My book-life seems to be fraught with dilemma lately and I find myself asking “Why am I doing this?” If it’s just because I have something to say there’s always the letters to the editor…and it’s certainly not about the money.
I’m happy with the way the $3.99 downloads are working but lately I’ve been checking out bookstores that might stock White Wolf Moon hard copies. Most are quite willing to put it on their shelves but at a 40% consignment fee. My books (including shipping) cost me about $14.00 apiece. The suggested list from those in the know is $27.99 ($28.00 since we lost the penny) but having worked in a bookstore for many years I know that’s too high a price, especially for a first-time author/title. Most trade-size novels hover around the $20 mark so that’s where I chose to price mine. I had a deal with the store where I worked and made a few bucks through them but since it closed I have to find at least one new outlet. Obviously losing 40% off the top of a $20 book isn’t workable and while I do believe I’ve sold more at that price than I would have at $28, I obviously have to rethink my pricing.
But again, why do I do this?
Someone got in touch with me yesterday and asked if I could sell her another copy of the book for a birthday present. Silly question, of course I could. I hand delivered it to her at her place of employment and basked in the praise she piled on me in front of everyone there. She told me how much she laughed and how much she identified with those ‘crazy people’ in the story. She even came around the counter and gave me a hug. I signed the new copy to her sister-in-law then took a quick look around the room and realized that seven people were sitting and smiling at me. Seven new people had just heard about my book and from a satisfied reader, not from me. A few of them waved and said good-bye as I left and I realized that this is one of the main reasons I do this. Yes it’s an ego thing but hey, my boat’s afloat.
Whether it be painting, writing, sculpture, pottery, photography…any of those self-satisfying pursuits…it’s all about the doing, the passion, and the love of creation. When other people share our creation and appreciate what we’ve done there’s a warm feeling of acceptance that is pretty hard to explain.
I do what I do for the same reason that anyone who takes up a creative endeavor that is unlikely to reap huge monetary rewards does.
I love it. It’s as simple as that.