This Week in the Blogs, April 24 – 30, 2011

by | May 1, 2011

Lots of talk this week in many places about e-book pricing and we have more for you today, along with a new metric for self-publishers, how to drive traffic to your author blog, and a high-level look at publishing and self-publishing. Take it for a spin.

Joanna Penn on The Creative Penn
Why I Sell My Novel For 99 Cents
“It is a low risk buy and if someone enjoys the sample, they don’t even need to think about clicking when the price is under $1. I want those readers to try me as well.”

Mark Barrett on Ditchwalk
The Ditchwalk Self-Publishing Scale
“In order to talk about self-publishing with any legitimacy we need a way to differentiate among self-publishers that is meaningful and objective. For that reason I created the Ditchwalk Self-Publishing Scale, which uses rising levels of production complexity to categorize self-published authors.”

Tony Eldridge on Marketing Tips for Authors
9 Non-Technical Tips To Finding Readers For Your Blog
“I want to share non-technical tips to finding readers for your blog. If you’re like me, then these are the tips you can grab hold of first as your grow in your ability to put on the more technical hats of blogging.”

Liz Alexander on The Book Doula
Pricing Books: Free or Not Free Is Not The Only Question
“Authors working with commercial publishing houses left the pricing of books up to the “experts”. It never occurred to me to get involved in how my publishers did this. . . Now as an Indie author I’m having to figure out what to charge for my books. Here’s my rationale…let me know what you think.”

G. Hugh Bodell on Self-Publishing Review
When Does Self-Publishing Becoming Publishing Through an Independent Publisher?
“if you start to take on more and more of the underlying tasks of the eight functions noted above you wake up one morning and your ‘self publishing’ adventure has morphed into an Author who happens to have an ownership interest in their Independent Publisher.”

Book Launch and Blog News

The fun just goes on and on. I’ve been very lucky to start receiving some great reviews for A Self-Publisher’s Companion this week. Here are the highlights:

  • A Close Look at Joel Friedlander’s “booked blog”
    on Write Nonfiction Now! by Nina Amir
    “Like his blog, Joel’s book is extremely easy to read. Written in a friendly, down-to-earth tone of voice, as you turn the pages you feel like a friend is offering you personal advice on self-publishing. . . I highly recommend the book.”
  • Get Help Self-Publishing A Book To Build Your Personal Brand
    on Personal Branding by Roger C. Parker
    “If you’re an entrepreneur looking for ideas and help in writing and self-publishing a book to build your personal brand: Joel Friedlander’s A Self-Publisher’s Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish from is an excellent starting point.”
  • Book Reviews: A Self-Publisher’s Companion by Joel Friedlander
    on Review Broads by Ava and Zippy
    “Joel Friedlander’s book is invaluable in setting the tone, and reaching his audience of the newly established and radically changing world of self-publishing.”

I’ve also set up a new page for these reviews as an extension of my online media kit.

And speaking of e-book prices, now that the launch month has come to an end, I’m planning on dropping the price of my Kindle and Nook editions from $8.99 to $4.99. I don’t think nonfiction is immune to the price pressure exerted by the strong feelings of e-book buyers, and it’s time to find out if this is a significant factor in sales of this nonfiction title. Expect more reports.

(These books are off sale as I type this while the price change goes into effect. Although they may be live by the time you’re reading it. If you want to find out, go ahead and click through and see if the book is available.)

Tomorrow I’ll have an interview for you with Susan Daffron and James Byrd, who are running the Self-Publisher’s Online Conference that starts next week. I wanted to get the inside story for readers so you can have as much information on this event as possible. So make sure to catch the interview for yourself. And thanks for reading!

resources for self-publishers

Photo by pjern

tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. Ken K. Chartrand

    Hi friends! My novella, ‘The Lupine Effect” is now out in the marketplace at all the usual bookstores. online or otherwise. Currently the e-book version is downloadable from Kindle store for $2.29

  2. Amy Shojai, CABC

    Read the discussion, Joel–and similar to my experience. The current “conventional wisdom” says that first-time fiction authors should price low at 99-cents, since readers are willing to risk that amount for an unknown–and then price subsequent novels higher for the first-readers to follow over and buy. I know many first time fiction authors selling 100+ copies/month so they make up for the price difference in volume.

    Nonfiction is a different animal, LOL! In most cases, the nonfiction author is an expert and/or includes experts in the book as resource. In my case I was already known in my niche market. First time nonfiction authors also generally price the first book low and build from there.

    For those of us with print book sales/following, we benefit from the reviews that carry over to the Ebook, so start out ahead–and can price a bit differently. I found it interesting that when I dropped my prices, the sales stopped, too–because in nonfiction (I’m guessing here), a low price might equate to a reader with lower quality?

    The other interesting thing with Ebooks compared to legacy publishing–it takes time for a book to gain traction. Legacy pub’ing expects most sales to happen in the first 30-90 days. Ebooks rarely take off before the 60-120-day mark.

    • Joel Friedlander

      Fascinating, Amy, I appreciate the input from your personal experience. The whole field is so new it feels a bit like the wild, wild west. I’m sure we’ll see more action and experiments in the pricing area, and I would be interested in your experiences going forward.

  3. Ken K. Chartrand

    I am a self published author.I have not quite finalized what prices my fiction novel “The Lupine Effect” will be, but I thought maybe, $16,95 for the paperback, and $7.99 for the e-book. My main concern is pricing my e-book as I want large sales. To low ball it or high ball it…I don’t know which will be the best price.

    • Joel Friedlander

      Ken, see the same discussion link I recommended to Amy, where there are comments from a number of authors about their experience with e-book pricing. One of the great things about it is that it’s not hard to experiment. It only takes a moment to change the price, and you can test various prices for 60 or 90 days to see what effect they have. Hope that helps.

  4. Amy Shojai, CABC

    I’ll be interested to learn how your pricing of the nonfiction affects sales. My nonfiction print versions are $14-$15, but I’ve priced Kindle at $5.99 and have steady sales. Both the $2.99 and the $7.99 price points on Kindle dropped sales by 50% so the $5.99 is my sweet spot. *s*

    Also, loved the post on Ebook covers, re: thumbnails and graphics. Since I re-pub’d (updated) my backlist books, I wanted the covers to “remind” folks of the successful print versions but with enough “pop” on thumbnails. Luckily with my niche, simply having a gorgeous cat or dog on the cover immediately sends the message.

    I’m giving a talk on my “kindle-ization” journey this coming weekend at a writer conference and will be sure to refer attendees to your excellent site.

    • Joel Friedlander

      Amy, thanks, that’s really interesting. I’m hoping to find that “sweet spot” for this book and for my Quick & Easy guides, which I’m putting into e-book formats as well. Your blog is terrific, by the way, I just watched the “howling” video, loved it.

      Have you seen the discussion about e-book pricing here?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.