[ 4 min read ]
Diary of an artist, Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Woke up 4:07 am
I’m already excited about my new book. I mean the one I’m producing (writing and compiling) right now. The one about work. This will be my seventh book in the Little Book series. It’s the series I started because I thought that reading shorter books on just one topic might be more convenient to people (to some people).
I’m especially excited because work is the topic I care about a lot, but also because I believe that we as a society (the vast majority) have a wrong approach to work. And I will challenge that in this book. I will show people how ridiculous and flawed their approach to work is.
After I self-published my latest book (the one on mistakes — also part of the Litlle Book series; by the way, I’m not sure about the name of that series, but what the hell, it’s just a name, not a big deal anyway — if people bought books and other things solely for their titles or names it would be laughable; I bet some do though), anyway, after I self-published my latest book I had this surprising thought ”Why don’t I raise the prices on my books? I mean, I can do it anytime, right?” And I quickly concluded that that’s the right thing to do and I did that immediately. I didn’t raise the prices on all of my books, but only on the cheapest ones.
What was it that convinced me so quickly that it’s the right thing to do? Well, first of all I had no certainty that it was the wrong thing to do, so that’s already a lot — quite convincing. Second, I had self-published my first book in spring 2017 (soon it’ll be two years) and ever since that time I never even thought about doing something about the price I set back then. Mind you, I had no freaking idea back then if the price I picked was a good price (good for me as an author and for my readers, and for potential readers). I did it after I had done some research on prices of books of this genre, I factored in the length of the book and that I was “nobody” in the world of authors (indie or not), and based on that I set the price. Using the same logic I set the prices for all my subsequent books. Probably not a bad logic to begin with (or even in general).
But the problem is (was) that I did not touch those prices ever since. I left them (each one of them) just as they were set initially. And two years have passed, and I sold couple dozen of them, and I’m not this ‘nobody’ I was back in spring 2017. I probably still am “nobody” (especially compared to best-selling authors), but not the same “nobody”. Today I’m a “nobody” with seventeen books under my belt and couple dozen sales, and I know for a fact that there are people who love to read my stuff. I’m a little better “nobody” today.
Also, I recently stumbled upon a non-fiction book by Neil Gaiman (it’s called Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World) and was stunned by the price of the kindle version of this 112 pages long book (which, for the most part is a compilation of texts or things previously written or said by him). Of course Gaiman is not a “nobody”. He is already a well known author. Not like J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, but still — he definitely is well known (in certain places). After I finished the book (in an instant) I thought to myself “Bloody hell, this much for that?! I mean, I understand he is Neil Gaiman, but …”And I believe it spurred this thought in me (which occurred to me a little bit later) that maybe I could raise the prices on my cheapest books.
Besides, the prices of most things fluctuate (or go only up) so why not at least give it a shot. Experiment a little bit. If I managed to sell a book which was $2.99, $1.99 or $0.99 (before VAT), I should be able to sell the same book at $3.99, $2.99 or $1.99 (before VAT), shouldn’t I? So right now my books start at $1.99, not $0.99 (before VAT). And the prices of books which stood at $2.99 and $1.99 are now $3.99 and $2.99 respectively (before VAT). We’ll see.
I know many seasoned salespeople will laugh at me and that I called this thing ’a hack’. It’s probably as obvious to most of them as two and two makes four. They know very well that a price once set can be (and should be) changed. That there is nothing to gain (and much to lose) by paying no attention to the prices you once set and are asking for your goods, services, or your art (for the things you offer people).
By the way, my best-selling book (the most “successful” book among my books) titled You Have The Right Not To Make Your Parents Proud ranks 135 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank, in Vocational Guidance (Kindle Store). Holy cow!
Reading (since my last diary entry):
Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays by George Orwell (20 min, on scribd app).
Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography by Joakim Garff (20 min, on scribd app).
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (10 min, on scribd app).
Music for this writing session: Jazz Classics (playlist on spotify)