Tag Archives: Amazon

What do you think is the right price for an ebook?

There has been a lot of talk about this lately. I’ve heard both sides, and I completely understand all sides of the argument. For now, I’d like to take off my author hat, and speak as a consumer.

A few weeks ago, my son just HAD to have a particular book on release day.  I cringed when I saw the $14 price tag.

$14 For an Ebook?


Initially I told him he had to wait until it went on sale. But eventually I caved. The kid’s not asking for a video game, after all. It’s a book. Still… $14 for memory space?

As an author, I totally appreciate the time and effort in creating a book, and yes, I did pay the price. But I can’t help but feel a little scammed when there are so many great books out there without a “Best-Selling Author” tag that are $4.99 or less.

Today, I ran across the same problem with a book that I was really interested in.  I came across a blurb for it on an agent’s website when it initially sold. Today, it came up recommended on Goodreads.  I was all ready to buy it. It sounds great.

But at the $9.99 price tag, I hesitated.

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...

And the hardcover is $13.59. Does anyone else see a problem with this? Why spend $9.99 on an ebook when you can spend a few dollars more and get something you can hold?

I’m wondering… if Amazon hadn’t driven prices down so low on ebooks if I would have even blinked about spending $10 on a book that I wanted.  If all books were around this cost, I wouldn’t have a choice, right?


But this is my worry.

How many people out there are like me, and want the book, but decided to pass and get two other books for 4.99 instead?

Where, as an author, I’d like to see average book prices be higher, I have to worry and wonder about houses that charge so much more than other books on the market.  I suppose if they are throwing big marketing dollars at the book, that people will be influenced to buy no matter the price.

But what about the people like me who stumbled across the book by accident and just want to read the story? Are they risking turning them away?

This is one of the quandaries that keeps me in limbo about whether or not to submit to certain houses. I don’t want people to say, “Why is your book so expensive? All these other books a five bucks.”

I’m wondering what you think. If you are an author, try putting your author hat aside. Think as a reader, or a consumer/buyer of ebooks.

What do you think is the right price for an ebook?

And maybe another question:  Should ebooks be premium priced for the first several months, and then the price drop once the paperback comes out? Or would fewer books even get to paperback if less people are buying?

What are your thoughts?

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It’s Release Day for Paper Wishes – Take Two – (Head Smack)

Okay – so, no one told me that release day means “within a couple of days of” a certain date at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Color me silly.

Note to self – Schedule launch for a few day AFTER the official release date next time to let the big boys catch up.

Paper Wishes Final

But Fear not!

Astraea Press has all the Paper Wishes your heart may desire.

Available now.  Yes, seriously. Right now.

And for the bargain basement price of $.99 for a new release!

How cool is that?

And yes, you can get it for your kindle or Nook over at Astraea.  They are all sociable that way. Zip on over to Astraea Press to buy Paper Wishes for $.99

Oh!  And the deal is still out there!  Facebook or Tweet about the release and giveaway for a chance to win a free copy.  Don’t forget to tag me so I see it!

Click to Tweet: “It’s release day for “Paper Wishes” a sweet romance by @Jennifermeaton. Check it out!”

Click to Tweet:Win a free copy of “Paper Wishes” by @jennifermeaton


The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest: Did you make the first cut?

The top 400 pitches in each category have been listed.  Did you make the cut?

I didn’t recognize anyone on the YA list, but congrats to everyone who made it.  I wish you the best of luck.

And, yes, that means that my name was NOT on the list.

Am I upset?  Honestly, not really.

The only thing I could really be upset about is that I stopped doing what I SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING and spent two weeks polishing my manuscript, rewriting the beginning, and writing an (unsuccessful) pitch.  I am now behind on a writing project that I should have finished and sent to beta yesterday. (I haven’t even written the climax yet)


My Fire in the Woods manuscript now has a KICK BUTT beginning that I believe fixes everything that was wrong with my first draft, and I also have a pitch that I know needs some tweaking, because there were 400 out there that were better than mine.

So, yes, I am behind on my current Work in Progress, but my “Big Tamale” Fire in the Woods is now quite a bit closer to being ready for query land.

So, am I mad I didn’t make the first cut?  Nope, not at all.  It was no reflection on my novel.  They didn’t even look at it.  My pitch didn’t grab them.  No harm, no foul.

