Let’s All Be Honest–How Should You Price Your Book?

I think this is actually an important topic because everybody wants to sell something, but a lot of people are afraid to buy. ¬†I would fit into this category ūüôā

How high (or low) should you price your book?

Obviously, if you’re already doing well on the promotional side of publishing, you can probably make your book cost a bit more…you know, the normal price that a book should cost. ¬†That being said, I see a lot of newbies trying to promote their stories by promoting “freebies”–books that are totally free of charge.

I understand the mentality behind freebies, I really do. ¬†In fact, I’ve done it. ¬†Freebies help you build an audience, get reviews, etc. ¬†The goal is to gain loyal readers. ¬†And, hopefully, if they like your free stuff, they’ll come back to BUY things from you too.

Yeah, that was my mentality. ¬†I made the first book of my series free, hoping that people would eat it up and then come back hungry for the second volume. ¬†Well, it sort of worked…the first book has received over 300 downloads. ¬†But how many has the second book received (when it’s only priced at 99 cents?)? Like 12.

Seriously?

The thing about freebies is that sometimes it doesn’t even WORK. ¬†It’s a waste of effort and can even be a waste of time. ¬†Nowadays, I’m very serious about selling your book for MONEY.

Why?

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Because you worked hard to write something.  You worked hard to edit it, to publish it, and to promote it.  Why should you just give it away?  Your time and talent should be worth something.

To be honest, whenever I see a book that’s free, yes, part of me thinks, “Oh, I’ll just download it because it’s free.” ¬†But another part of me is like, “Will it even be a high-quality book? ¬†It’s free!”

The point is, making your book free can turn some people off.  Because writing that is WORTH something will COST something.

But then, back to the original question:  How much should you price your book?

Yes, I am asking for advice because my book (after a makeover, new name, and more editing) will be coming out soon.

My book is 300+ pages long. ¬†I’ve worked really hard on it. ¬†Do I want to sell it for “free”? ¬†For 99 cents?

No, I don’t. ¬†Because I think my book is worth more than that.

I guess the point of this post is to ask you to be real with yourself and with others. ¬†How much should someone else’s work of art cost? ¬†How much should YOUR work of art cost? ¬†What are you saying by making your book free?

Think about it.

What’s the point of earning “readership” by promoting a freebie, if, in the end, you really haven’t gained any loyal readers? ¬†It’s easy to download a book for free. ¬†But it means so much more when someone actually BUYS your book. ¬†Also, if they buy it, then they’ll be more obliged to READ it. ¬†And that’s what we want as writers. ¬†That’s how we hook readers. ¬†And isn’t that the goal?

I’m coming out and being honest. ¬†When my book comes out, it will not be free. ¬†This is my decision to make. ¬†I hope all of you can respect that and still give my book a chance, if you’re interested.

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Don’t be scared though, I’m not going to make my book super pricey either!! ¬†I’m not Shakespeare yet ūüėČ


What do you think?

What’s the Point–Why Should I Write?

stressed-out-writer

Well, so my computer is shot. That’s right, no more convenience of hopping onto my computer and being able to write much faster than on my phone…editing is going to be harder, and no doubt publishing will be.

Oh well, guess I better cough up some money for a new one.

You know I’ve been thinking a lot about stories lately. A lot about what I’m trying to accomplish by writing. Writing is something beautiful and it means so much to me; it’s a sport of the mind, a rollercoaster of the heart, a journey of the soul. I would be a totally different person without it.

But I’ve been thinking about the things that will really make me happy, about the paths that lie ahead. Choices I need to start making, mentalities I need to form. What will make me happy? What should I be doing with my life?

Yes, I know, these are big questions. But another big question is “will writing be a part of the answers to these questions?”

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Writing makes me happy, yes, but lately I’ve been feeling a call to make my life more about other people. I know it’s cheesy, I know it’s preachy, but nothing makes us happier than when we make others happy, than when we change someone’s life for the better, when we mean something to others, not just to ourselves. ¬†This is what makes people happy: it makes ME happy.

