Pricing My Own Books

There is one part of self-publishing that I don’t think I am qualified for at all – pricing. Like many other writers, I sort of wish that someone else would take care of all the marketing and decisions over pricing etc.

I am just not very good at the business side of…well, anything actually. I have spent most of my life volunteering for charities – AKA doing things without being paid a single penny. That has been just fine.

So, when it came to pricing my books….well, I really could not get my head around the idea of asking other people to pay money to read my work.

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When it came to the price to charge for a paperback copy of my books – well, that was easy. I just chose the minimum allowable price. That means if someone buys a paperback copy, they are only paying for the cost of printing (and delivery) and I won’t make any money (royalties). That is a decision I made because I want to make it possible for books to be in the hands of people. I grew up reading books from libraries and charity shops – and I read and read and read. I would not anyone to not read because they cannot afford it.

But pricing the Kindle version was much much much more of a headache. Friends advised me that if I set the price too low…and that was my first inclination – to set the price at sort of almost giveaway rates – people would think that my writing was worth nothing, that it was not worth reading. Eventually I settled for around $2.99 (I think those who are signed up for Kindle unlimited can download it for free). I just do not want to set the price any higher.

What price should I put on my own writing? Look…I don’t need to make a penny out of my writing. I have reaped incredible reward just from being able to see a tiny seed of an idea grow, a short story develop into a three part novel series. The immense satisfaction of weaving the storyline of complex characters, taking my character on an incredible journey of growth and learning – exploring love and life lessons – there is no price that can be put on the process of writing.

It’s a sort of Catch 22 – of course I love it when people to read the story of Annabelle and those who have had an impact on her, and I want to make her story freely available. But if I did set my books at a ridiculously low rate, people might not understand the amount of time and work that went into those books. They might not understand that far from being fantasy fiction, these books contain real life events framed within the stories of fictional characters. They might not realize the research and many many discussions with mental health professionals that shaped Book Three in particular.

Most of my book sales come through Jack – who tells everyone about my books. I know he is the reason so many have read my work. I am really not very good at the marketing and promoting side of writing…and I don’t think I ever will be. But that is not too much of an issue. The reward, immense reward, was being privileged to pen such a story – from a woman who has been hiding things she hates about herself, to helping her find a home, to really grasping what an epic voyage life really is. It’s been an inspirational process – one that I am so grateful for.

I am rich – rich beyond any monetary value – because I had the opportunity to write like this. I do not need a penny from anyone. I am blessed beyond all words.


3 thoughts on “Pricing My Own Books”

  1. I completely understand your dilemma. It’s hard for me to sell my services when I’m bent on providing them for free. But as you mentioned and I also agree, there is a lot of work that goes into our work and some may not see the value in it. One day we will have someone to handle that side of the business while we enjoy what we do. Looking forward to reading your books!


  2. You have a beautiful heart. But your books are very very very good – the story and characters are very moving. Don’t feel bad about asking people to pay something in order to read your work. It is a very valuable and example of how fiction can get to grips with gritty realities and yet be entertaining.


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