Black Friday is a new thing in the UK but sales are not. We have historically always enjoyed the Boxing Day and New Year’s sales and the usual end of season bargains that can be picked up. Where this is different is that this is a ‘before’ sale, a month before Christmas giving everyone a chance to spend their hard-earned money and allowing it to go further. It can also be a chance to buy items that you would normally not have been able to afford, luxury items not part of the monthly budget. Either way we all love a bargain even for those of us who can’t stand the physical side of being in a rugby scrum environment.
As an author I also have a product to sell although it is a sad reflection on where we have come as a society and as an industry that many people believe that I should give it away for free. Let’s put aside for the moment all the long hours I have put into the writing, any research that I’ve undertaken and the agonising over characters that have a mind of their own. I have overheads when I publish whether that be via Amazon Kindle or Createspace print on demand which is available via Amazon.
The three books that I currently have on the market are short stories, novelettes and I have kept the kindle price down to 0.99 whether that be UK or US and any other country that it is feasible to have it at that price and that nets me a tiny profit per sale. The paperback copies are more expensive because print on demand is just that – you want a copy, a copy is printed and sent to you. The big publishing houses can lower prices because they print in bulk and all the retailers want the authors they represent. I haven’t gone down the route of approaching local shops as I don’t think the small books would be of interest to them, however I will look into this once I release my novels but I know this will involve me jumping through more hoops than an acrobat on a training session. The market is small for me and sales are pitiful but I get the most intense satisfaction out of each one. I filed my tax return for my writing and was able to declare a loss – which comes back to my overheads.
I have beautiful covers but they cost money, I am fortunate enough to have the services of a fabulous designer who doesn’t charge much, but £45.00 for one cover is still money I have paid out. I also need an editor (I tried to publish without one to start with I’m ashamed to say, but she has now polished all three for me) she also charges me for her service. Of course she does it’s a business and she needs to earn a living. Lets call it approximately £40.00 for one novelette. So that is £85.00 that I have spent to package and make it acceptable to you the buying public.
I receive approximately £0.29 for each kindle copy I sell and slightly more for a print copy. In order for me to recoup the cost of my expenditure I have to sell 293 kindle copies or slightly less print. Remember that costing is per book. Between all three of my books I have sold a grand total in nearly two years of 240 copies. So I haven’t even reached the target to break even for one book out of the sales of three.
So when you think that an author should allow you to read their work for free think about the above. I love writing and my dream would be to be able to make a living from it instead of having to work a 40+ hour week to pay the bills and then write when I’m exhausted. I didn’t cover the endless hours of editing and formatting and promotion that goes into this role.
I would love to sell my books at their full price but if the wave of popularity for discounted (but not free) items helps me to sell a few more copies then I will sell the print copies for less for the Black Friday sales.
Why should you buy my work? I’m an unknown quantity and we all like to buy things we know will give us value for money and enjoyment. If we never try new things, read books by unknown authors then how do we know what we’re missing out on. We think nothing of buying a new flavour coffee at well-known coffee chains for £3.50. A short burst of pleasure and its gone, the same price for a book and you get a longer period of enjoyment and you can re-read it. How much do we pay for manicures and pedicures, to get our hair done? We don’t think twice about it because it gives us a feel good factor-so does a good book. You can curl up with it anywhere and it will take you out of your life and place you into the one that an author has created. What we pay for books isn’t a fortune, it isn’t that luxury item it’s affordable. If you want to buy from an unknown author like me, go to Amazon and you can read a sample to get the flavour of the writing.
For Black Friday only my paperback copies will be priced at £3.00/$4.00/€3.30.
Suitable for Christmas or Birthday stocking fillers