And I want to use my writing to do this.

So the question becomes, “what can I write that will help others, that will build people up, that will mean something too them?”

I feel like it isn’t so much “what should I write” as much as “how should I write it? With what mentality? With what drive?” And, ultimately, if I form my willpower in the right way, or point it in the right direction, then I’ll always be writing the right thing.

So I guess I need to change my drive. I need to not write for myself, or about myself. I need to write something for others. If I do that, then I’ll help myself. I know that I need writing too, but I need to act lIke people need my writing more than I do.

If you read all of that, then thank you. And welcome…welcome to who I am. You just experienced a lot of me; I hope you understand that.

So thank you, and, as always, please tell me: what do you think?

How Far Are You Willing To Go?

i-am-a-writer

Many of us have been writing stories for a reallllly long time. Like since we were 10. Or 7. Or 5.

Some of these stories hold a special place in our hearts. Maybe these stories have developed over time, or changed, or helped spark new ideas for a champion story.

The point is, we’ve all got stories that mean a lot to us. And maybe we’ve been working on these stories for a long time, biding our time as we hunt for publishers or try our hands with self publishing.

The journey of working with a story you created when you were younger is quite beautiful, in my opinion. Also, I think that you, as the author, have a deeper connection with your characters and with your setting, which you can then convey to the reader better. Sometimes these stories can be even more meaningful, since we have discovered and taught ourselves a number of lessons through them.

Often times this means that when it’s time to edit, we aren’t willing to change what we’ve written. We can grow so attached to our stories, stories that we have grown with for such a long time, that we refute the idea of editing and everything that comes with it: erasing and rewriting, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, this can be really hard, and even a little frustrating or heart-breaking. It’s like parting with an old friend. I get it, and I’ve been through it. I “wrote a book” when I was seven, and I worked on that story up until I was sixteen. Yep, that’s right. I tried to get it published and everything.

The emphasis is on “tried”.

The truth is, I had grown too attached to parts of my story, especially in the beginning, that I really should’ve let go of. The beginning of the boon was slow, drawn out, etc. But, because of my affection, I wasn’t willing to make the changes necessary to my book.

Emiya fall

Fight this mentality with tooth and nail. Seriously. No matter how tough the fight gets.

Because we need to ask ourselves an important question: how far are you willing to go to make your book into what it needs to be? To make your book into what it should be?

This is one of the hardest parts of writing: being honest with ourselves. And accepting criticism from others. And being willing to criticize ourselves.

It’s tough. Nobody likes being criticized or having to correct themselves. But it has to be done.

I’m actually struggling a little as I edit Elithius, the series that will be coming out soon. I just happened to be perusing the beginning of the book, a part I had already edited numerous times, and I realized, “Gosh, this needs to change!”

After so much editing, do I really want to change the beginning?

No. But I will.

Because I want to give whatever it takes to make my book perfect. And there is something beautiful about that. In fact, although I don’t like thinking about the changes I have to make, I think that I will enjoy this in the long run. Who doesn’t like making something better than before?

In what ways does your own story need to change? What parts are you holding onto that need to go?

How far are you willing to go to make your book perfect?

That question is equivalent to: how much do you love your story?

What do you think?

Also, just a note: my computer is down, so I have to use my phone for everything. Thus, if I don’t seem very productive…well, that’s why. Thanks for understanding!

The Reason Why People “Like” But They Don’t Comment

I’ve been seeing a lot of blogs recently where the authors have a MAD following. ¬†I sigh and drool and faint whenever I see how many followers these people have. ¬†They average at LEAST 40 likes a post.

But they also average MAYBE 2-3 comments a post.

Why?

These people have 5,000+ followers.  Some have 20,000+ followers.  Why is no one commenting?

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Let’s be honest. ¬†Everybody likes to get Liked. ¬†But I think we can agree that when people take the time to comment, this feedback means way more to us. ¬†Because it’s easy for people to click the Like button, but it takes effort to comment. ¬†And that means they are taking us seriously and actually paying attention. ¬†We like comments more than Likes.

