I don’t want to be rich


C’mon now, stop laughing.  It’s mostly true.  Sure there are a lot of things I can’t do now that being rich would allow, but it’s not like I have a bad life.  So maybe I could change the “want” to “need”, but either way the effect is the same for our post today.

When my book was first published, one of the most important things to me was that it be easy for people to read.  Not easy to read, but easy to read.  You know, affordable.

It wasn’t just that we were still struggling to claw our way out of a terribly bad economic period, although that certainly resonated with me.  It was also that I wanted as many people as possible to have the opportunity to read the book because, in the hubris that you need as a writer, I thought it was an entertaining story.

The first thing I found out was that I had little control over the price of the printed book.  Not that I didn’t suspect that, but it was still dismaying to realize the price that the book “required” to suit publisher, distributor, end retailer and maybe a little pocket change for me.   Growing up with 50 cent paperbacks in my youth made me unrealistically dream of making my book more affordable.  Uh, no.

The e-book pricing offered a more flexible option.  In point of fact, I had total control on that pricing down to a minimum price my publisher did not want me to drop below.  In some bizarre and confused thought process at the time, I chose a price point based on a royalty schedule rather than market pricing, let alone my previously stated goal of affordability.

After several months on the market, the paperback sales were dusting the e-books.  Strange, I thought, since the book seemed to fit so well with the demographics of e-readers.  I decided to peruse the listings at the various online portals for e-books.

My research was both eye-opening and head-slapping.  Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of e-books were priced extremely affordable, from classics to new entries.  Sure, the most popular/successful authors maintained a higher e-book price, but the bulk of the listings were significantly lower than my book.  No wonder mine was selling so slowly.  Duh.

I immediately contacted my publisher with my decision to lower my e-book price and they not only agreed but offered their own research supporting my decision and price point.  My initial reaction was pleasure at reaching my original goal, increasing the availability and affordability of the book.  My second reaction was puzzlement over my initial choice in pricing the e-book so “high” originally.

I can only plead inexperience.  I am an enthusiastic and motivated writer.  Not so much as a salesman.  A wiser man than I would have researched the e-book pricing structure months ago, if not before the original price was set.  The good thing to take away is that I am still open to gaining wisdom, if at a slower pace than others (now, if I ever master that maturity thing, I’ll be set).

The new price of the e-book surely won’t make me rich, but I don’t want or need to be rich.

I wouldn’t say no to well-off, though.

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