There are million details to be alert for when looking over contracts. This is one reason agents are good to have. But for those who find themselves treading the publishing path alone, it helps to have Information. Which some of those agents generously provide (ghoddess bless them, everyone)
Here’s a link where Kristin Nelson discusses the phrase, “in perpetuity.”
Is the Price Right?
I really, really, really don’t like authors who sell their ebooks for 99 cents. I’m talking about novel-length works, here. Is that all your work is worth? I know for a fact that mine are worth more than that. If that’s what you’re charging, I won’t buy your book. It can’t possibly be worth my time. And my time is worth a hell of a lot more than 99 cents, whether I’m using it to write my own books, or to read yours.
A possible exception might be that you’re offering this price as part of an introductory special – with a specific time frame. Say, two weeks, to introduce your first book. And I do think this can only be used by first-time authors. Your second book? Sorry – charge the right price.
But a better method would be to offer the first 10% or 20% of your book for free, as an excerpt the customer can click on. Then let them buy the whole book for the regular price.
What is that “regular price?” I dunno. I find paperbacks are usually $6 – $10, depending, I guess, on size. I have a gut feeling that $6 – $8 is good for ebooks. Maybe $4 for anything under 70K.
The core of this argument is that you wrote this book. You committed time, energy, and emotions to create this story. You spent more valuable time perfecting it. If it’s self-published, you also paid to have the book edited (you did have it edited, didn’t you?)and to have a cover made (or you made it yourself). You formatted it, sometimes for multiple formats. You’re the PR department, too. The time and work that goes into those electrons for people to download… huge. Huge.
Don’t belittle it by selling it for the price of a candy bar. You hurt yourself, and you hurt every other writer, too.
I know I’m a slow writer. But if I take a year to write a novel, and several months to get critiques and edits, then more time to revise, perfect, and polish… I am not going to pretend this work is worthless. If you’re dashing off something in a couple of weeks and slamming it up on Smashwords or Createspace, then yes – sell that for 99 cents. Because if that’s what you’re selling your book for – I’m going to assume that’s what you’ve done.
And just so you go away happy – check out this Astronomy Picture of the Day.