The question is then: What makes people comment?

Personality.

Sig and Armstrong

You might have a huge following, but if you don’t have a sense of¬†personality, people will stop treating you like a blogger. ¬†They’ll see your blog posts, they’ll Like them, hopefully they’ll read them…but if you are only putting your writing forward, or whatever you’re trying to promote, people won’t care about you. ¬†They won’t know YOU.

People might like your blog, but they aren’t going to comment unless they like you.

Think about it.

If your blog, your writing, lacks a sense of YOU, what will people be seeing? ¬† Just words. ¬†They might be some good words. ¬†But if they aren’t able to attribute them to you, then why would they comment? ¬†Who are they commenting to? ¬†Not a person. ¬† Just words. ¬†And no one praises or converses with random words, however good they are.

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Of course, maybe you ARE putting yourself into what you write…but maybe it’s too much of yourself. ¬†I see this sooooo often. ¬†Those bloggers who get big and popular and then all they do is blog about themselves and their own personal endeavors. ¬†The titles of their posts are eternally:

“Hey, check out my new book”

“PLEASE buy my new book”

“Hey, guess what? ¬†My new book is out”

“Update on my story”

You get the picture.

I’ve said this multiple times and I’ll say it again. ¬†If you want followers and an active audience, blog about things people CARE about. ¬†Blog about things that HELP people. ¬†Make them WANT or NEED you.

If all you blog about is yourself, this can also constitute a lack of personality towards your audience.  Or, maybe not a lack of personality, but a bad personality.

Don’t be like those bloggers who are dry and have no personality, and don’t be like those bloggers who never have anything to offer to their followers. ¬†Let your audience know who you are, and show your followers that you care about THEM too. ¬†Make people come to your blog not just because of your content, but because of your character–because they genuinely know and like you as a person (and not just what you’re promoting)!


 I hope this helped!

What do you think?

if i don’t write

If I don’t write, I feel like I’ll go insane.

If I don’t write, I’ll have a panic attack.

“There is nothing to writing. ¬†All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”-Ernest Hemingway

Image result for ernest hemingway quotes writing

And sometimes I feel the same way.

Is it sad that I feel like I need to write?  Is it sad that I run away to my fantasy worlds?  Is this just meaningless escapism?  Is this good for me, or is it an addiction that I always crawl back to?

I don’t know.

But gosh…I need it.

Write because you need to live.  And live because you need to write.  How else will you be successful?  How else will you fulfill that part of yourself that is dying to come out?

If I don’t write…then I won’t be me.

If I don’t write…

…I won’t be alive.


What do you think?

Stories That Never Die

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Have you ever closed a book and instantly felt like a part of you just died?  Or watched the end-credits of a movie file onto the screen, and find yourself sighing with longing?

Have you ever read or witnessed a story that touched you so deeply, that you connected with so perfectly, you wish it would never end?

Our culture is messed up in many ways. ¬†We don’t have to look very far to see this. ¬†But, deep inside all of us, we have this desire for eternal things. ¬†Think about it. ¬†There are plenty of songs on the radio that have lyrics like “I wish this moment could last forever”. ¬† The song itself might have a pretty cruddy meaning, but this phrase is pretty common in modern music. ¬†We all know that when we have something, good we want it to last forever.

We typically apply this thinking to love and relationships.  To romance and marriage.  Those moments when life seems so perfect, we wish time would freeze.

Yeah, hopefully you know what I’m talking about.

And then, of course, we can look at how, since the beginning of time, we’ve longed for immortality. ¬†We’ve longed for “eternal life”. ¬†We just crave eternal, good things.

It’s no surprise that we should apply this to stories.

Don’t you like it when you find a nice long story to enjoy? ¬†Maybe it’s a serious page turner and you read the whole thing in two days. ¬†Maybe it’s a riveting show and you binge watch it for three days straight. ¬†But still, don’t you like it when stories are nice and long, long enough that you get to go back and revisit all the different parts?

