Author Insecurities and the Issue of Pricing

This week was going to be a post about Nano prep, but, well…

This week there were many good blog posts by other authors I followed. Part of the fun is to read the comments. And some of the comments had me rolling my eyes to the point it could have been physically damaging. What were the comments?

Authors crying, “I’m a brand-new unknown author, and no one knows my name. I HAVE to charge less than everyone else to even have a chance!”

News flash!

This idea is your own insecurities coming out and has nothing to do with readers.

How can I say that?

Uh, do you know how many published authors there are out there?

Because I’m a big reader who has read consistently for decades, and I don’t know most of the author names out there. Not even close. Not even a small percentage.

You might be an author who has been on genre best-seller lists for decades, and when I find you, you will be a new unknown author to me. You might be an author with only a few items out there, and you will be a brand-new unknown author to me. You might be an author with only ONE item out there, and you will be a brand-new unknown author to me.

Get the picture?

Most readers don’t know even a small fraction of the author names out there. What do they care about when browsing for a new book to read?

Good books.

Write a good book and they will buy it. If they like it, they will come back and buy others.

This is another reason why having more than one book on your virtual bookshelf is so important. Once a reader finds you, you want to supply them with as much reading material as possible before they exhaust your supply and have to go looking for another (probably new-to-them) author. The time spent reading your work will imprint your author name in their minds as someone to watch and come back to for further reading material.

1 book = minimal time to make an impression.
3-5 books = a much greater chance of making an impression.
More than 5 books = a great chance of making an impression!

Write a good book. Present it well. Put on a good cover, write a good blurb that grabs attention. Get it out there. Price it reasonably.

Notice I didn’t say price it CHEAPLY.

Use cheaper pricing as a sales tool, such as a loss-leader into a series (after you already have other books in the series published) or a special promotion or sale, not as a way to salve your insecurities. Use lower prices for a reason, a logically well-thought out reason.

Get control of your insecurities and don’t let them dictate business decisions.

Now go. Be an author, use your head and not your ‘feelings.’ Publish your work. You are a business. Make rational good business decisions.


Author Insecurities and the Issue of PricingI have a new release! Introducing the SF romance: Coffee Cup Dreams

She wasn’t supposed to wake up when dead…

During what should have been a simple operation, Tish Douglas died. And yet, she also awoke… in what the doctors called a ‘psi event.’

Despite having no memory of the incident, it means she’s required to go on a life-time course of debilitating drugs designed to reign in her supposedly new psi gifts. She’s left with the option of existing on Earth in a drug-haze, or leave the planet.

When an opportunity for a good paying job on a space station known as Redpoint One is offered, she jumps at the chance. Even though she doesn’t have any experience as a ‘maintenance engineer.’ Even though the station sits in the middle of nowhere, a still-operating construct of a long-gone alien species.

Between pirate attacks, intelligent repair robots, and maintenance emergencies, Tish must find a place for herself.

All complicated by a growing attraction to the one person on the station she can’t have: boss Arthur Getty.

A stand-alone 48400 word, 193 page (approximate), science fiction romance novel by J.A.Marlow.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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Author Insecurities and the Issue of Pricing

2 thoughts on “Author Insecurities and the Issue of Pricing”

  1. That’s an excellent point. Seen from the reader’s perspective.

    And seen from the writer’s perspective, it would begin to seem that a reader who has never heard of you will probably give you as much of a break as he’d give any other unkown quantity.

    But also from the writer’s perspective, however, I know that pretty much nobody has heard of me yet, even if the reader doesn’t.

    So, for me, that’s definitely part of the equation when I’m thinking about pricing. Cheaper books get more downloads, that seems to be widely agreed.

    And yet, Ms. Marlow, your post did inspire me to put the price of my first book where I thought it belonged all along.

    I said it my short blurb that it was an introductory price, after all.

    But still, a 99 cent ebook will do a heck of a lot to get my name out there–which is why I’m currently working on one. It’ll be a novelette or a novella when finished. I’ve already created the cover for it.

    • Lowering a price for a good marketing reason is not one I object to. Using the excuse of “I’m a nobody” is the emotion I do object to. Oh, and not every cheaper book gets more downloads. It sure didn’t with me. I raised the price and got more! So, even with that, it really depends on a lot of factors. It isn’t just the price.

      Congrats on your price adjustment and the writing on your new work. I hope the work out well! 🙂


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