Thanks, Amazon, for giving me that extra pressure to fix the overall problems.

What about you guys?  Did anyone make the first cut? Are you in the same boat as me? What do you think about all this?


Road to Publication #25 – One week to Release Day – And the Reviews are in…. Deep Breath

I think I’ve mentioned that people have contacted me to say that they liked the story.  Yeah, that gave me the grins and giggles.  But the actual reviews have now started to pop up on Goodreads. (Amazon is not live until the actual release date.)

When I heard, my hands shook.  “Nope, not going to look.”  I was a wreck.  Then I got a nudge from a friend telling me that I should definitely look.

Here are the reviews of “Make Believe” so far on Goodreads… cutting out just the parts that mention Last Winter Red. Links are included in case you want to see the full review.

Brook – 4 Stars http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/459716333

Last Winter Red was probably my most favorite story. I am really into dystopian literature and this definitely had that underlying theme. I loved the world building that went on. And I liked the separation of the “classes” in the two different worlds, which is something you see in all dystopian novels. I could definitely see this story sprouting into a book or even a series. And I loved the twist to this story, it was one I was not expecting!

Jill – 4 Stars  http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/462048340

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton … was an interesting story. It reminded me a little of Brave New World. We have to civilizations living apart from each other both thinking the other is diseased and living a strange lifestyle. This follows a girl that is moving from one civilization to the other and the discoveries she makes about her life and herself. This is one of the top stories in the anthology.

Danielle Villano – 4 Stars http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/460337884

This was such a great premise for a story! “Last Winter Red” had a significant dystopian feel that was not present in the other pieces, and so it stands out in my mind. While Emily is a bit whiny as a main character, her personality is completely justified: her upbringing has her believing that she is entitled to a certain way of living, and a certain caliber of privilege. As she leaves the boundaries of the Red and enters the world of the Gray, she is faced with the fact that she is “different,” and not cut out for the hardened Gray lifestyle. The twist in this story was very well-done and I enjoyed it immensely.

Rachael Morgan – 4 Stars http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/442896275

MAKE BELIEVE is a magical collection of short stories. Just the right size for someone like me who falls into bed too late every night and doesn’t have much time (or energy) left to read! It was a pleasure to escape into so many diverse fantasy worlds, some completely different from our own, others familiar but with a dash of the paranormal. All the stories were well-written, but I think my favourite was LAST WINTER RED, followed by BIRTHRIGHT. Those two captured my attention the most, and kept me clicking through the pages when I should have been switching off my light and sleeping! Overall, an enjoyable escape from the real world. Fantasy-lovers should definitely check this one out.

Jen – At Random – 5 Stars http://lratrandom.blogspot.com/2012/11/make-believe-anthology.html      (Loved it overall and didn’t comments on any story specifically.

Aimee Lane – 5 Stars http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/327147561

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton 4/5
Another self-sacrifice story, but one mixed in with selfishness (on some people’s parts) and a totally different world in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic setting. I liked that this was totally different than the rest with its settings and purpose.

Sans – 5 Stars on Amazon

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton
This one is a kind of dystopian tale in that Terra is surrounded by a wall to keep out the “diseased”, the people inside are known as Reds. Reds are supposed to marry and have many children to increase the population as they all seem to die young. Outside the people are known as Grays, or vermin. The two are not supposed to mix ever. There’s a “red” doctor trying to help the grays and give them health care as they seem to be living to older ages and have age related ailments that need medical help. Emily is a Red besotted with the doctor who ferrys the doctor supplies from Terra to Outside. Emily’s husband died before they have children so she now needs to find a new husband and begin having children to contribute in Terra and be considered a good valued Red.
I enjoyed this as the dystopian genre is one of my favourites. I would also love
to read more about these characters too. Maybe this short story could be the
start of a series?  So I would give this story a 5/5 I want more!

Wow.  Ya gotta love that!  But I’m a realist, so I will now stop reading them again until someone nudges me.

This really helps me moving forward, though.  Maybe I should step out of my comfort zone more often!

How about you… have you had success with something that was far different from anything you’ve done before?

The Proper (and easy!) way to Market your Novel #4 – The dreaded Public Appearance

Alright, we’ve talked about not marketing your novel… instead, marketing yourself.  How do you do that?  By being nice.

