Author Andy Hollman gave me permission to reprint this important blog entry that any writer worth the name should keep in mind. The quality of your finished work is more important than whatever you decide to charge for it (even if you give it away for free!).
With the ease of bypassing traditional ink-on-paper books and going straight to ebooks, more writers (notice I don’t call them “authors” – that’s a title that must be earned, in my opinion) are opting to make their writings commercially available through Smashwords or any other outlet that will get an electronic “book” on the internet. Some of them (dare I say a great many?) should be sent into cyberspace and just keep going. They may impress your mom, boyfriend, girlfriend, or anyone else who won’t tell you the truth, but LOTS of them just give a bad name to the self-publishing business.
Here’s what Andy had to say:
Quality vs. Price – Why Quality is ALL that matters in eBooks. (IMHO)
When writing and re-writing your book, keep “Quality” as your number one goal.
Here’s a brief thought (aren’t those your favorites?) – What factors go into determining Quality and Pricing when it comes to eBooks?
Remember the ”Time Investment” issue – When I buy eBooks, my main consideration is not the “price” but the “cost” of investing my time. Will my time invested in this book give me a “return” (pleasure) ? Should I “spend” my limited resource (time) on this book?
This is the key factor for me as a reader. Therefore, I try to keep this in the forefront of my mind when I construct a novel. To me, this is where the “Quality” factor trumps “Price” every time. Consider that the price for most eBooks is something that anyone can afford. Hell, lots of folks spend a couple of bucks a day on much more frivolous items. That being the case, readers ARE careful to “spend” their time carefully. Time is a very valuable resource for all of us. Time is finite. The number of books that can be read is infinite (well, almost).
So make your book a quality product. Entice your readers to turn the page quickly. Give them characters and plot lines that they can relate too. Make your story exciting, romantic, thrilling, smart, surprising, etc. These are the adjectives that you will want your readers to mention to their friends when they recommend your book. Get your book edited by a professional (I used two!) [So did I. The importance of professional editing can’t be emphasized enough.] I’m quite certain that if you deliver a quality product, the positive “word-of-mouth” regarding your novel will almost certainly NOT include what the price is.