What Is The Value of a Story?

Welcome to Thoughty Thursday! This is the day of the week that y’all get to be privy to whatever thoughts are kicking around in my brain.

Today I’m thinking about books.

Like most of you, I love  the printed word.  Particularly when it comes as a book.

I love my Kindle, but honestly, all book types are equal to me: paper books, e-books, novellas, story anthologies. I don’t care. I just want the story.

While I like touching and smelling paper books, I adore being able to have new books delivered to my Kindle any time of day or night. I love getting samples for free. And I completely dig that the e-books are so much cheaper.

Um, excuse me…what? My new Nora Roberts hardback isn’t  $9.99 any more? OK, does she get any more of that new higher “agency model” price? No?? Dang.

Authors, we have a problem…

Don’t get me wrong, I actually think that this moment in history is THE best time to be an author. Whether you believe the Big 6 is dying or not, writers simply have more control over their careers than they ever have before.

I’m not questioning whether my writer pals should go traditional or indie — honestly, if it’s not my book, I don’t care. As long as I can read the books I want, when I want, how I want, I’m good.

Nope, the problem I think all writers have is fear.

How many of us have our value as a writer (hell, as a person) tied up with the following:

  • The amount of recognition given to our books.
  • The number of copies we sell.
  • The amount of money we make with our art.

The more control we have over these things, the bigger the fear. Ripping a piece of your soul off and weaving it into a story is a painful, heady, thing. Our souls are worth a lot, right? They should be appreciated.

You always hear the phrase: Know your worth!

OK, but…um….how??!

Is a piece of your soul book worth $0.99? $2.99? $9.99?

What is the value of a story? I’d argue that books like those in the Lord of The Rings trilogy or the Harry Potter series, books that have been loved and absorbed into the fabric of our culture, are priceless.

When you meet characters who live in your heart forever, how do you set a price to that?

When a book transports you to new worlds, and fires your imagination, it’s a little hard to measure that feeling in terms of dollars and cents.

The video below was shown at my last staff meeting in the accounting firm I work for part-time. It illustrates the rub of charging for time rather than for product or service.

(My favorite line? “Damn good hushpuppies!”)


Can you imagine if an author tried to do what Bob does?? That book took me 2 years to write…my rate is sixty bucks an hour.” (People would be lining up around the block to buy that one, eh?)

The question remains, how do you put a price tag on a dream?

I can’t figure it out, so I’m opening the floor for you. Am I the only one who thinks about things like this? How do you perceive value when it comes to books? How do you define the value of your own writing? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

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About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! My passion is finding those qualities that are unique in every person and every piece of fiction. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com). Write on!
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69 Responses to What Is The Value of a Story?

  1. donnagalanti says:

    Great stuff to think about! I was reading about complaints on rising ebook prices. Just because a books is not paper doesn’t mean the author shouldn’t get paid for his intellectual work, right? His hours, weeks, months of writing. Honestly, I prefer print. If I really want a book I will pay $15 for the paperback vs. $10 ebook. My ebooks tend to sit invisible in my Kindle, easily ignored. And it is hard to put dollars to our worth as a writer. It’s something we slog at and dont get paid for a long time. Nowhere else do we do a job upfront for months and not get paid, right? :) A friend recently asked me about my book that just came out, “so when will you see money?” When I told her not for 6 months she gasped in disbelief (and horror!). Yep. But we do it because we love it. Otherwise we wouldnt do it!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Awesome comment, Donna. And I laughed because this is one of the only professions where you might not get paid for your work for 6 months, 2 years, 10 years or ever. So, yes, it must be the love. :-)

  2. Early in my writing career I often heard, “If you’re writing to get rich. You’re writing for the wrong reason.”

    But, isn’t that what we all dream will happen? That said, I also look at the lottery scratch-offs that are Christmas stocking-stuffer traditions in our house and dream about what I’d do if my ticket had the Five Grand a Month for Twenty Years (!) hidden beneath those symbols. Dreams fuel the itch to scratch and write and play with my words.

    It’s the joy of the process — when I don’t let Fear of Failure curdle by happy sauce. It’s having my efforts validated by readers who love my voice and the characters in my head. Cue Citibank Commercial: Watching someone chuckle when they read the words you’ve written: Priceless.

    And, my you are thoughty today, Jenny. Great topic. Off to write some snark now. Later!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m not going to tell you I don’t have dreams of coming back as Jenny Crusie…but I agree that the joy of the process is what gets me through the day. And the community. The writing community makes it all worth it. But I still wish this price thing would work itself out.

