A big decision? #amwriting

Image of an open book within a fantasy landscape, a girl standing on a swing attached to a cherry blossom tree on the left page, a woodland on the right, with steps leading from the book down onto a grassy hill.
Image by Darkmoon Art
There is a theory (I can’t recall whose) that our decisions are already made at the beginning of a deliberation process, and the weighing up of pros and cons is merely a form of delaying while we find the courage to take the leap.

After three months of prevaricating, I’ve taken that leap.

Well, more of a step-over, as what I’ve done is congruent with who I am and my values, but I’m wary of the kickback it might have and how others could feel under duress to follow my example or plead their case, neither of which are necessary.

To be clear: this decision has no bearing on anyone else, nor is it a judgement of how other creative people do their thing.

Cutting to the chase (finally)…

I’ve re-priced all of my ebooks to 99c/99p (depending on where you are in the world). That includes all novels, novellas and short stories written by Debbie McGowan or J.S. Morley. The only exceptions are my box sets/multiple-volume books, which are 2.99 USD, and my free ebooks, which will remain free.

My reasons, in brief:

  • I’m fortunate that I don’t rely on income from my writing. My income is my university salary.
  • I have wonderful friends who are accomplished editors and proofreaders and (I hope) are happy with the non-monetary exchange of favours, if that’s the word for it.
  • I don’t care about money. Yes, I know that’s a privileged statement. My salary pays the bills, and we’re comfortable.
  • While it was true five years ago that the price of an ebook was seen as a reliable measure of its value (i.e. how well it was written and edited), this is no longer the case, and deciding on what is a ‘worthy’ price tag for my books is nonsense to my socialist worldview.
  • Many readers have to ration their book purchases. Equally invalid as the previous point’s argument is ‘you pay that for a cup of coffee’. The world changed in 2020 and remains a harsh terrain. The last thing I want is for the cost of an ebook to be the reason someone can’t enjoy a few moments’ respite from reality.
  • Knowing that people are reading my books motivates me to write. Worrying about why they aren’t buying my books does not.

I haven’t made all of my books free, as I want people to read them (see last point above), and it’s too easy to download a free book, simply because it’s free, only to delete it later.

To reiterate: this is NOT a judgement of any other author’s pricing practices. There are many costs associated with publishing a book, and most authors make a pittance if they make anything at all. I will continue to buy ebooks and respect every person’s right to fair pay for their work. I would be very dis-chuffed to find out a reader has used my decision as a criticism of another author.

Lastly, I’m working through my back catalogue, converting my ebooks to ePub 3 format and taking the opportunity to fix bits and pieces. I’ve only updated three books so far (Beginnings, Hiding Behind The Couch and No Time Like The Present), but if you want to check whether you’re reading the most up-to-date version, check the copyright page, which will provide a date range ending in 2023 (e.g. Copyright © 2012–2023 Debbie McGowan).

Thanks for reading. :)

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