So, why did I allow Wasted to be sold for as little as £1.01 on Kindle, in a special promotion from now until early May? (Let me wait a moment or two while you go off and buy it. But not in the US, I'm afraid. Not my fault - ask a US publisher to buy the rights.)
Several reasons. (And yes, Amazon did have to ask permission from my publisher, Walker Books, who asked me, and I gave permission willingly.)
- It's a temporary promotion. This is important because the point (for me) is to swell the number of people out there who might read it and like it, so that they might talk about it. Then, when the promotion ends, word of mouth will help sales through bookshops, too.
- It's a promotion. Think about the word. Promoting is what we have to do, all of us who have anything to sell.
- Even though the income from each sale will be horribly small, I would rather have a small income many times than a larger one from a few sales. (For a short period.)
- I also happen to believe that ebooks should be substantially cheaper than the physical book anyway.
- Because the public perception (wrongly) is that they cost very little to produce. Actually, they cost more than people think. But perceived value is important in the psychology of buying.
- If ebooks are cheap enough, most people won't download illegally or steal. No decent person will feel the need to.
- If ebooks are cheap enough, many people will take a risk. I don't mind making a mistake with £2 - £3, but I do mind risking much more than that.
I look forward to the day when every physical book comes with a code giving you access to the ebook version FREE. That's my dream and that's the way that this can work for all published writers, publishers, agent and bookshops.