Why aren’t all my books free? Why aren’t they all in a boxed set for only $0.99USD?
If you think those questions are invented and that I’ve never been asked them, you’d be wrong. LOL. I’m asked them more than you’d think.
I work hard to keep the price of my books reasonable. I am now self-published, which means all of the expenses involved in creating a book—from writing, editing, cover art, audiobook creation, and formatting to marketing the book—fall on me. On top of these costs, I put a lot of time and money into researching each and every book I write. All of these costs add up fast and come out of my pocket. My books are priced accordingly.
To do a quick recap, here are some of the costs involved (these aren’t even all of them):
- Writing the book. This is my job. Very few people are willing to work for free.
- Editing: I pay for multiple editing stages. Proofing (this is the step that happens as soon as I finish a book–I often have 2-3 proofers on one project alone). Editing (Content) is the next step. Editing 2nd Round (Line Editing). Final Line Editing. The cost of the total editing per book can run anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the book, its length, and the number of rounds required.
- Cover Art: while I am a trained artist and have done thousands of covers for small press, indie authors, and trad pubs, I do outsource a number of them because of time and because my hands aren’t what they used to be. Cover art creation costs can add up fast.
- Audiobook: this cost can put a world of hurt on the pocketbook. The average cost per audiobook for me is $1,500-$2,000. These do not earn that back right away. In fact, because of rather liberal return policies at some vendors, it can take an audiobook months and months before it will even break even.
- Marketing and ad creations: this has cost me as much as $14,000 for one title and as little as $2,000 for one (that did not sell well, I’d like to add here).
- Personal Assistant: I’m one person doing the job of many so help is often required. This also costs money.
Setting aside all of the costs, let’s talk about the time I put into each book. I do this full-time. I often work 10-18 hour days, forgoing family time and any time I’d have with friends. I have worked through every single “vacation” the Roths have taken in the past 19 years.
I am ashamed to admit I often spend time I should be exercising or getting out and living life, writing and engaging with my reader base online to be sure I keep up on all the titles readers want to see more of.
I LOVE writing. I LOVE my job. I LOVE my readers. I love staying in contact with them. I have no complaints in this area. I’m doing what I love to do. But I also need to be able to making a living doing it.