  3. Sherry Isaac says:

    My dream is to snag the Dirty Fight Title 2012. WOOT!

    To undervalue an ebook, to me, is to say the value of the story within is related to and only to the cost of the paper it is printed on. The time, and talent, of the author (never mind the cover design, the editing, the marketing) are of little value. Bad news for the time-honoured, multi-cultural, worldwide and revered tradition of storytelling.

    Weird, because consultants charge exorbitant fees for opinions and recommendations. If they emailed their findings instead of printing and binding, would the value of their recommendation plummet to 10% of the original cost?

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Sherry, that is the sweetest “Get off your hiney and finish the contest” I’ve ever received!! April kicked said hiney and I’m just now dusting off the dirt from the last month. *Crossing fingers that you get the win.*

      I would agree to your thoughts on the pricing model if the author was getting any more or less. However, by all accounts that I’ve read, agency pricing doesn’t help the Big 6 author. It does help the indie author, but I’d like the “more money in the author’s pocket” to be universal. :-)

  4. S. J. Maylee says:

    Okay, my mind just exploded :D in a good way. Important questions, have no idea how to answer, but I like the question. Oh, and I love the video!! Thanks, Jenny.

  5. Wow – amazing video that has totally got me thinking!! I am not sure WHAT the answer is but I know that it comes down to knowing what you feel YOUR work is worth and standing up for that – whether you offer it in ebook or paper or hardcover or whatever! I think what that means is…it’s different for each person.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m with you…it is a deeply personal decision. But, the discussion here is helping me see a lot of different viewpoints in a single place, which is helping me tremendously!!

  6. gingercalem says:

    Very thoughty! A book takes time, effort and talent for the writer and is certainly valuable. But I also believe ebooks should cost less (heck, I love that I can get books for a great deal on my Kindle) due to less production costs. I think a lot of it comes down to supply and demand. As more and more people demand your books, you can charge more for them, even in ebook format. On the front end, for a new author, you might need to charge less in order to get big. :)

    Great discussion!

  7. Stacy Green says:

    I don’t have the answer, but I will say that if a book grabs me, I’ll pay $6 or $7 for it, no matter who the author is. And if it’s by a favorite author, I’ll pay more, ebook or no. But I think unproven authors like myself do have that fear of overpricing and readers not even giving their book a chance. I believe in the quality of my product, and I know I have a good story. But I don’t have the big reputation to back it up. And yet, I don’t want the price to be so low as for people to assume it’s riddled with errors(not saying all .99 books are, but many assume that to be the case). This is one of the other reasons I’m happier to be with a small press right now. They can make those decisions based on their experience while I write and learn.

    I’m babbling, but great discussion, Jenny.

  8. alberta says:

    many moons ago I made my living at ‘craft’ work – silk clothes hessian sculptures – do craft shows and the one thing that ticked those of us trying to actually scrape together a living was those who knitted jumpers inspare time for something to do and then pratcialy gave them away!:( real craft with talent and skill rarely claws back the hours put in but come on – dont give away stuff that has value. an author should be paid for the creativity and time put in.
    Paper, print, book store room,transport and professional services have to be factored into trad. costs yes but that is not all a book is about. The story is the important aspect. Give too many away free or at bottom prices and the whole craft of writing becomes devalued. People do not respect the work that goes into anything that costs next to nothing – the writer joins the forces of sweated labour and slaves.

    sorry for rant but feel strongly about it:)

    • KM Huber says:

      Ditto, Alberta! Believe it is about respect.
      Karen

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You’re not ranting. I feel very strongly about writers being paid for their work too. And I’ve seen this discussion on the freelance side where there are writers who will do jobs for a pittance that are skewing the entire scale for everyone else. I won’t teach for a pitiful amount so I struggle about the trend of people writing for a pitiful amount.

      However, as several of the comments here say, it IS all about getting in front of the readers.

  9. nabans says:

    you’ve asked a very nice and thinkable question. So, according to me the answer would be somewhat like this. I know this is not an exact one. A person who’s writing his dream doesn’t give a price tag to it until and unless the dream he has written wants to achieve it by selling that. Thats the only thing he can do to achieve it.

  10. Amber West says:

    So, I guess I think of it in two ways.

    As a reader, yeah, I don’t want to spend a lot for an e-book. I know the work that goes into writing and publishing a book, that cost is about more than the printing and materials, but at the core I want to spend as little as possible. I can go on abebooks.com and get physical copies on the cheap, so I certainly wouldn’t want to pay more for an e-copy.

    Now, as a writer, I want to see my fellow writers rewarded for the time and effort they put into their work. However, for my work, I’m a weird one. While I definitely wouldn’t mind being paid the big bucks for what I write, I don’t derive satisfaction or happiness from that. That isn’t part of my dream.

    I write because I love it. And I want others to love it, too. If they love it enough to pay me for it, fantastic! The price I choose to put on my work when I get to the publishing stage (if the choice is mine) will have more to do with releasing my work to more readers than putting a “value” on what I did. I can’t put a price tag on my work that reflects how I feel about it. (especially since one day I might feel like it’s priceless, and the next I might think it is worthless – yay for writerly mood swings :) )

    If giving it away for free for a period, or setting a lower price point is what gets it in front of others who can enjoy it, then that is the road I’ll go, without hesitation.

    • Fabio Bueno says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Amber!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I love your comment, Amber and I agree with you and Fabio that we write because we love it.

      But I was so distracted by the shiny object in your first paragraph: AbeBooks?? I’ve never heard of this and I’ve just been on the website for like 10 minutes!!

      • Amber West says:

        WHAT?!

        Abebooks is wonderful! It is how I afford to buy books even when the budget is super tight, or find specific hard to find books for gifts. It’s the bestest thing EVER! :)

  11. Dreams are priceless, Jenny. I fully agree with you there. I read and write because I love both and cherish stories and their creation. If we drop e-book prices too low, I don’t believe people value them. If we go too high, people take more time to consider the purchase and are more likely to talk themselves out of it. I’m no exception. I’d be less likely to be a $9.99 ebook I wasn’t super enthusiastic about. Free and 99-cent books, I might be less likely to read–unless, again, I’m super pumped about them. Print copies should cost more, in my opinion, for the same reasons Amber listed. Love these thoughty posts, Jenny!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, August! I do believe that e-book prices should be lower than print but not TOO low. Especially in this economy, it irks me to see books being priced so much higher when they don’t cost the publishers as much to format and print as the paper books.

  12. Julie Glover says:

    This was an excellent post, Jenny. I admit to being frustrated with some authors who churn out books quickly and charge .99 cents or less not just for a promotional time, but all the time. I have good friends who have started thinking that ebooks should be free or under a buck because they can find books in that range. I think that devalues the work of a writer.

    I’ve felt this way about other issues too. I don’t like the idea that all music should be free because work went into producing it. If I like what a composer, singer, and musicians do, I should be willing to fork out some money to get that product. The same is true with books.

    What’s the “right price”? I don’t know. The book market is in such fluctuation now; I think it will balance at some point. But I wouldn’t balk at paying $5-10 for an ebook and will often pay more if the work is highly recommended. Thanks for getting us all thinking here!

  13. Marie Trout says:

    We love writing, right? We are taught and conditioned to think that things we enjoy should cost us money – or we should at least do it for free…. Time to un-learn that one! The stuff we enjoy most is also where we authentically express the reason we are here on earth! This is our true – and priceless – value. How much should we get paid? Well, here we are looking at supply and demand type issues – another discussion for another day!

  14. As a writer, thankfully, I’m not at the point of having to think about pricing yet, LOL. However, I like Lindsay Bruoker’s thoughts on ebook pricing at least from the indie front.

    As a reader, I won’t pay as much for an ebook simply because I don’t have the same rights to sell, trade, etc. as a paper book. Yes, I can loan most out for a short period but once I bought them, I’m stuck with them. No, I can’t believe I just used ‘stuck’ while talking books either.

  15. Fabio Bueno says:

    Great discussion, Jenny! I believe the price of an ebook is just part of the author’s pricing strategy, not a measure of the work’s worth. Sometimes the author just wants to make a tidy profit; sometimes she wants to build a readership.

    As a redear, I like to buy cheap ebooks and used print books, because it helps me to take a chance on a new author, a new genre, sometimes even a new word count :-)

    But here’s the million-dollar-question: what’s our definition of “cheap”? Amazon put the books in a particular price range, and Apple and the big 6 also set minimum prices so the reader (consumer) would get “used to” a particular price. Our perception of “value” changed.

    It’ll be interesting to see how things develop.

  16. Juliana Haygert says:

    Great topic for discussion, but one that doesn’t have an easy answer …
    I agree with many people, but there is always a different point to consider … I like Lindsay Bruoker’s take, I like Zoey Winters take, and I understand Amanda Hocking’s take … I’m not saying one or the other is right and/or wrong.
    As for traditionally pubbed books, I want to buy Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance so I can finish the series, but the e-book is $15! I paid $10 for an e-book before and, well not that I like it, but I would pay $10 again for a super author with a super book, but $15? I’m not sure. Then I think I should go to the bookstore, but his hardcover is around $30 …
    Anyway, these are just my first thoughts … we could talk about this for hours and hours …

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I never bought the crazy pricy books to begin with. I could never bring myself to spent $20+ for a hardback that I could check out at the library in a few months. I’d wait for paperback to acquire it, unless Costco had a major sale.

      That being said, I love to read so much, I’d rather buy a 4 book bundle of the author’s older books for $10 AND another current book at normal price.

      I don’t think there’s an easy answer, but I sure to appreciate all these different viewpoints. What was Amanda Hocking’s take? I don’t think I saw that one. If you get back here, can you give me the link to that and Zoe Winter’s post?

  17. Really good discussion you’ve started here, Jenny. I guess after reading through the comments and having given a lot of thought to this issue for a while, I’d say several things. First, the question of value is not the same as the question of price. Second, there’s room in the marketplace for a range of prices. Does value fluctuate with price? Yes and no. Yes, to a certain point, and then no. So for instance, a Chanel suit is of higher quality and thus higher priced than a Wal-mart T-Shirt. But what about a Chanel suit vs. a St. John suit? They are so similar in appearance, style, fabric and quality. Is the Chanel really worth $10,000 more than the already expensive St. John? Probably not. What I think is that as writers, we need to distinguish between value and price. The value of our writing, at least to us, should be exceedingly high. The price is right when we are at a point to reach enough readers who will pay that price for the work. But another important issue is: why do we care about the price? Well, if we’re trying to make a living, the price is the most important piece of the puzzle. Because if we haven’t hit the sweet spot between what we need to charge and what the market will pay, we’ll soon be flipping burgers. So I guess where I come down on this is that we need to charge enough to make a profit, and we need to make as much profit as we need. Some writers are lucky enough to be financially independent of their writing, but most of us are not. For those of us who need to make money on our words, prices will be higher. Does that mean our words are more valuable than the writer who is independently wealthy, being supported by someone else, working off a grant, or whatever? I don’t think so. It just means our words must carry a heavier financial burden.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I agree that value and price are two different things, and i was purposely nebulous in the post because i’m curious about everyone else’s opinion.

      I think Kathy (K.B. Owen) brings up an excellent point when she talks about time, since that is the really short commodity for most of us these days.

      I always think everyone should make as much profit as they can for as long as they’re able, and also give back generously when they’re in a good financial place.

  18. First of all, I loved your little sign at the beginning. “When you give yourself to someone who doesn’t respect you, you give away pieces of your soul that you’ll never get back.”

    I think anything under $6 or $7 for a full-length book should be a temporary promotional price. I can’t see $.99 or $1.99 except maybe for re-introductions of old books that are currently out of publication – like Louis L’Amour or John D. MacDonald.

    We should never forget your sign.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I love the sign too. :-)

      I see books at all prices right now. The $2.99-4.99 has been the range where I felt the most comfort level, but I see a ton of fluctuation on it. One of the things I’m usually thinking about is whether or not the author is being paid for their work. That’s my number 1 beef with the Big 6 is that I don’t always see them putting the author high enough in the hierarchy.

  19. Emma says:

    I think ebooks should cost less than print books. Many people, myself included prefer to hold a physical book in our hands. I read ebooks, lots of them, but I have yet to pay over $5 for one. If an ebook I really want is priced above that, I’ll opt to buy the paperback instead, to feel it in my hands and know that I have gotten value for money.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Excellent point, Emma. I do love to hold a book, but I’ve gotten hooked on the instant gratification of my Kindle, even if the price is higher than I’d like for some of the books.

  20. Great discussion Jenny, and I agree with Diane about clearly defining “value” and price. A book’s “value” to you as a reader can be “this is crap” and toss it against the wall or “this is the most amazing thing in the world” and you run out and buy copies for your friends. So as writers and as business people we clearly need to know the difference — and I’ll add what did the author do to create that sense of value? What techniques did they use, how did they master the craft well enough to make me feel that way? The more we understand how other writers “create value” in their works, the more we can do that in our own writing and thus create books that will be of value to other readers. Then, when you’ve written the best book you know how, you need to go out and find the books that are comparable to yours and look and see how they are priced. I hope that makes some sense.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Fantastic comment, Rachel! And I’m so happy to hear that other people do that – go out and buy 4 copies and give them to all the people they love. Maybe it’s an author thing. :-)

      Part of why I did this post was to see how everyone else defined “value.” The comments have been fascinating.

