For as long as I've had The Watchers out in the ether of the thing we call the interwebs, I've wanted to have a physical form to sell to people. When I pictured myself as a fancy-pants author girl, it was to the picture of a book in hand as I smiled at the hysterically sobbing fans that adore me. (Only part of that is true). While I thoroughly - and I do mean thoroughly! - enjoy my self-publishing E-book journey, the idea of a book I can hold in my hands (a book you can hold in your hands) is a rather fetching dream.
The dream comes with some problems that I am starting to understand keenly.
The biggest problem, at this point, is price.
When I set The Watchers to free, it was with the hope that more people would be drawn to my writing, be drawn to what I had to say. But it's also because I love free books. I've kept my books at a lower price than some I've seen floating around the E-book market, because I like inexpensive books. All of my books are under three dollars as of right now. It's not because I can't set them higher - I just think it's a fair price for a digital book. I've never been one to buy thirty dollar books. (The only exception was Harry Potter, because let's face it, it's Harry Potter). I LOVE libraries. I think they are the single greatest education we can ever hope to give ourselves. I think that a library can provide you with a better education than most institutions of higher learning these days. But, uh, college is good, kids, etc., etc. : ). And...off my soap box.
My point, and I do have one, my amazingly sexy friends, is that a print book is expensive. At least to do it myself. I've been looking in to Createspace. It's a pretty cool outlet by Amazon, where they make the physical copies when they are bought by the customers. It's a print-on-demand thing. I don't have to spend about a bajilion dollars trying to get my book printed properly beforehand. I approve the book, they print it as customers buy it and they sell it through a bunch of distributors, giving me exposure. It sounds like a perfect marriage.
The only problem I've had with that is the fact that I can't seem to find a way to do that where my book is under $15.00 for you guys to buy. That's right, $15.00!
And while I've felt your love this past year, and have been ecstatic to share in this journey with you, fifteen big ones sounds pretty dang steep. I've tried playing around with Createspace, but I really can't figure out a way to get the book to you cheaper than that. I love having a physical copy to read when I'm in to a story. That's how I do the majority of my reading, to be honest, but giving you the Watchers in physical form just feels rather impossible at this point.
The other option is to go through some of these publishing houses where I have to order, print and buy a bunch of copies of the books, with no guarantee that I can sell them. That means, most likely that I'll have to, again, up the price in order to make back my money. That doesn't come with the guarantee that I'll be able to sell them at all. Createspace at least takes care of the marketing for me. But that brings us back to !!!$15.00!!!. Yikes.
How can I really justify charging $15.00 dollars for a book I've set for free online? I really can't fathom it as being a good idea. I mean, I could do it, as it wouldn't hurt me to try, but I don't want to look like the world's biggest a-hole in the process. More than usual, I mean. ; ).
Which brings us back to the frustrated bit. I know that some of you have been asking about a physical copy. I would LOVE to give you that. I would love to know that my book was safely in your hands. But I simply cannot figure out a cheap way to do that at this point. My little brain is fried.
What are your thoughts? Be honest. I can take it.