Long story short, it’s because I’ve tried everything else. But it seems no matter what I do, or what I try, I simply can't sell books. And I’m left wondering if, because I’ve waded in the .99 cent to $2.99 seas for so long, people aren’t even finding me anymore. I’m postulating if I raise my prices closer to what, you know, real publishers charge, and what people who buy books from, you know, real publishers expect to pay, then maybe, people will at least have a chance to find me.
By way of background, my short stories have been priced at .99 cents (that is, when I haven’t just been giving them away) for years. They're not selling. The novels I have control over have been priced at $2.99 (and in two cases, $3.99) in all that time too. They’re not selling either. And at the low, low price of $2.99, even my most recent book isn’t selling, and I mean, c’mon! It’s got zombies, and New York City, and a mob hitman, and a “Poseidon Adventure”-style feel to it. WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?
And no, it’s not because they suck, either. Seriously. I mean, one or two may be kind of “meh” (and you’ll have to read them to discover for yourself!) but I’m quite sure they don’t suck; believe me, I’ve thought long and hard and been brutally honest with myself before grudgingly reaching that conclusion.
I do recognize the DICK LONDERGAN CHRONICLES were a departure for me, that they're offbeat and not for everyone. Yet oddly enough, they’ve been my bestsellers this year (by "bestsellers" I mean maybe a half-dozen or so, at .99 cents a pop.) So I do think when the right people read them, they indeed get a kick out of them.
I recognize too that I probably write in too many genres (humor, horror, etc.) and people might just be confused about what I write. If they like a Dick Londergan Chronicle, they might think, “Yeah, but I don’t read zombie or vampire stuff.” But know what? If I like a writer, I like a writer, and will read whatever they write. If that makes me guilty of thinking there are other people out there like me, so be it.
Basically, it’s about discoverability. Maybe people simply dismiss ebooks that are priced so cheaply. Or maybe, because my “Customers Also Bought Items By” list on Amazon is filled with people nobody ever heard of, who also either give their books away or sell their books very cheaply, they’re not finding me that way either.
So, want to get to know hard-boiled P.I. Dick Londergan? It’ll cost you $2.99. Want to read a terrific New York zombie adventure? That’ll cost you $4.99 (or try out the prequel for $2.99 and see if it’s for you.) Want to read a fun Red Sox tale that’s fit for the whole family? It’ll cost you $3.99.
However, you CAN currently read my pirate adventure SWASH! for the low, low price of just .99 cents! Limited time only, I’m afraid. That one might go up to $5.99 at some point, because you know why? It’s worth every penny.
If you’ve made it this far (and recent studies of users web habits reveal that most of you haven't) thanks (as always) for your forbearance, for your continued support of my writing, and for just being you! And hey, if this new pricing scheme doesn't work, if people don't buy my books at higher prices the same way they weren't buying them at lower prices, then I've lost nothing because . . . well. I think Mr. Preston said it best: