Every once in a while, someone comments that my books are too expensive. Affordability is relative, so fair enough. For that person, $4.99 is too much to pay for a full-length book. (Fortunately, there are libraries.)
So yes, $4.99 is what I charge for the full length books in my Nocturne Falls series. Print books are 9.99. I just released a short story in the series and it’s priced at .99. I have a few more shorts I’ll be putting out for that price as well. (And just as an aside, the first book in the series, The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride is currently free at all retailers. So BIG discount there.)
So why do I price the way I do? Aren’t ebooks cheap to produce? Let’s talk.
Each full length book I put out in the Nocturne Falls series costs me approximately $1500 to produce. That number includes the digital and print cover, editing, proofreading, and digital and print formatting – all things I do to provide the best possible end product I can.
What it doesn’t include is the three to four months of my time that go into writing, revising and approving each book. Nor does it include the advertising and marketing I do for each book so that it might actually get noticed by readers, something that gets harder and harder in this current market.
It doesn’t include the cost of maintaining my website or my newsletter list. It doesn’t include the time I put into social media (not writing) so that my pages stay active and my reach doesn’t dry up completely. It doesn’t include all the books and Kindle Fires and other swag I give away each week on my Facebook page.
And let’s not even start with what I spend on attending conferences to meet more readers and make myself a better writer.
But that’s the cost of doing business. (And then there are audiobooks, which are a whole ‘nother expense.)
I think $5 is a fair price. It’s far less than what most traditionally published ebooks go for. In fact, my traditionally pubbed ebooks currently range from $6.99 to $9.99.
If writing was a hobby for me, maybe I’d spend less producing the book and charge less for it, but writing is my business. It’s what pays our mortgage, puts food on our table and feeds the kittens. And, you know, sometimes gets me a new pair of shoes.
So what can $5 buy you these days?
Well, obviously, a Nocturne Falls book. Which, I might add, you can reread any time you like and on average, seems to provide about five hours of reading enjoyment. Maybe more. And that could be spread out over a couple of days.
A fancy coffee at Starbucks is about $5. But unlike a book you can reread over and over, you can only drink a coffee once. Probably lasts thirty minutes. I’m guessing. I drink homebrew because going out for coffee would cut into my writing time.
A movie ticket is $13 around here. I think a matinee is $11. So more than twice what a Nocturne Falls book costs and again, you only get to see the movie once for that price. Plus it’s over in two hours. And let’s not talk about how much popcorn costs…
25 by Adele is $11.88 on Amazon if you buy the CD. That’ll get you about 70 minutes of listening and you can play it over and over. Not a bad deal at all. In fact, I may have just one-clicked. But still more than $5.
Hmm. Not a lot beside a book you can get for $5 that lasts for any reasonable period of time. At least not anything I can think of. But then I don’t get out of the house much. Mostly I’m at my desk writing.
I hope this sheds some light on what goes into producing a book. If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.