Sep. 25th, 2012
I sent out a bunch of short stories at the end of August, which are now trickling back in with little rejection notices attached. Pfoo.
It’s funny; I alternate between two modes when it comes to writing: “I HAVE THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD”, and “Why am I doing this again, what’s the point, blah …” Because I really DO have the best job in the world! I know that I am incredibly, incredibly lucky right now to be able to stay home and write all the time. I have a supportive spouse with a good job, and we don’t have kids and aren’t carrying a load of debt, and that makes me unbelievably fortunate. But on the flip side, this is my job now, and sometimes I struggle with the feeling that I’m drowning in a sea of rejection notices and that I’m either not actually good enough at it to make money this way, or just not commercial enough to manage to sell anything. Wah wah, etc.
Of course, there’s always self-publishing. Which brings me to the actual, practical reason why I’m making this post! I’m finishing up the final copy-editing on the Freebird book, and I’m trying to figure out what to charge for it. I have a pretty good feeling for the going retail prices for books of typical size and shape, but this isn’t a typical size and shape. It’s going to be 8.5×11″ and 80 pages. I had initially roughed it out to be 144 pages and comic-strip-shaped (basically, 9×6″ or whatever the closest equivalent was that I could get printed). But it turns out that most POD printers either don’t handle landscape-shaped books, or charge a lot more for them. (Because irony loves me, I didn’t investigate CreateSpace until typesetting the whole book — and come to find out, you actually can do economical landscape-shaped books on CreateSpace. Except now that I’ve got the whole thing typeset at 8.5×11, I kinda like it that way …)
Anyway, my question is – what’s a fair price for an 80-page, 8.5×11″ book? I was initially thinking $10, but for selling it wholesale, I’d be scraping the edge of my profit margin. It really would make better economic sense to charge $12. But is $12 too much for a book that’s so thin? It’s got all the same content as the 144-page book (and I think I’d have no problem charging $12 or even $14 for that) but I’m worried that it’ll look overpriced.
Or should I go back to my original plan and reset the book at the smaller-but-thicker size, so that it looks like a better value for the money?
What do you think?