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!
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!