(Check out the last few Friday posts if you’re just jumping in.)

Okay, so it’s all well and good doing this over the internet… but what about those public appearances?

We can all be nice, that’s not too hard.  Getting out there in front of people… that is hard.  But when you do, just remember that you don’t need to shove your novel in people’s faces.

Just smile pretty.  Answer questions.  Be yourself.

If you are a scared, timid writer, invent a new character who is outgoing and friendly… and be that person for a little while. (It’s called acting).

In the end, the connections you make will sell your work.  The connections you make will lead to “word of mouth”.  And you never know when you will be nice to someone, and they will help you out.

Remember Ed Griffis?  After my post on his novel, dozens of my followers re-tweeted it.  It’s the Twitter snowball effect.   His Kindle rating jumped.  Pretty cool, huh?  I’m not saying that is all because of my post.  Maybe it was just a coincidence. (There is a lot that goes into your Amazon rating.  It not only has to do with your sales, but everyone else’s too.)  But if you guys did all run out and buy his book, that’s great… and you found out about it because the author was “nice” to me for a little while.

Easy self-promotion, right?
Market yourself.  Not your novel.

Smile pretty at everyone.

You never know who you might meet.

By the way… thanks for stopping by.

It’s great to meet you!  🙂

The Proper (and easy!) way to Market your Novel #2

Last week we talked about the best way to market your novel.  I promised the secret magic recipe from established author Danielle Ackley McPhail.  Are ya ready for it?

Think that over.

Most people don’t go out looking for a particular novel.  They go looking for an author… even if they don’t even know it.  Consider this:  If you are breezing through an Amazon page full of novels, who are you going to click on first— the unknown, or the name that you recognize… even if you cannot remember why you recognize the name.

Chew on this for a little while, and next week I’m going to fill you in on what I thought when I really considered what she said.  This works, because I’ve seen it. Think about your own experiences, what you think has worked, and hasn’t worked for people.  Let’s chat it up!

In the meantime, can you think of a time when someone marketed themself, and it worked?  Can you think of a time when someone marketed their novel and it didn’t work?  (That one should be easy)

EEEE Gads! Why the heck did I read a Western? A Review of Mended Hearts by Olivia Devereaux

Yeah, so, I just read this little Western story.  In general, other than non-fiction as a whole, the lump sum of everything Western (as in America’s traditional “Old West”) is at the bottom of the barrel of stuff I’d want to read… and I almost never scrape the bottom of the barrel.  So why the heck did I pick this up?

Two reasons.

Reason  #1:   I am submitting a short story to the same publisher “Still Moments Publishing” … and as any good author should do, I wanted to research something that they recently put out (April 2012 in this case.)

Okay, so …  this publisher has tons of titles…

why pick something you know you won’t like?

Reason #2:  A little bird told me that this story was submitted for consideration in an anthology, but they did not think it was a good fit.

However…. They liked it so much they wanted to publish it as a stand-alone.  They even created a new “western” category to their offered listings to slip it into.

All this drew my attention, so I bit the bullet (Tee Hee) and resisted my urge to cringe at the [very stark, boring and very western] cover.   I bopped over to Amazon and popped a copy into my Kindle.

Here’s the jist of this 28-ish page story:  A family is living out in the middle of nowhere.  Dad gets hit by a stray bullet and dies.  The next day the son finds another guy (a stranger) in their barn bleeding from a gunshot wound.  The widow takes him in and cares for him, hoping that when he wakes up he will be able to tell her what happened to her husband.

Yeah… boring.  Not a spaceship in sight.  However…

 Let me tell you something …  I think this lady could probably re-write Humpty Dumpty and be able to get my attention.  Within a few pages, I totally forgot how much I hate the Old West as a genre.  I was completely absorbed in the story, and emotionally connected to the characters.

Oh! Let’s not get carried away there.  Reign yourself in, Buckaroo!

Normally I have a laundry list of things to pick out.  You know… general writer’s mistakes that make me cringe.

In this novel?


I bow down to the writing Gods and say “Why Why Why can’t everyone write this cleanly!”

The writing was crisp, fresh and for the first time this year – NO TYPOS.  Yay!  Extra cookie just for that, because that has really been ticking me off lately.

