Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Writing, reading and the price of my eBooks.

Authors spend long, frequently frustrating hours, writing a short story, novella, or novel. The writer may squeeze out writing time between the daily rounds of caring for children, the demands of a job and caring for his or her sanity, or, like myself, view it as a retirement occupation.
However it works, it's hard, harder on the young writer that must juggle the daily demands of life to pursue what most writers feel is a passion and an obsession, but also hard on the writer who possess the freedom to write.
Writing's not about riches and fame, although most of us harbor that hope tucked in the back of our minds, it's about filling a need, a need to create. We're like painters or sculptors but our brushes, pigments and tools are our words.
Like any artist, sometimes our art is frivolous and entertaining, filling the moment, but easily forgotten, and at other times it's a lasting treasure that endures over the years.
Many writers create art with their words, lovingly crafting each sentence, shaping the words, evoking feelings and images, laboring over each paragraph and talking years to craft a novel.
Others simply have a story to tell and use their skills to lead their characters through fun adventures across creative worlds and as a consequence, sweeping the reader for a while from the mundane world into a world of romance, passion, mystery and magic.
So, what do we as authors, want from this?
Many writers may argue this point, but in the end, we want you to read it.
In my opinion, all authors yearn to be read. We want you to read and enjoy our creation no matter how artistic or frivolous it may be. We rejoice when you like it and weep when you don't. It's that simple.
And that leads to the subject of pricing.
In the new Indie publishing world, prices for eBooks range from free to ten dollars or more. We all agonize over the subject of pricing. We want to be read, need to be read, but we also want some rewards from our efforts. How do we juggle the two conflicting needs? If the book is priced too high we won't get readers. If it's priced too low, we won't be rewarded. Some of us want to make a living from writing and quit or day-jobs to devote all of our time to writing. If the books don't sell, how can we afford to do this?
Many authors give books away for free. Why? We want to encourage people to read us, and then maybe they'll look at our other works and make the decision to buy something. A few authors give works away out of principle. They want to be read and don't care about rewards. Also some works that carry hefty price tags should be given away because the quality of the book is not worth paying for.
My decision in regards to my books was motivated by the fact that I was a new, untried writer. I didn't feel that my readers should suffer through my journey towards learning my craft and therefore the works were offered for free. I felt that at some future date, I would learn enough to write a work that deserved carrying a price tag and therefore a reward.
Well, that date has arrived. My new eBook “Sail beyond Tomorrow” is now available on Smashwords and Amazon. More accurately termed a novelette (it's 53,000 words) it's priced at $2.99.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

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