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I personally love being able to do this. ¬†For me, I particularly enjoyed the¬†Inheritance Cycle for this very reason. ¬†The¬†Inheritance Cycle, written by Christopher Paolini, isn’t perhaps the most well-written series. ¬†But each book in the cycle was nice and long.

There would be scenes that made you smile, frown, grimace with determination, etc. ¬†I loved finding those moments in the story that made me go, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that!” ¬†I loved the fact that the series was long enough for me to FORGET certain scenes…so that I could go back and relive them again, as if it were the first time.

THAT is the kind of series I love. ¬†As I’m reading Harry Potter for the first time (go easy on me), I realize that this is another one of those series. ¬†Big books, lots of stories within the stories. ¬†Plenty of things I can go back and revisit.

Image result for pic of harry potter series

This, in a way, is how you make stories that last forever.

Even though the stories aren’t lasting forever, our human minds will forget, and thus we’ll have to go back in order to remember. ¬†And we’ll do this again. ¬†And again. ¬†And again.

It’s a beautiful cycle.

My favorite book thus far is¬†The Once and Future King by T.H. White. ¬† Although it’s just a standalone, it’s big enough to have plenty of scenes that I’ll forget. ¬†In fact, there will be times when I’m able to pick that book up and read a scene I totally forgot about. ¬†And, just as when I read it the first time, I’ll enjoy the experience!

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In all honesty, this is what I’m trying to do with my own series,¬†Elithius. ¬†I’ve planned for it to be a long series. ¬†In fact, I like doing this because it helps me create an intricate plot and realistic characters that my audience can grow with. ¬†My characters are teenagers when the story begins. ¬†They’ll be adults by the time it finishes. ¬†Along the way, they’ll have plenty of ups and downs. ¬†I think this will be very…realistic. ¬†Life is never easy and straightforward. ¬†Our struggles in life are usually never short; so neither should a plot be; neither should a story be.

Life is a journey, and I believe that stories are too.

Some stories will be forgotten, but not mine. ¬†I won’t let that happen.

I challenge you to do the same.

We all search for eternity in some shape or form.  Make a story that is eternal.  Make a story that never dies.


What do you think?

I. Am. A. Writer.

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Have you ever been able to tell that to someone? “Yeah, I’m a writer.”

It feels awesome. Naturally, we don’t like to share things about ourselves with people we don’t know. That being said, telling people about our love of writing seems like something we all look forward to. I know I do. I’m proud of what I love, and, if you’re like me, you’re dying for someone to listen to you talk about your writing experiences.

So maybe we like telling people “I’m a writer”.

But do we even realize what we’re saying?

If you really are a writer, analyze what I’m about to say with a writer’s eye. By saying “I am a writer”, what verb are you using?

“Am”. It’s a verb of being.

Do you realize what you are saying?

Some would say that you are defining something deep about yourself…something so deep, it’s akin to your very nature. What is the definition of nature, as ascertained by philosophers that are way smarter than me?

“Nature-Essence at its center of activity: a thing’s fundamental function”

To say that you ARE a writer implies that it is your nature. It is your fundamental function.

I dare you. I DARE you. Ask yourself a simple question:

“Am I really a writer?”

(“Or do I just write from time to time?”)

Does writing define who you are? Do you need writing? Is writing your fundamental function?

I’ve read a lot of stories about the experiences of successful authors. What those stories had in common was how much those authors had to dive into a lifestyle of writing, whether it was easy or not. They made writing their fundamental function. It was write or die.

My dear followers, are you willing to do the same?

Are you a writer?

If the answer is “no”, then what are you willing to give?

If you want to be successful, if you want to be true to yourself, don’t just write.

Be a writer…

…so that you can say this and know it in your heart: “I. Am. A. Writer.”

Now go for it, and apply this to any part of your life that involves (or should involve) passion.


This post is dedicated to Cristian Mihai, the awesome author of The Writer. ¬†If you haven’t already, check out his blog and pick up one of his books. ¬†You won’t regret it.


What do you think?