So, what was wrong with it?  I had to rack my brain, but I will nit-pick on two very minor things.

Number one:  This woman’s husband just died.  She is still has dirt on her skirt from burying him… and this other guy shows up.  She is instantly attracted to him (but at least feels guilty about it.)  This is what bothered me about this:  She is portrayed as really loving her husband.  So, I put myself in her shoes …  If my husband just died a few hours ago, I would barely be able to look at a man … let alone find one attractive.  I just found that unrealistic. – subtract half a cookie.

Number Two:  I hate when names sound alike.  It confuses me.  Maybe it is because my eyes read quickly, and only pick up certain letters, but this is just a pet peeve of mine.  The Woman’s name is Ella, and her son’s name is Eli.  Now, I realize this may have been one of those “name your kid after you” things,  but every time I hit “Eli” my eyes read “Ella” and I had to go back and re-read because I got confused.  –Subtract another half a cookie

So, for these two nit-picky things, I am nibbling away at one full cookie.

Yeeee Hawwww!

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this little-ditty, yes-sir-eee.  If the writing were poor… if it had not flowed so well, and if the characters were not so well rounded, I may have remembered I was in a Western.  If the chemistry between the Widow and the patient wasn’t so dern good, I would have been annoyed by her initial attraction to him for longer than a page.

The writing was just dern good.

So, what’s the verdict?  She lost one cookie in the creamy bad stuff section.  And, sorry, it’s the rules … I need to take away another due to lack of explosions.  So that leaves three out of five cookies.

Oh!  Wait Jennifer!  You gave her an extra cookie for having no typos!

Well, yes-sir-eee you’d be right about that, Buckaroo.  That is a grand total of Four out of Five Oreos for Mended Hearts by Olivia Devereaux.

[She cringes]  Ewwwwweeee!  I just gave a nice review to a Western.  What is this world coming to????

Review of The Sword: A Novel (Chiveis Trilogy) by Bryan Litfin

I started reading this novel with the “free excerpt” from Amazon, and I immediately purchased it once my free pages were done.

Click on the image to go to B&N Site

This novel was everything I was looking for…  A Medieval setting with a very original twist.  My son (the middle grade reviewer) read over my shoulder one day and said “That looks great, can I read it?”

I had to finish it first before I could answer, but even looking over my shoulder, he picked up on the sharp writing, and compelling plot.

Despite all this, I finished the book disappointed.  Why?  Let’s discuss.

The “sharp writing” swayed a little further on.  The characters lost “their voice” a few times.  At least from my perspective it seemed wrong.  Also, there were too many points of view, and too many characters.  Yes, I understood the necessity of each of them, but with their odd names, I had trouble remembering who was who.

The novel is cut into three “books”.  At the end of book one, I sat back and said.  “Wow, that was cool.”

I was still enjoying it at that point, but then it turned for me.  It got very wrapped up in what happened at the end of book one.  Yes, I suppose that is what the writer wanted to do, but he had me so in-tune to the relationship development of two characters at that point, that the interjection of the new plot element was jarring.

I just really couldn’t get into the second and third books, (the second being the worst of the two)

What I learned as a writer:

I keep going back to that one blog post I read a year ago (I really wish I could remember her name) where she said “The first chapter is a promise to your reader”

That is what my problem was.  I was promised a very different story than the one that ended up the novel.  I supposed the “second story” was good, but it wasn’t what I was interested in at that point.

I would also be careful to follow the rules of POV.  For instance, there is a scene told in a beggar’s POV.  It is only a few pages long.  It is there because the author wanted someone had to see the two Main characters walking through the forest. – WHY?  You never see or hear from this character again.

Little things like that annoyed me, and made me feel less standoffish about the POV cuts I have done in my novel.  There could have been a much easier way to do that scene (above) without injecting another random character in the story.

In the end, I was jumping back and forth from head to head so much, I don’t even know whose side I was rooting for. (You get the POV of the good guys and the bad guys.)

So, Book one I would give four solid Oreos.  But the overall novel… all three books, I would give three stars.

I would recommend this to anyone really interested in religion, and the development of religion.  That is what this novel is about.  Granted, religion is mentioned in the “blurb” but after looking at the cover, and reading the first several chapters, I was ready for something very different.

Bummer for me, because I was really ready to enjoy this.