  21. Karen McFarland says:

    Ooh, hot topic Jenny!

    I have always been self-employed. And most of that time was spent in sales. If you don’t put value in yourself, others won’t either. People buy from you if they like you. Bottom line. That’s just the nature of the beast. I think for the reader/consumer it boils down to how much are they willing to pay for the end product? And each product is different. That’s why most are willing to pay more for a name brand, than for generic. Aw, there’s the point. Brand. Branding ourselves. And that’s why Kristen Lamb has been preaching about this. For most people, they look for the brand and what that brand represents. Is G.E. the cheapest manufacturer? No. But they have a NAME. They are known for their goods and services. That’s why making a good name for ourselves is so important. And for that to happen, it takes a lot of time and effort on our part. That’s why writing good, quality posts on our blog IS so important. Our blogs represent who we are and how we want the public to perceive us. That makes it easier in the long run when we release our books, no matter what form or venue. When we earn our value, we gain trust and can then justify the investment. :)

    • Karen McFarland says:

      Well that sounds like a bunch of crap, doesn’t it? LOL! Is it safe for me to come down off my high horse now Jenny? :)

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I don’t think that sounds like a bunch of crap. that sounds like you’ve been paying attention. I am well aware that, without my blog, most of the free world would have no idea who I was. For sure, my community would be as diverse or as important to me if it weren’t for the personal interaction that comes with blogging.

      I loved your comment. Let me know if you want me to dump your second one. You weren’t on a high-horse at all – just being passionate about your topic. You go, girl!

  22. John Holton says:

    I bought a Kindle last July. Mary got her hands on it, and I ended up having to buy another because she wouldn’t give it up. Like you said, she loved the fact that she could buy books 24/7 and not have to get out of her chair.

    There’s always a difference between the price a publisher wants to charge for a book and what they can actually sell it for. E-books from the Big Six are priced almost as high as the hardcover version, which is way too high, and they’re losing sales because people are looking at the price and saying, “screw that noise, I’ll wait for the paperback, get it from the library, or get a used copy,” just like they have for years with hardcovers. Publishers know that they’re going to have to come down in price or lose the sales that they could be getting. And authors are aware of it as well. I got an email recently from Virginia Postrel, who wrote The Substance of Style, and the first thing she said was “one of my bugaboos is publishers’ tendency to charge high prices for e-books, ignoring customers’ price elasticity.” Especially when economic times are bad, people are much more sensitive to prices of things like books, and authors realize that when the publisher starts getting fussy about the price, they (the authors) lose money.

    I see it like pricing on hotel rooms. The price you see printed on the card in the room is what they hotel would like to charge, which might be two or three times what you’re actually paying. Hoteliers want to fill as many rooms as possible, so they have corporate rates, special rates for local businesses, weekend rates, rates they give to Kayak and Priceline, etc. In like fashion, publishers are going to have to accommodate people who aren’t willing to pay the higher price, which is just about everyone, and the authors, without whom the publishers have nothing to sell.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Excellent analogy, John! And your wife and I would get on like gangbusters. I’m madly in love with my Kindle. To the point that whenever a new one enters the family, my hubby gives it to me and takes the older model. :-)

  23. tomwisk says:

    I’m stuck in an existence that compells me to tell stories and an equal urge to be entertained by the stories of others. I would love a book deal for my stories, but I bridle at making a deal with the devil. I’m looking into self-publishing but don’t want a thousand copies of a book that didn’t sell. POD seems nice, but again I can become the published writer who shows up at family functions holding on to the belief that word of mouth will propel me to the rarified air of the NYT bestseller list.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Stuck seems like such a harsh word, Tom. Maybe “lucky to have an urge for the words?”

      p.s. I should never ever comment late at night, the Seuss-isms start flowing fast and furious.

  24. For me, it’s not so much what I’m worth, but what my fans are worth to me. I know I can afford to sell my books fairly cheap. They range from free to under $5. I make enough (or will be making enough soon) to not need to go higher than that. And it allows people who can’t afford a $9.99 book to read something entertaining. Self-published authors can afford to price cheaper and I know a lot of people out there who can’t afford to spend a ton of money on books. I’ll keep mine in a price range that won’t make them cringe.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      That’s a lovely way to look at it, Samantha. Have you seen a huge bump at any particular price point?

