If I were a gambling man, I'd place my money on e-books becoming the dominant way people consume fiction. Saleswise, they already are in many markets. Give it a couple more years, and e-books will be beamed directly into eyeballs.

 

So does it matter for an author of any genre to put out a print book?

 

Tonight, I was at an event with many prospective readers. Let's call them, "my relatives." They said Kindles are great and everything, but they really wanted a print book. Given they tend to be middle class, educated women in their mid-years (i.e. a large demographic that buys books on a regular basis), I took their comments to heart.

 

It's good to get with the times on the e-book front, but it'd be foolish to abandon traditional readers. The beauty of this Golden Age of Writing is you can have it both ways. It's never been easier to fill readers' preferences in every demographic.

 

I'm not alone in this thinking. New York Times bestselling author Debbi Mack - someone who made it big on e-books - writes more about print books here on her blog.

 

What do you think? Do print books still matter?

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They take a percentage of the sale. No money upfront. And you get free distribution into Amazon, since it owns CreateSpace. Good deal.

Yes, I know.  I keep saying I must do this.  But the print rights aren't back yet.  Still I have some books that are new.  I can still sell the e-books, right?

Yes, no problem there at all, Ingrid. And there are certainly a lot of eBook authors who have never offered their books in print.

I've heard a similar argument about price: a more expensive book is perceived as more "professional" compared to a novel selling for .99-4.99 (or whatever the range really is).

Books (full length novels) that are offered at .99 to 3.99 scream "Desperation!".  E-readers have discovered that low price frequently signals trash.

I.J.

I think you're right (not that they are all trash) but the bargain discount pricing isn't working any longer. Now, I think indie-published authors must create a pricing plan just like publishers do. I think length is the best way to do that. Short stories for .99, novellas, five-story collections 2.99-4.99, novel length work 5.99 to 9.99.

You come across as looking professional and as if you believe in your own work. I do.

Oh come on. E-readers are smart enough to try samples and ignore the trash. Why do you tar everyone with the same brush? My two novels are priced at 2.99. They are not trash and I am not desperate. I am realistic. If you price your novels at the same price as Lisa Gardner's, guess which novel most people will buy.

Bargain hunters are not always return customers, and cheapening full-length novels doesn't help anyone.

You have a right to your opinion, IJ, and that's all it is. An opinion. Speaking of worth, your opinion is worth no more than mine.  

True.  :)

 

I should add that my statement about 99 cent novels was based on information garnered from such web sites as J.A.Konrath, Kathryn Rush, and Dean Wesley Smith.  More specifically on comments from their readers who quoted from such sites as Kindle Boards and Goodreads.  Of course that doesn't mean I don't agree that much that is out there now is in fact trash.

Not to add fuel to this fire, but I believe the issue is not that price point determines quality, but the public's perceived value is determined by price (the belief you get what you pay for). The evidence seems to be -- and look to Konrath's and Dean's recent posts for more on this as I.J. suggests -- e-readers are becoming more discriminatory about their e-purchases and more often now equate very low prices with low quality. More and more authors are suggesting for novel length work 4.99 to 9.99 pricing my be the sweet spot.

All this talk of e-books and print books and I'm starting to feel a little left out. lol Guess it's good to absorb all the advice before officially entry into the industry. Still, I better step up that agent search. 

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