Am I Alone in my Thoughts on This?

Hey everyone,

Hope everyone is well and praying the storm set to ravage the East Coast will blow out to sea and stay there until it runs itself out. Yesterday’s earthquake had me a little nervous about tidal waves but that’s because I don’t know enough about the physics of waves, earthquakes, east, west, etc.

Keeping it short today: on less than four hours sleep. Was wide awake until at least 2 AM then awakened again by younger son who was up four hours later. I’d told him earlier he needed to start adjusting his sleep schedule for soon-to-start school purposes, so he set his alarm and was ready to jump into the shower at 6 AM! (Help! That’s when he listens? I meant he needed to go to bed earlier. Amazing–and food for another post on what women say and males hear but we’ll save that for another day.)

Sorry! Back to blogpost. (These things happen when you’re innately DBD–distracted by dust–and tend to intensify with increased exposure to Twitter, Facebook and various other forms of social media.)

Where was I????

Here! Recently I posted a quick summary of my thoughts on self-pubbed phenom Amanda Hocking’s paranormal YA Switched, the first installment of her Trylle Trilogy. While at her blog looking for a cover image to post alongside my write-up, I noticed a ‘pre-order’ link for that book in paperback as well as for e-copies for Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

(Please note: before I continue I am compelled to provide one sentence of background: Earlier this year Ms. Hocking accepted a two-million dollar advance by St. Martin’s Press, one of the biggest names in traditional publishing. I’m guessing she sold the rights to ALL her works.)

I followed that link to a brandy-new, stunningly beautiful cover and updated (?) price to match: $7.99 for the e-book version (followed by This price was set by the publisher.) I paid $0.99 and later $2.99 for Torn (part two).

Not judging the publisher (and definitely not the author) but just saying: Is it me, or does this bother you too?

Stay safe everyone! Pray for good weather (and for lots of tennis greats to be walking the USTA’s grounds at US Open qualifying round play! 😀 Rafa won’t be there–he’ll be in Manhattan doing a meet-n-greet for Armani jeans. Such is life…)


11 thoughts on “Am I Alone in my Thoughts on This?

  1. Honestly? No, this doesn’t bother me. I think it’s impossible for a trad. publisher to sell a book for 99 cents and 2.99. That’s terrific for her. She’ll now be able to reach a wider audience. I think the raised price is expected and she gave her fans plenty of notice about the price raise and gave them a chance to buy it before that happened.


    1. Hey Laura, thanks for your input, insight and taking the time to stop by! I totally get what you’re saying, and I have no problem with that for previously unpublished books. Guess what bothers me is more than doubling the price on the works that are out. I suppose the audience would be wider, but most likely the works’ targeted audience (YA–unless the author and publisher have changed that too) will most likely be better reached through social media. I’m no expert but that’s just more of MHO, nothing more. What do I know? Amanda Hocking has the contract, lol.


  2. What bothers me is that you were up with just four hours sleep and able to form complete sentences! I see why you’re a writer.

    As for the prices- it has to reflect the advance they’re paying out I suppose. The money needs to come from somewhere and why not the books they bought? You’re lucky to have stumbled on a lower price before this. 🙂


    1. LOL, Calisa with the gorgeous name. (Think I’m naming a character after you–have to with such a pretty first moniker.) Sometimes I do better for a day or two w/less sleep and a mild increase in caffeine. 😉

      I get why the big pubs raise the price of a work. (See reply to Laura above.) And yes, I was fortunate–maybe that’s why this niggles at me. Price goes up, the work is most likely the same, and now the reader is paying for a lot more than the book itself. As I said above, I know nothing.


  3. Yes, it bothers me. It seems she sold out her fans that helped send her to the top. On the bright side, if you bought her 1st version self published book, I see on Amazon that a used one is going for $3,000.00 plus.


    1. Interesting thoughts on this topic, Marilyn. As per my self-pubbed copy of SWITCHED, it’s a digital. Doubt I’ll get any $ for that.


  4. Joanna,

    How soon we forget… There was a time when writers had no say about prices for their books, about what publishers pay in royalties…if any, what rights the writer could retain in a contract. Add to that the fact that 5K was a dismal advance. Those days are not too far behind us. Some restrictions still apply if one wishes to sell to a traditional publisher.

    I think one of the problems, if one thinks it’s a problem, that arises in today’s market is that authors probably don’t value their work as much as they should. Since we’re all paranoid, that sub-value is with us to stay, I fear. 🙂 I can recall when I first heard a traditional publisher offering a $500 advance to new authors. And now with the onslaught of epublishing, self-publishing, small press publishing, the market landscape is changing at warp speed. To this day many publishers don’t offer an advance at all. Guess what, we sell first rights to them anyway!

    I, for one, don’t want to offer my back list at .99. Please note that phrasing. I didn’t say I NEVER will. 🙂 However, I would offer it at 2.99 until the cows come home. I understand promoting a re-release for a short period of time at .99, even a first-time publication from an established author.

    As for a publisher setting triple-the-price for ebooks, whataya bet the author has no say whatsoever in the price set by the publisher?


    1. I totally agree on the no-say for publisher setting the price. I understand all their overhead, including print, paying staff, marketing and promoting the book, etc. I also get why you feel we undervalue our work as authors. With the potential to sell in a self-pubbed market the way Ms. Hocking, Bob Mayer and many others are doing, I’m not so quick to agree I’d be undervaluing my work to sell it for these seemingly ridiculous prices. Quite the opposite: I’m offering my work at a huge discount to create an opportunity for more readers to be able to buy it. Again, just MHO.


  5. I’ll go out on the limb and say I wish our own publisher made our e-books less expensive. I believe, with this new onslaught of self-pubbing that our traditionally published e-books (who’d have thought e-pubbing would ever be called traditional. LOL) are getting undercut by the cheap, cheap prices from authors direct to reader stuff. I’d feel better if our books didn’t go over the $5.00 mark. It might mean we’d lose money, but I think the increased sales would make up for it.
    I actually bought an e-book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (my favorite author) for $9.99! Why did they price the book so high? (Higher than a paperback) BECAUSE THEY COULD.

    Please take care and go get some sleep!


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