      • The best thing I ever did was put the first book in my novella series free. It gives people a taste of my writing without spending money on something they’re not sure about. I know some people hate the free thing, but I look at it as a chance to expose people to my style (which some love and some hate). Those that love it have gone on to buy all the following novellas in the series. And with money being so tight nowadays, people want to know what they’re getting into before they commit the cash.

  25. K.B. Owen says:

    Great discussion, Jenny and all! I think there’s more than price involved when folks are making a decision. In fact, I think that TIME is the most important factor in whether a person will take a chance on an unknown author. The difference between $10 and $13 dollars is insignificant if the $13 book is a known quantity that the reader feels confident will be worth the time spent reading it.

    Sorry that doesn’t answer your price question, Jenny – just my two cents’ worth, LOL. :D

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      But with sample chapters available to see if the book will hook me, there isn’t either much time or expense involved in trying out new authors for me. I’ll usually give someone 2-5 pages. If it’s an author I love, I’ll give them the entire first chapter.

  26. CC MacKenzie says:

    Interesting post, Jenny and everyone!

    Hmm, my book is about to go two days free on KDP in the hope of giving it a bump. I’m in the very fortunate position that my writing is not needed to put food on the table or a roof over our heads. I write because the need to tell a story drives me and brings me joy. I’ll never be a Herman Melville or Joseph Conrad and I wouldn’t want to be. I write because it’s a part of who am I and to be honest I’d do it for free to connect with readers and develop a following.

    I love reading on my Kindle and definitely pick up bargains and re-releases. And I’m building up my favourite author library on there too which isn’t cheap. But I love paper books too. I love the smell and the feel of them in my hand. So I want it all really!

    My ultimate goal is to have a reader tell me they lost themselves for a few hours or days and had a really good time.

    On pricing, well that’s a whole other can of worms. Mark Coker of Smashwords reckons the $2.99 is the one to hit and to offer a free read too. Many people disagree of course and that’s absolutely fine. The key to everything is to connect with readers, that’s the holy grail and all we can do is keep writing the next book and the next one until we break through.

    And we’ve just seen the world change again this week with the Microsoft investment in Barnes & Noble which is just the beginning imho.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I love this comment, Christine! You covered all my bases. :-) It’s nice to know that $2.99 is considered the sweet spot. It’s true that I will take a chance on almost any author at $2.99, especially if I know them. If it’s someone completely new to me, I’m just as likely to look for the sample chapter to see if I like their voice.

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  29. Reetta Raitanen says:

    Great topic and I loved reading all the insightful comments. Kindle rocks indeed. I don’t really have much to add, just that I stop automatically buying eBooks after 4,99€ price tag. If it’s closer to 10$ or over, I’m more likely to put the book to a wish list than buy it right away. I already have over 20 books in my Kindle that I really want to read.

    Something that really irks me is if the eBook is really close in price to the dead tree copy, or even worse, costs more. Electronic format is cheaper to set up after all so the price should reflect that.

  30. Awesome saying at the beginning and all the comments are thought provoking. This is such a difficult question to answer. I think it’s a personal choice and what works for one writer might not work for another. I have friends who refuse to spend more than $4.99 on e-books, but then I have others who don’t blink to spend $9.99 or more on e-books. It depends on the author, the book, the reader, etc. When I’m in this position I’m not sure where I’ll fall on the pricing. I do believe we have to value ourselves and our work, but at what cost? I don’t have any answers, just more questions.

  31. I’ve begun to think about this question more, both as a consumer and producer of stories. Yes, it’s a piece of my soul when I put my hard work and self into a novel, yet if I price it above the demand then no one reads it or values it anyway. I think there’s a fine line between underpricing and undervaluing our work or others’. It comes down to marketing, too. I’m more likely to take a chance on a new-to-me author by purchasing their most inexpensive book. Then, if I like that piece of work, I’m happy to pay more for that author’s other books because I know the quality and style is to my liking.

    Thoughtful post, Jenny. And wow, all the comments! I had to scroll for minutes to get here. Good for you, you’re off to a wonderful start in your second year of blogging. :)

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  34. Wesley Green says:

    that really didn’t answer the question

    • Wesley Green says:

      I mean you didn’t really say a lot about the subject.

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I appreciate your thought, Wesley. The whole point is that we each have to think about and make this decision for ourselves and it’s SO HARD. I opened the floor to everyone’s comments, so the real jewels here can be found through the comments section.

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