Monday, April 29, 2013

Question/Poll For My Readers

I've been looking at a lot of the TV/TG fiction at Amazon and I'm curious what everyone thinks about the pricing of these books and the length of these books. Sandy Thomas used to sell at around $9 a book. Reluctant Press was anywhere from $7 to $10. These days, Kindle TV/TG fiction seems to be going for anything from $2.99 to $6.99. I'm curious what people think about those prices and about book length. In particular, I've notice a lot of junk appearing in the $2.99 range, much of which is only a couple pages long. Does price matter to you? Do you see price (low or high) as a signal of quality? Do you care about story length? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Here are three polls. Please tell me what you think! :)

18 comments:

Courtney Captisa said...

Personally, I think pricing depends on the reputation of the publisher/author and the content.

I've paid $3-$4 for stories before that were good, but had poor design up to $12 for exclusive stuff from places like Joe Six Pack,TGComics and TGstories/Lulu. All of these were pdfs rather than paperback which I prefer.

Since online TG Fiction is now over 20 years old, there are literally tens of thousands of stories out there. But with anything, you get what you pay for sometimes.

Ann Michelle said...

Courtney, Thanks for responding. I think you're right that reputation does matter.

You're also right that there are thousands of stories out there, and the quality varies wildly.

Dawn said...

I believe price is relative to both the length and the quality of writing but right now my Kindle has over 2000 novels and stories on it 90% I didn't pay a penny for.
I did buy Humiliation at the Office (and reviewed it) and found the price reasonable but even though it's a niche market it's hard to justify paying anything at all for works less than novella size. Authors with multiple novels have found that offering one free and the others at reasonable say 2.99 or 3.99 make up for the price in volume.

Tom Tame said...

For a new, unproven author, I won't buy unless their description is just irresistible. Then, I'll buy once (even at up 5.99) and if it doesn't knock me out of the ballpark, I probably won't buy anymore of their work. For an author I love, I'd probably be willing to pay more. For anyone else, length is important. For 5600 words, 2.99 is too much.

I have noticed that some clever authors will offer one story for free, and when I love their work, I do tend to go searching for the others.

Ann Michelle said...

Dawn, Thanks for the review. :)

I've got a lot of free stuff to sort through on my Kindle too, but in this genre, I've found that the best writers rarely (almost never) make their work free. So I've had to buy it.

I don't mind though because honestly, a couple dollars for something that stands out is worth it to me. And the best authors really do stand out in my opinion.

Also, I don't personally see a couple dollars as a problem since I used to buy all of Sandy Thomas' books for example at $9 each when I was younger and because I have no problems rewarding people who bring me stories that make me happy.

What I don't like though, is paying for work that feels like it was written in ten minutes by someone who doesn't even grasp the genre.

Ann Michelle said...

Tom, One of the reasons I asked this question was that I've started to notice that the $2.99 market is getting flooded in the past few weeks by people who are turning out 2 or more stories a week. These are often not very good and often times they are written by people who are just writing in every genre out there.

For me, that's making it harder to find the better stuff on the low end. That got me searching the more high end stuff. And I was curious to see if people see a connection between price and quality. For example, do people trust more expensive books more or not? I'm not sure, so I wanted to see what everyone thinks.

Ann Michelle said...

BTW, Dawn, if you're DJ, then your reviews are excellent and people should read them.

Dawn said...

Sorry I'm not DJ. I'm commentator on Amazon Even though he has the same initials LOL.

I agree that most writers in the genre don't offer their work for free but that's because for many of them one read and they'd never sell another book to the readers.
On the other hand a talented author with multiple titles can be confident that given a taste the readers will be back - with money to buy the rest.
After all it works for the drug trade and this kind of writing IS highly addictive.



Anonymous said...

