since she critiqued my work, I have a clue about her likes and dislikes.

I’m just saying, what you see out there for Shadow Cat reviews come from folks who are simply sharing their honest opinions. And if you backtrack to the source, you’ll find many come from established book reviewers. So I’m just saying… ramble, ramble.

Anyway, back to the numbers. Two and half months writing the first draft, a year preparing Shadow Cat for the public world, all for no pay. So I was thinking, whether I price Shadow Cat at $0.99, $2.99, or $3.99, my sales numbers really aren’t that great. At $0.99, I make a 70% profit.

I’ll be honest… like I haven’t already been, right? Placing Shadow Cat at $0.99 gives me a low scum like feeling. I try to convince myself that the market dictates the pricing. But here’s the thing… I believe in my work. Each time I lower the price, it’s like me doing opposite of what I thought I believed. It’s really not worth the mental anguish any more. At this point, I would rather not sell any books than to say to myself, the work I put into Shadow Cat is worth $0.35 a pop.

In this day and age, could you imagine working for 12-15 months for free, then turn around and taking a $0.35 a day job? I don’t think so. I’m not asking you to purchase a copy of Shadow Cat, though I would love for you to do so. I’m still sort of sane, after all. I’m just saying, this is my stand. I won’t play the number games any more. Even if the rest of the world thinks my efforts are worth nothing, I think otherwise. Don’t stand around waiting for me to cave.

Currently, Shadow Cat is priced at $3.99 for the eBook. What about $2.99, you ask? What about it? It’s a full length novel and a fraction of the cost of the print book, yet provides the same reading experience, less the bulkiness. Read the reviews, read the samples and decide if you want to shell out a measly $3.99. Like I said, I’m not asking you to purchase Shadow Cat. Your money is yours to do with what you please.

Besides, 🙂 if you follow my website or blog and really had wanted Shadow Cat, wouldn’t you have picked it up already? You’ve had several months to scoop it up for $0.99-2.99. I’ve even gone as far as to offer it for free to those willing to review it. That’s four months of introductory prices.

I love readers. I love reviews (the praise and the criticism–they’re learning opportunities). At the same time, I love feeling good about myself. Yes, I feel a little crappy when no one purchases Shadow Cat for weeks when priced  at $2.99. But I feel even worse when no one purchases it when I lowered the price to dirt cheap. Maybe months down the road when I release my next book, I’ll revisit this price thing again. For now, Shadow Cat can live or die at $3.99. Buy it; don’t buy it. 🙂 But if you decide you’re willing to pay fair value for Shadow Cat, like I hope you’re getting paid on your job, it’s available at:

Shadow Cat Cover ArtAmazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Nobles

Smashwords

Book Depository

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