Thursday, July 12, 2012
Defending Your Turf
I noticed something the other day. You know the $5 DVD bins at Wal-Mart? You know what you will never find there? Disney movies. Pixar movies. You want to know why? The same reason you never find iPods, iPads, or Kindles on sale as a price leader. Because once you allow your product to be cheapened, you will eventually find it in the $5 bin. Yes, I know, it's a form of price fixing, in fact, it's practically the definition of it. However, it also means that the value of an item will be relatively stable.
It's similar to when we sell carriage rides. There are some drivers who will take any amount of cash someone waves in their face. I, personally, don't leave South Gate for less than $25. And I really don't like to blue light special myself by going under the $40 basic 30 minute ride. When someone shows up still sporting their $15 sign for the "Mall Special" (a ride around the block that takes about 10 minutes) it makes me crazy. It's comparable to having your neighbor short sale their house for no reason at all, sucking down the price of real estate in the entire neighborhood.
I am not Monty Hall, and you are not dressed like a kumquat. This is not "Let's Make a Deal." Nor is it the straw market in Nassau. I am not an independent carriage operator; I work for a company that sets the standards and prices for the work I do. There was a girl a few weeks ago who whispered, "Let me do the negotiating," to her friends and then proceeded to later call me a bitch when I refused to take them on a half hour ride for $20. Sister, I don't do anything for $20. Partially it's because I'm lazy, but I also have standards.
Which is why, when so many of my writer friends are selling their work for rock bottom prices, or posting entire books for free, I have priced my 384 page behemoth at $5.99. I worked on it for five years. At Amazon's 30% / 70% split (which, ironically, is what I get for carriage sales commission) I make $4.12 on the sale of each Kindle download. I make much less on the paperback, and Smashwords has only sold one copy of a format other than Kindle. But that could be because there are issues with the downloads. Which I'm working on. So that should be fixed soon.
But what I will be doing, hopefully by next week, is giving away downloads of my novel to soldiers. It's a program called "Operation eBook Drop" and provides free eBook downloads to any deployed Coalition Armed forces member requesting a free coupon code. You have to go through the program (so please don;t email me asking for a free book) but if it keeps a soldier entertained while away serving our country, then it's worth it.
See? I can be convinced to give away something for free. Because the dollar to value ratio is off the chart here, and I'm the one getting the most out of it.
Please note: If you are a soldier signed up with this program I will be sending out the email with the coupon code next week. Thank you for your service.
And anyone can read the first three chapters for free at Wattpad. Because I'm not opposed to trying something on first before you buy...