Hi Anne
Most of what I have seen at under $3 and under 10,000 words is poor, though there are plenty of higher priced stories out there that were equally bad only with a higher word count. I am not sure that a high price necessarily points to a good story and I am very wary when buying from a new author. I think reputation is very important, after buying humiliation at the office I have gone on to buy another 3 of your kindlebooks and have enjoyed them all, I feel that the pricing was very fair. If that first book had have been priced highly would I have taken the risk?, that would have depended on the price I suppose. Talking of which do you have any new work in the pipeline at the moment?
Marie

Ann Michelle said...

Dawn, The free book idea is interesting and your analogy to an addiction is very true.

Ann Michelle said...

Marie, I agree with you. Most of what I've seen in the very short or cheap range isn't worth the price. The writing tends to be poor and the story isn't a story so much as an intro paragraph and then a quick sex scene that could have come out of any book. But others seem to like those books. Hence, my curiosity.

I definitely agree about trying only one book to begin with. And there are definitely price points where I just won't try a new author.

Dawn said...

One of the most successful e-writers John Locke offers all his works at 99 cents and he has made over a million dollars. Of course he is very prolific and writes in highly popular genres. Right now he is offering one of his works for free

http://www.amazon.com/John-Locke/e/B003ATT1YO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_7?qid=1367256903&sr=1-7

Tinker Bell said...

The first thing I look at (after the title description) for any book I purchase is how many pages it has (and word count). I never consider any book without at least 60+ pages in it and then this will next get me to read the intro. After this comes reviews (hopefully) and if there are no reviews the money I am willing to pay drops off quickly.

I've read two of yours and enjoyed them very much. Both felt like I got my money's worth. The stories weren't perfect, but I think in this genera its hard to hit what someone likes exactly. Plus, I may buy more so I think that is probably the most important factor anyhow.

I think purchasing stories this way, you can't help having to compete against the large body of free work already out there. As a consumer, I expect it to be proofread, good descriptions, plot, characters, and length. IE a book, not a 20 minute read.

I also really dislike the authors who 'pad' their books with a preview of another story, when that preview is over 40% of the book you just bought and the author didn't tell you.

I also like the review you wrote up on other stories you liked. Its very helpful when I find I just don't trust many reviews these days.

Lastly, please write a follow up to Grounded in Heels! I am just dying for it.

Ann Michelle said...

Dawn, I've spoken with authors in various genres and some have said that works really well, others have said it doesn't. I'm not sure why it works for some people, but not others.

Ann Michelle said...

Tinker Bell, Thanks! I do intend to do a sequel, but after the epic struggle I had with Amazon getting it available again, I'm going to do a sequel to "Writer's Secret" first.

I agree with you that I prefer an actually book and not something I can read in twenty minutes. But unless it's really good, I also would rather it was a novella rather than a full-blown novel. Too many of the really really long stories I've read seem to lack story arcs and just turn into journals.

I know what you mean about the addition of previews. I've gotten a couple stories where the previews were longer than the story itself.

Perfect is really hard in this genre because people prefer different (often conflicting) things. Some people like short, some like long. Some like lots of sex, some like plot. Some like lots of humiliation, some like sentimental. Etc. It's impossible to please everyone.

Ann Michelle said...

Marie, Sorry, I didn't mean to dodge your question -- it was a busy day.

I've got a book that's mostly written that I need to finish and then I want to do the sequel to "Writer's Secret."

Unfortunately, these things take me a long time to write because there is a lot inside each story -- and the day job keeps me from having the time I need to write too much.

Dawn said...

I think it works successfully in two ways:

1. It's the first book of a multi-part series. It's how I discovered Donna McDonald's romance novels and bought every other one.

2. An established author offers a very early work as he or she is about to introduce a new book. this whets the appetite and often brings back lookers who didn't want to pay for the first book.

Personally even though it's a specialized market I won't pay more than I would have for a trade paperback with a similar number of pages.

Ann Michelle said...

Dawn, That's probably when it does work best. I have seen people make their books free even if they only have one book and that doesn't make sense to me.

In terms of price, I am leery of prices that don't fit the length of the book. I've also become really leery of short books by authors who cover bunches of genres. There are some people out there with 100-200 books and they cover any number of erotic genres. I've tried a couple of those and found them to be horrible all around.