Thursday, May 26, 2016

How should the price of a book be determined?

Welcome to the newest Book Lover Poll.
Your voice matters here.

When you pick up a new book, I'm sure the price is something you consider before hitting that purchase button. So do I, but until I became a writer, I didn't know who set the prices or what they were based on. These days, that has become so complicated with each store forcing the author to sell at their prices that I won't even try to explain it. The bottom line is that the price you pay for a book is NOT set by the writer of that book. We 'suggest' a price, the stores list it and then cut it (there are a few exceptions, such as iTunes) and the author is paid less than what they've already lowered it to. Consider this: If an editor makes 2 cents per word to edit (Yes, per word. Not page, word. That is the standard rate. Better editors make more.) shouldn't the author make at least double that for having written it? If it is not reasonable for the writers, than it is also not reasonable for the editors. They didn't write the material, they're cleaning it up. The hardest worker in the chain is the author, but they make the least amount of profit from it. That has to change.
What can you do?
Buy directly from the author on their websites. It isn't hard now to put a pdf or epub on your computer, then transfer it to any phone or tablet that you have. Supporting the author is a reader's way of saying that hard work deserves the profit, not greedy stores who add delivery fees for electronic copies. They call them delivery fees because no reader would pay Amazon's store-wide utility bills in exchange for books. But that's exactly what happens every day. Your fee helps to pay for all the all other product storage, as well as your own. Amazon then takes 30%-65% of the author profit as their cut. Double-dipping should be illegal. If they want to charge for all of that (and I understand they need to cover their expenses) then it should be clearly labeled as combined utility costs. Charging a delivery fee for an electronic book is a scam.

How should the price of any book be determined?

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Book Tidbit of the week:
BookBub has begun pay-per-click advertising for authors. That means the author is charged for your click from the email, even if you don’t download that title.
*For those of you who don’t know, pay-per-click is one of the biggest scams ever invented online. The advertiser charges the buyer for EACH click, even when nothing is bought. So, say you like the email of the book and click on it, but when you get to the landing page, you realize the book isn’t your type and you don’t get a copy. The author still gets charged for that click.
Their other system is a flat fee to be added to the email and I believe they are continuing it. These new, ‘special’ ads will be below each regular ad, giving the reader more clutter for their buck. Sounds like a system doomed to fail, right? Google made this famous, then FB picked it up, but it is a rip-off and most people don’t bother. Only traditional publishers and brand names can afford to pay for clicks with no download. The other way did not guarantee a download, but at least you weren’t being charged $1.25 for each click (going rate for book ads on Google that are successful). In summary, do everyone a favor and try not to click on the ‘special’ ads unless you KNOW you want to try the book. If you guys and gals don’t click it, Bookbub might nix it.
Waving at you,
Angela white

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Why Don’t Indie Writers have Editors?

