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Do you earn a lot less through digital publishing?

 
Nickie85
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I noticed when authors only release books as digital versions, particularly new authors, they sell their books for less than $5. Now, this seems like they are underselling themselves considering the average book sells for $20. I feel like spending months writing a book to only sell it for $3 seems like such a waste. I don't know if this is the norm or not which is why I am asking. Does anyone know?

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Topic starter Posted : 17/12/2020 2:20 pm
Junamo
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I think their total revenue might be similar, especially considering there is no printing/publishing costs if you release digital versions. Digital brings you to a wider audience as well, so while 3$ may be little, you could sell it upto 5x more (potentially)

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Posted : 18/12/2020 2:23 pm
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Nickie85
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Posted by: @junamo

I think their total revenue might be similar, especially considering there is no printing/publishing costs if you release digital versions. Digital brings you to a wider audience as well, so while 3$ may be little, you could sell it upto 5x more (potentially)

I suppose that is a fair point but I see so many books that seem to have very few sales. I guess this is what you contract a publisher for. They do the legwork to get your book sold to people. I feel like when all is said and down, if you only do self-publishing of digital copies, you end up stuck in a bargain bin of sorts with hundred of thousands of other writers just hoping the write person reviews your book and you get sales. Maybe I am being too negative about this though. 

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Topic starter Posted : 18/12/2020 9:27 pm
Veronica
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This subjective to my views and experience. For me, it's all about catering to a target readership and market positioning.

An establish publishing house like Penguin Books and book like Lord of the Rings can charge a premium price that aligns to a paperback price because the customer has an awareness of the reputations and quality. There's also high costs associated with digital production from those places since they use many resources to release a book.  Not to mention the amount of marketing that goes into the price model that ensures successful sales.

As an indie author, we only have ourselves. The costs to release a product is minimal with most spent on labor.  Also market price positioning is extremely low compared to books from mainstream publishing houses.

After I had performed secondary price researching for my given genre, target demographics, my price model ended up far lower than a similar book from the big houses.

What I come to realize is that my target readers didn't want to shell out more than $5 on a no name book that's less or equal to 60K words.  My target reader also viewed indie authors as a hobbyist producing inferior quality works. And my given genre can be read for free or as-you-go on sites like Webnovel. So, there's fierce indirect competition that overpowers the chances for potential ebook sales.

My reader demographic is fickle. They're the type of readers that wants fast thrills, on demand and will opt for free then absolute cheap. They're light readers who frequent Instagram and watch Netflix. So, I priced my stories to match the expectations.

Yeah, one sale alone isn't even a spot on the sales sheet, but when the sales happen in bulk is where there is a chance for profit.

Note: Paperback pricing is different market position and reader base.

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Posted : 18/12/2020 10:30 pm
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Nickie85
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Posted by: @veronica

This subjective to my views and experience. For me, it's all about catering to a target readership and market positioning.

An establish publishing house like Penguin Books and book like Lord of the Rings can charge a premium price that aligns to a paperback price because the customer has an awareness of the reputations and quality. There's also high costs associated with digital production from those places since they use many resources to release a book.  Not to mention the amount of marketing that goes into the price model that ensures successful sales.

As an indie author, we only have ourselves. The costs to release a product is minimal with most spent on labor.  Also market price positioning is extremely low compared to books from mainstream publishing houses.

After I had performed secondary price researching for my given genre, target demographics, my price model ended up far lower than a similar book from the big houses.

What I come to realize is that my target readers didn't want to shell out more than $5 on a no name book that's less or equal to 60K words.  My target reader also viewed indie authors as a hobbyist producing inferior quality works. And my given genre can be read for free or as-you-go on sites like Webnovel. So, there's fierce indirect competition that overpowers the chances for potential ebook sales.

My reader demographic is fickle. They're the type of readers that wants fast thrills, on demand and will opt for free then absolute cheap. They're light readers who frequent Instagram and watch Netflix. So, I priced my stories to match the expectations.

Yeah, one sale alone isn't even a spot on the sales sheet, but when the sales happen in bulk is where there is a chance for profit.

Note: Paperback pricing is different market position and reader base.

Thanks for your response. What you said makes a lot of sense. It is far easier to earn more if you are a well-known author without paper/hardcover copies. I know a number of writers who only provide digital books through their blogs and while they do well, they are very niche related and shorter, more informative reads. I guess I would have to take this into consideration. If I go with only digital copies, the story would likely fair better as being shorter and cheaper to encourage more people to read it.

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Topic starter Posted : 20/12/2020 6:19 pm
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Junamo
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Posted by: @nickie85
Posted by: @junamo

I think their total revenue might be similar, especially considering there is no printing/publishing costs if you release digital versions. Digital brings you to a wider audience as well, so while 3$ may be little, you could sell it upto 5x more (potentially)

I suppose that is a fair point but I see so many books that seem to have very few sales. I guess this is what you contract a publisher for. They do the legwork to get your book sold to people. I feel like when all is said and down, if you only do self-publishing of digital copies, you end up stuck in a bargain bin of sorts with hundred of thousands of other writers just hoping the write person reviews your book and you get sales. Maybe I am being too negative about this though. 

Yes, Marketing your book would be all on you (unless somehow kindle decides to rank you higher).

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Posted : 21/12/2020 7:26 pm
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