Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I need advice

The past week has put me in a funk.  The kids, our finances, the damn drought...they've all conspired to make me a grouch.  So Monday night, I headed to the movies all by myself, Peggy Olson style (although I was doing it more than a decade ago before Mad Men was around to inspire me).  I used to go solo all the time to the movies--it's relaxing to be quiet for awhile, soaking in a story.  Sunday mornings are best, but Monday night was pretty tame, too.  I saw The Avengers and learned a few things:

1) Chris Hemsworth is perfectly cast as a god.  Loved him in Thor, and again in this flick.  Per usual, I'm asking myself why I can't be Natalie Portman, but I think we all know I'd be the chunky sidekick anyway.

2) I am really glad I don't live in NYC or any other big target for aliens.  Kansas City wouldn't be on most aliens' radar, except for maybe the most savvy who'd realize that the bbq really is that good. Of course, perhaps I'd rather my city be destroyed by a giant fishy monster thingie than survive and be enslaved and forced to mine dilithium crystals.

3) I don't actually hate Samuel L. Jackson as much as I thought.  I almost liked him in this movie!

Random squash photo.  Pretty, isn't it?

But all of this is a completely unrelated introduction to my post for today (it's my blog, so I can do it any which way I want, right?  Preferably with orangutans named Clyde, but that's not always possible).

I would like your advice.

I know, weird coming from someone who dishes it out so easily.

I have written a non-fiction e-book.  And I have no idea how to price it.  E-books are priced so inconsistently that this is not an easy task.  I recently bought one for 99 cents to see what I'd get at that price and not only did it consist of regurgitated blog posts, but it was also not very much substance.  I've spent five times that amount for disappointing content, and I've bought $2 books that were awesome.  One e-book I read a few months ago wasn't even that great or ground-breaking, but the writer has sold a few thousand copies at almost $10 a piece!

My book: 98% of the content is completely original, never seen before by my readers, so I'm not recycling anything from the blog except for maybe a couple of anecdotes.  I had briefly considered working in some essays and testimonials from others, but decided to stick with my own writing.  The subject matter?  Generally speaking, it's about motherhood and being home with the kids, so kind of a niche market. It falls under self-help (as much as it pains me to use that phrase, it works).

It's looking to be between 125 and 150 pages, perhaps more (haven't converted it yet).  I'll offer it in as many formats as I can.  The book is still in the editing stage, but I'm hoping to wrap things up soon.  

So any advice? I've thought about offering it for free as a gift to the universe or as high as $1Million since it took a long time to write this thing. Neither of those seem appropriate, so I'm open to ideas.  Feel free to comment here or send me a private message at

PS I have not gotten any good spam or rants recently.  You guys, those brighten my day!!


  1. I would totally pay $10 to read your story (and can't wait until it comes out!!!) but I have only purchased one other "E-book" so I am a horrible person to be giving advice. Are you able to start it out at a certain price and then drop the price if it looks like not many copies sell?? See, I'm an idiot when it comes to what you're asking. But I AM excited to read it!!!!

  2. I have a completely arbitrary rule - if a book is over $10, I don't download it. Unless I really really want to read it.

    I have no actual advice. But I do hope you find a way out of your funk!

  3. Don't go into double digits - psychologically, $9.95 just LOOKS cheaper than $10.00.
    I am with the start as high as you can and drop down slowly.
    Have a friend who just published her e-book in January and she offered the option of downloading a couple of chapters for free. Worked on me! From the blurb, I would have never have bought this book, but after reading those freebie pages, I was hooked and HAD to buy the book. Apparently this has worked well for her - sales are starting to escalate and she has even sold in 4 other countries.
    Heading down this road myself in a few months, so keep us posted on your adventure - I love voyeuristic learning curves!
    Good luck! I know from your other writing that this book is probably outstanding, so I would buy it even at a higher price, but my one purchase won't line your coffers...

  4. This is what was on her Amazon page in a little box off to the side:

    Try it free
    Sample the beginning of this book for free

    Deliver to your Kindle or other device

    How sampling works
    Available on your PC


    Congrats on the book. Although, I don't have any advice on pricing. Just wanted to be sure you knew I loved ya.


  6. As with the others, I would suggest pricing it a bit on the high side and then lowering the price if you need to...Pete's advice on not going into the double digits is also excellent.

    Now, so you'll feel better:

    SPAM sammich
    SPAM and eggs
    SPAM and noodle casserole
    SPAM and pineapple bake
    SPAM spaghetti
    SPAM and veg pie
    SPAM cake


    HAH! I CAN dish it out! Just call me PUN-elope PUN-stop!

  7. i would say try the 5-10 range... but i haven't read much from that niche so i have no clue if that is right (i WILL purchase and read your book though!)

    i'd also recommend getting some of the local radio stations to review it - i just bought a book (some of my best friends are black - tanner colby) from a review and interview with the author on 96.5 the buzz...

    i also like the freebie notion - although i'd put a snippet right there to be read on amazon (or wherever) because i hate downloading samples onto my nook!

  8. I've also got this question. I've been doing a lot of research on the topic and I've decided I'm going to price mine at $2.99. That seems to be most people's breaking point if they've never heard of you. Sure, there are one or two people who would pay ten bucks, but I'd rather have thousands pay three bucks. 99 cents is too cheap. I kind of like the idea of 4.99 with a free chapter too now. Will have to look into that.

  9. I agree with going lower, I'd say no more than $4.99, more people are likely to buy it if its a good deal, and then if they really enjoy it they may look for you in the future (if you write another) and they may be willing to pay more if they feel it's going to be quality.



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