Thriller writer J.A. Konrath has been on a roll in recent months with his exceptional success in the ebook-selling business. I only stumbled across his blog last week, but in reading his comments, I realized instinctively what he later said in this post. What he's learned, and what my penny-pinching Scottish-influenced upbringing taught me years ago, is that there are lots of people who will take a low price on an unknown product simply because it's low. Take the ebook phenomenon, for example.
They don't care so much that they don't know who the author is at first; if you're only charging them a dollar or two for a full novel, and you've got a strong blurb and nice cover art, some of them will try it. If you've written a story that they can really get into, they'll buy another book of yours, even if it's more expensive.
The way to a reader's heart is through his or her wallet. But only if you use a small hole.
To this end, the fantasy trilogy I'm working on, with the working title of The Truthfinder Series, will very likely start making its appearance online for exclusive ebook purchase starting late this year. And it'll be cheap. Anyone who looks at the difference between costs associated with print books vs. ebooks will see that pixels are basically free, as far as the production side goes. The people who are freaked out by this are those who are already paying lots of money to make or buy paper books. You've heard about how traditional publishing companies want to set the price of the ebooks they're distributing? They're keeping the prices competitive with their print copies, because they're afraid they'll lose customers from the print side, and that they'll flock to the e-side. Which would probably happen to some degree, even though there will always be those who adore the feel of a paper book, the smell of ink, and the physical sensation of turning pages. Or, as in my case, those who get headaches from too much screen time. Alas, it's true: I'm doomed to be a treekiller.
Those of us who write the books, well, we have all sorts of opinions about the two media. Mine is simply to get my stories out to those who enjoy reading in my genres. I have no illusions about getting rich doing this. I don't want to charge people a lot of money and have that put them off buying. None of us are happy that way. But if I lower my price way down into the bucket and offer my product in various worldwide e-markets, such as Kindle, the Sony Digital Reader, Kobo, Apple and Barnes and Noble, there will eventually be people who take a chance on it, even if they have no idea who I am.
And there's nothing you can do to stop me. My plan has already been put into motion, with works available at Smashwords (in process of uploading to Sony, Apple, BandN, and Kobo) and Kindle, and more on the way.
Mwa ha ha haaaa.