Going forward or More On Writing Goals #amwriting

I’m engaged in two goal planning activities right now. One is heavily focused on identifying and overcoming all the obstacles facing romance authors (KU, gaining visibility, the expense and effectiveness of advertising.) The other is a getting motivated and writing course. (What we authors sign on for, right?)
One of the things I almost never see talked about by romance authors is the price inelasticity of our product. Demand is huge but readers have become to be so accustomed to free to 99 cents that the curve drops off dramatically once prices are raised to non-sale/”normal” levels. And I always think…is it really the normal price is no one is buying it at that level?
In other genres, my impression is that readers expect to pay somewhere between $5 to
$8 for a full length, well written ebook. This is entirely subjective. I know I don’t mind spending money on books so long as the value is reasonable. I want my favorite authors to earn a living so there will be another book next year. Every now and then I pick up a deal or a freebie, but the stuff I really want is almost never free or that deeply discounted. And THAT is the crux.
I chased this whole thought process around the track last summer when I produced my first two SciFi shorts. (For those wondering why I’m writing in that genre, consider this… Professional markets for SciFi, horror, and fantasy pay 6 to 12 cents PER WORD. At six cents, that’s $60 for one sale on a piece that may take only a couple hours to write and edit. Some months, that’s more than I make on Amazon.
Of course, there’s the old caveat that sales aren’t guaranteed. Competition is fierce. Yada yada. Yeah, well, sales aren’t guaranteed in romance either and competition is fierce. All things being equal, I’m inclined to chase the rabbit that could at least theoretically put dinner on the table. I have two boys entering college in the next few years, and I really don’t want to return to the 8 to 5 slog. So yeah, I want my writing to produce a viable income.
A lot of other factors play into this decision. There’s Passion… Science fiction is my first love as a reader. Has been since childhood and it’s a lifelong passion. I adore fantasy also and I like to write long, so I have no intention of giving up my urban fantasy novels. There’s also ability, which brings me to the realization that I have an underdeveloped set of muscles when it comes to writing short.
So  a new high-priority goal for me in 2016 will be honing my short story skillset.
More on this later as I figure out how to go about accomplishing that…

One thought on “Going forward or More On Writing Goals #amwriting

  1. I hear you. I think price points at 0.99 to 1.99 is becoming the new normal, despite the royalty at that level being 35% (at Amzn). It’s not surprising. Most avid readers get several emails daily offering free & 0.99 books. I easily always have 30+ ebooks ready to read, & only buy the very occasional book higher than 0.99. But on the other hand readers don’t have a fixed idea of the length of a book. Any well-told story over 100 pages satisfies readers. So maybe writers can start thinking of ways to publish shorter works: novellas, or even better a full book in installments. My next novel I’m releasing in January in 3 parts: 72 p, 76 p, & 36 p. I’ll make #1 Free, #2 at 1.99, & #3 at 1.99. Then after a month I’ll release a box set discounted at 2.99. I haven’t tried it before, so I’m intrigued to see how it goes. I’ll raise the opening price series on later ebooks if this works. Ali Parker recommended this in an interview at written word media. It starts out talking to Mark LeFebvre, then turns to Parker. Good luck! Here’s the link:

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