Monthly Archives: January 2015

Why Indie Authors Should Set Higher Prices

Indie authors have been cashing in on low-priced books for a long time. It makes sense; traditional publishers have been slow to come down on their prices, and readers who want to consume more titles naturally turned to the lower-priced options that spark their interest.
Lately, however, this has been changing. Publishers have finally begun selling directly to consumers. For decades they (like other producers) have not sold directly because they needed to support bookstores. Selling direct cut out the middleman, and bookstores would have suffered.
Then came the chain stores and Amazon. For a time, publishers didn’t suffer much because the bigger retailers were able to move more titles than the small shops.
Indie authors cashed in because there was an untapped market: readers who, because they read so much, needed lower prices in order to fuel their desires.
Now, however, ebooks in general and direct-to-reader sales are changing the sales landscape. Without the middleman, publishers can offer discounts more in line with the standard price points indie authors set for their books. And readers find that they can locate quality projects much more quickly using a traditional publisher than by sifting through unknown indie authors’ offerings.
My advice for indies is to keep your books in line with traditional price points. Go with $3.99 as a sale price for smaller sales, and save the $0.99 sale price for big moves or less frequent specials. Have a retail price between $6.99 and $9.99. This signals the quality in your book, and will help direct readers back to your titles.

Book Review: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

A very dark read and yet you have these moments where you really feel for the main character. He’s not a nice guy but consider the situation under which he grew up and how terribly he was treated. Then, just at the time when you’re feeling compassion, the author kicks in something to remind you how bad a person he really is. And when you’re starting to feel a high ick factor from being in his head, you suddenly read something that enhances your sympathy.
Exceptionally well done all the way through, including with the plot. The end was very different than what I expected, and a masterful performance. I will be looking for more novels by this author. A fantastic read!
5 stars!
Feel like more dark fiction with a unique plot? Try He Drinks Poison.

Book Review: The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

Really enjoyed this one. It’s a rare find; I don’t care for hard science fiction but the classics I have always enjoyed. So having this author pointed out to me was fantastic.
The story is compelling. Lots of ideas about insiders/outsiders according to cultural and social norms and conventions…very timely for today’s world.
5 stars!

Books Outsell Movies

Every year, it seems, we hear that books and other media forms are competing against each other. That might be true but in this race, books win.
Within the media sector, books are the largest content creation category. For 2014, revenue generated from books was $151 billion, while movies created $135 billion. These numbers track only titles from traditional publishers and indie books with ISBNs, so the actual gap is significantly higher.
Keep writing. People want to read your books…and they want to read more than they want to watch movies.

Book Review: Thank Earth You by Armand Daigle

I read this novel in one great big semi-hallucinatory gulp. What a ride!
I can’t encapsulate the story better than the description has, so I won’t try. Instead I’ll focus on what was so interesting about this work.
This follows a man who not only seeks an escape route but who finds it. The drudgery of the workaday world, the annoyances of coworkers, and the feeling that there must be something more are going to be familiar to a lot of people in many different professions. It really doesn’t matter if the character is an engineer or a fast-food worker…the point is that he’s wondering if this is all there is to life.
Then answer, as he discovers, is no. Through spiritual quests and moments of complete awareness, his consciousness launches into that eternal now that provides so much enlightenment. At many points in the novel, I had to wonder if this really was a novel. The scenes he describes while he’s visiting that celestial dimension are so vivid that I felt surely they must be based on the author’s real experiences.
This is not a simple read, despite the fact that I jammed through it in a day. It will challenge readers who aren’t prepared to follow the character into that other realm of light and enlightenment. I call the experience semi-hallucinatory for a reason…and that is clearly one of the reasons to read this book. If you’ve quested before or are interested in what it’s like to have these powerful experiences, read this book. The author takes you there…and yet at the end, he deposits you safely back in your seat.
5 stars!
Interested in fiction that delves into the metaphysical? Try Message Stick, winner of two national awards, and He Drinks Poison, short-listed for several national prizes.

Numbers that Matter from Nielson’s Children’s Book Summit

Nielson’s 2014 summit offered statistics gathered for the previous 4 years in children’s/YA publishing. In addition to posting growth all those years, the categories that performed the best were YA and middle-grade books (also called chapter books).
2014 was reported to be the “best year ever” for the C/YA category. Last year, 17 of the 20 top-performing books were C/YA. A full 35% of the market for physical books is in this category for US sales.