The fight is in the price…

I’m tired.  I’m tired of the notion that indies are killing traditional publishing.  And this invisible fight of crap going on… let’s get real.


This isn’t like the car business.  When someone buys a car, it’s a one time purchase for a while.  So, Ford and Chevy beat each other up…


This is books.  Someone buying a book isn’t going to never buy another one.  Or they’re not going to buy one for 10 years or so.  Come on now…


I bring this up because of what I saw today in WSJ… about Stephen King’s new book.  I’m excited for his release, but it’s been suggested that hardcover price will be $35 and the ebook will be $16.99.


I shake my head.


How is this my fault?  I’m sorry, but there is NO reason to pay that much for an ebook… and for the hardcover?  I don’t like it at all, but maybe for King fans, it would make sense, as a collectors item?


So you’re telling me that you put that on a shelf for $17… an electronic file… for $17.  And then I come along, with the ability to sell my book for $4… and I’m wrong?  How so?  I don’t make millions a year.  I’m struggling.  I’m in love with the craft, the story, and I want to be able to share it with as many people as I can.  I personally don’t care about shareholders and stakeholders and all that stuff the big publishers worry about.  Sorry to say it, but it’s true.  I’ve made the decision to try this on my own so I could reach the readers with a better price. 


The article also said that a new release from Michael Connelly has been peppered with one star reviews of readers complaining about the price.  Again, how is this my fault?  The people are speaking.  The readers are speaking.  The consumer is speaking.  Nobody wants to pay that much for an ebook, and it’s not fair.  This all could tie in with my other post about Amazon’s new rental program, and hey, if it works for the big publishers, so be it.


I’m a writer.  The words come first.  Business comes second.  I eat pasta three nights a week to keep my costs down.  I sit on a metal folding chair with a cushion tied to it to keep my ass from getting pins and needles when I’m writing.  I use a laptop that resets itself with a blue screen error four times a day.  I’ve learned the value of a buck and I know the fairness in pricing…


These Big 6 publishers complaining and gouging… what kind of chairs do they sit in?  What kind of meals do they eat?  I’m sure they are living the high life… much like the Borders executives who today got approval to be PAID in excess of $100k… yes, that’s right.  The courts allowed Borders to pay some of their executives that much money.  Now, these aren’t people starving.  These are executives who are millionaires already, just sucking off dry bone, hoping for one last piece of fat.


It sickens me.  Sorry to say it. 


I’m not in this fight between indie and traditional publishing.  We are all writers, we write.  I am however against charging $17 for an ebook, even if it’s from Stephen King.  I’m sorry, but that’s only going to potentially chase readers away… and without readers, all of us are on the same level… unemployed.


About Jim Bronyaur

Jim Bronyaur writes mystery, thriller, and horror books. Grab a book at Tweet him @JimBronyaur And for those who have Kindles and Prime, you may be able to get some of Jim's books for FREE!
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5 Responses to The fight is in the price…

  1. Brian Kung says:

    Yep. I definitely don’t agree with fiction being priced over $10, and anywhere near $10 is still asking a bit much.

    I wonder if you’ve seen Michael Stackpole’s blog post?

  2. H.E. ELLIS says:

    I agree 100%. I think we’ll see things change. Probably not for a while, but sometime. Just keep writing and I’ll keep reading. Check your Amazon sales in about five minutes and you’ll see a sale for Devil’s Weekend. We little guys need to stick together!

  3. Paul D. Dail says:

    Hmm. Tough call. Are we to blame for driving the price down? Certainly not. I haven’t heard that said about indies killing traditional publishing. If they are saying it, screw ’em. Their loss for not picking up the good authors when they had the chance.

    Now, as to e-books killing traditional publishing, that’s a different question. And largely, I would say that they are, but what do you do? It’s technology. As to Stephen King charging what he does, I can understand. The cost of making a book and each individual’s slice of the pie in traditional publishing hasn’t changed that much (and while it’s probably pretty decent for King, I’m still guessing it’s nowhere near the possible 70% royalties paid through Amazon Kindle). In my history, a hardback has always been in the $30’s. We don’t pay less to go to the movies than we used to. Why should we pay less for a book.

    Even the e-book is a tricky matter because I’m guessing it’s his publisher setting the price (and again, taking a piece of the pie), but I don’t know for certain.

    As to the Borders thing… yeah, irritating, but in my opinion, any golden parachutes should not only be worth their weight in gold, but should weigh as much as gold and plunge some of those bastards plummeting into the dirt.

    Too strong? Anyway, an interesting post. I’m going to Tweet it (yeah, I’ve joined the 21st century) and see what other opinions people have.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

  4. In the UK it’s unusual to find a new traditionally-published ebook for less than £10, which is about $17. I’m always shocked by complaints from the US that this is too expensive!

  5. I posted this on my Facebook page–AWESOME 😉

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