In this age of ebooks everywhere, Indies have flooded the market with some amazing stories. They lead most of the charts on each retailer and their fan base is growing steadily, while traditional publishers are having a hard time moving their titles. So why don’t Independent authors have an editor?
The answer is price. It costs 2cents per word. For a single read through. Let’s take a 500-page book as an example. Each page averages 300 words. That equals 150,000 words (My own exceed 200K) x 2.0 cents per word. The total? $3,000.00. For ONE read. And most books need 2-4 layers of these edits. We’re talking $5K + per book to be edited. Now, let’s look at other costs that have to come out before this 500-page book is released to readers.
Cover and inside images -$150-450
Formatting into multiple files -$500-1000 (This includes a separate file for EACH retailer. They all have their own rules.)
Research, copyrights, permissions-$200-1000+
ISBN for every format- $180.00 (Can only be bought in batches of 10)
Print set up- Separate file and cover needed - $200-400
Book Trailer/video -$200-400 for 30-60 second clips.
Email services -$30.00 monthly (Once you have over 1000 contacts, it is NOT free anymore.)
Electric, computers with great software, office supplies, internet and phone (many retailers won’t sign you up without a phone #), other equipment like printers, 1-$2K+
After that, Indies cover all their own marketing and advertising. This can run more than the editing, but an average monthly amount would be around $400-700. When you have 9 million+ competitors, you MUST advertise just to be found.
There are other expenses for authors that the reader never see, but you get the point from this list. Our total right now for a 500-page book, with everything above and before publication, is a whopping 5860.00. And that is using the lowest number for each expense, and only ONE edit. Can you imagine having a 300,000 word book that needs to be edited 3 times? That total alone is over 15K!
So the answer, my friends, is cash. People think writers are flush, but the term ‘starving artist’ came from writers begging in the streets over the centuries. We’re determined to put our prose out there, knowing we may end up in a pauper’s grave somewhere before it’s all over. The odds were stacked against writers way back when and it hadn’t changed much until the internet removed those barriers.
Some readers would say that if we can’t afford to edit, then pick another career. Okay. Sure. You do amazing things with hair, but you can’t afford the schooling for the trade. Oh, well. Pick something else. You’re a brilliant scientist but your parents can’t afford college. Tough titty said the kitty. Pick something else. You think you can become president and solve world hunger. No one cares. Go sling garbage bags at 3am every day until you die.
Some people, when told those things, will do exactly that. They curl into a fetal position and demand to know why they weren’t born rich or powerful. Others, like me, simply publish the work as clean as they can get it (I’m sorry. I’m no one’s editor) and later, if we can ever afford it, use the proceeds to send it to a real editor for that scrub and polish. Except, at those prices and with 9 million other titles to fight for attention, it is unlikely that an Indie ever makes enough money to properly edit their work. Does that mean we shouldn’t publish it? Oh, well and all that? If you still think so, maybe it will surprise you to know how many of our classic, infamous, studied figures in history were illiterate. We wouldn’t have:
·         Jane Austen, the author of Pride and Prejudice. Here is a link to one of her early works that WAS published with all the mistakes.
·         Agatha Christie "Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me... [I was] an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day." Christie's dyslexia made accurate spelling difficult. In An Appointment with Death, Colonel Carbury's name is later written as "Colonel Carbery."
·         Winston Churchill
·         George Washington
·         Andrew Jackson-His perennial political rival John Quincy Adams once denounced him as "a savage who can scarcely spell his own name." Jackson's retort? "It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word."
·         Hemmingway
·         Twain
·         Fitzgerald
·         Yeats
Should all of those writers and infamous persons have picked another career?
So, what’s the solution?
Two things. Thanks to the internet, we now have wonderful readers who VOLENTEER their time to help writers clean up their books. Betas might be true angels sent down just for authors.
The other thing is education. We Indies have to do more than throw words on paper. We have to go out research it to find out if that comma belongs there. We have to take those night classes when the kids are sleeping.  We have to look at the corrections our Betas suggest and go, “Holy cow! I didn’t know that! I’ll try hard to not do it again.” In short, we have to care as much as our fans do.
On that note, I would like to say that I am sorry for every typo and mistake that you have been hurt by while reading my work. I adore my fans. I would never feel good about giving you work that isn’t top quality. I just can’t afford that outlay before you even see the cover or blurb. When I can, my work will go through a professional editor every time. Until then, I hope you’ll be patient with me. I really don’t like the mistakes any more than you do.
All I ever wanted to do was to give people amazing stories that take them away from life’s harsh realities. That’s what most writers want-Indie and traditional. The other red tape crushes us until we curl up on the floor and sob about the unfairness of the world. I much prefer explaining my position in hopes that you’ll continue to support Indies, especially the ones who try hard to do things right. If it weren’t for them, readers would still be paying full price for ebooks, which cost almost nothing to distribute once that first 5-8 formats are created. $14.99 for a paperback? Sure. For the matching ebook? No way. It should be free, and because of Indies, some of them are. Amazon has a matchbook feature. Check it out! You can buy the paperback, and get the ebook free!
Other advantages to readers, because of Indies:
Conversations. Did you know that none of the big authors even had FB pages until the Indies got there and began connecting with the fans? No offense to them, but famous writers would never have lowered themselves to ‘chat’ with fans unless their publishers and agents told them to. Need proof of that? How many times has S. King come to his page and shot the shit with a group of readers? Zero, but Anne Rice, who took herself Independent, often screams at her fans on a daily basis. Just click through their pages and scan to see how many of them actually talk to readers. Very few, but before the independents, there were none. You might be lucky enough to grab a few seconds at a book signing, or you may have gotten a form letter in response to your happy gushing, but no true contact. Indies have changed that. In the next decade, only rock star authors will be able to afford to ignore their fans, and Indies paved the way for that by getting on their accounts and talking to you. Nice, huh? One day, we may be able to bs with writers who would have ignored us ten years ago.
Lower prices, and the FREE EBOOK. Do you think traditional publishers were ever going to give you a 500-page book for free? Me either, but Indies do it by the hour, trying to draw your attention to their work. Traditionally published writers leave all of that to their bosses. They usually don’t have a choice. To be fair, they’re getting ripped off worse than Indies, but that will be a different rant.
Independent authors have already contributed so much to the world. Please continue to read their work, typos and all. You never know. One of those starving writers may just be the next Shakespeare.
*Not me. I’m just Angie, but there are amazing authors out there who need to be found, incredible stories that deserve to be read, and you’re the only ones who can do that. All hail the glorious readers!
Waving at you,
Free ebook!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Something New by Angela White

Life After War: Book nine
Shattered Dreams

“You think this will work?”
Marc shrugged, returning to the driver’s seat without answering Neil’s quiet query. He doubted anything or anyone could change Angie’s mind and that included Adrian. She was the most stubborn person he’d ever known, but he didn’t assume she was doing this for attention. Losing the baby hadn’t been planned. He knew that by her reaction. If she’d planned it, she would have also had something waiting for her pain afterwards. Right now, she was eaten up with remorse and anger at herself. Both his demon and hers had warned him that she was obsessing over it, constantly replaying the fight with Vlad that had cost her so much. Besides the obvious not eating well or sleeping much, and the nasty attitude she’d developed, there was the crying every night. It killed him to roll over and find fresh tears, but the ones dried to her face each morning were enough to break him. She started and finished every day the same way now-tearing herself apart for the choices-and Marc was hoping time alone with Adrian would at least remind her that she still had duties to perform. If she went on like this much longer, the camp would call a leadership vote.
That’s what she wants, Adrian sent through the private channel that he and Marc had labored on for the last weeks. Maybe we should let it happen…
Hearing Adrian doubt his own plans sent fury through Marc and he mentally snarled, Put her back to work!
Yes, boss, Adrian retorted snidely. He didn’t send his next thought and Marc was glad. Leaving Angie here, alone with his rival, was a bitter pill to swallow.
We never had to be rivals, Adrian reminded him tiredly. And then slammed the door to break their connection, telling Marc he wouldn’t have any contact with Angie while she was in the cave. A bit of payback for how being banished had felt.
Marc gritted his teeth and led the convoy toward the meeting place that Kyle’s Special Forces team had already secured. He had his job to distract him, thankfully, but it wouldn’t always be this way. Something would give or break with Adrian before they fled the mountains. He’d had enough of living this way. Big changes were coming.

Book 9: Shattered Dreams

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