The Pleasure & The Pain

I’ve heard many readers squawking about the price of eBooks. Some have said $1.99 is too high and that they will only consider buying a book if its 99 cents or free.

We know readers love reading books and authors love writing them. But there is something a reader might not know. And that is the time & tears involved in writing that book. Here are a couple of questions to consider.

  1. How long does it take for a builder to build a wall?
  2. What does he need before he arrives at the site?

Here are a few bricks that make up that literary wall. Wall

  • Character Biography: An author needs characters and each character must have a biography. For instance: When was the character born? What do they look like? Rich, poor, or middle-class?  This helps to draw a deep portrait of the person and make him/her more convincing. Motivations, arc, and struggle are also major components in forming this character. Remember Shakespeare’s Henry V? Which character do you recall the most. Falstaff. From The Catcher in the Rye? Holden Caulfield. Same with Sherlock Holmes, Atticus Finch, and Hercule Poirot. Characters stay with readers even if the story is forgotten. This takes blood.
  • Plot: A plot delineates the primary struggle in the novel. Each manuscript must consist of rising action, climax, falling action and conclusion of the story. Brainstorming – writing down a few ideas – doesn’t take a matter of minutes. It can take hours, weeks, months to connect concepts & ideas, and to create the setting.  This takes imagination.
  • Rewrites: Slinging out a rough draft is easy enough; turning that incomprehensible mess into something readers would want to read takes time, patience and practice.
  • Tighten Up: An author will take out words and passages that aren’t absolutely crucial to the story. This takes heartache.
  • Editing: Most writers don’t have the critical distance to edit their own books properly. They use a group of BETA readers and a professional editor to review the manuscript if they can afford one. This takes tears.

Are you getting my drift?

CB writings

Here’s what author Seumas  Gallacher has to say on his Facebook page. I think it says it all.

  1. The book in your hand is full of heartache, rewrites, edits, and more rewrites.
  2. A book sold for 99 cents on Amazon nets the author only 17 cents, please consider this when saying $1.99 is too much.
  3. Amazon will only recommend a book if it has at least 25 reviews posted. The 3-5 minutes it takes to post a review is the life or death of that book and determines if it is a suggested read. No matter how great a book is (or isn’t) Amazon will let it die a slow death without reviews.
  4. 4. Not every self-pubbed author has an editor. Most of us aren’t rich and can’t afford $5000 to edit a book, so be kind.

Thank you Seumas!

My heartfelt thanks to anyone who has bought and reviewed books. I appreciate you.

Claire M.T. Stibbe


The 9th Hour

Chasing Pharaohs

The Fowler’s Snare

FOLLOW us on Twitter

Why not sign up for our newsletter

Check out our website

LIKE us on Facebook



26 thoughts on “The Pleasure & The Pain

  1. I am not a greedy person, but feel strongly that many artists and writers are not.appreciated (to put it mildly).To be paid under one euro for writing a book which, hopefully, gives someone hours of pleasure is an insult.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Pleasure & The Pain | suzanne rogerson fantasy author

  3. I pressed the link to this article on my website with the comment:
    ‘Books can give readers hours of pleasure, and for the minimal cost involved they really are brilliant value for money. This article spells out the hard work and heartache all authors must go through to produce something worth sharing with the world. Thanks Claire Stibbe for putting it into perspective.’

    Let’s hope more people take notice!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Part of the problem is that some authors cooperate with this trend by undervaluing their books and thereby driving down the market trend. Perma-free hurts us all, especially if it’s actually a good book.

    Kindle also hurts us by refusing to highlight any book that doesn’t have 25+ reviews. I’ve had way more people than that read my books, but reviews are hard to come by.


  5. You speak for all writers, Claire. FREE equals NO VALUE. Our society is founded on monetary value, so free means not worth anything. By offering our books for free, we devalue our own work. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You don’t have to pay $5000 to have an editor. There are number of freelance editors that will do it for much less.

    I think there is still a mindset that digital products aren’t “real”. It’s just a computer file (and how often has other digital media been pirated?)

    You can’t share ebooks with friends the way you do with print books. There’s not a used ebook market (though I’ve heard rumblings that will change soon). I know for me that is some of the thought that goes into buying print books so why wouldn’t I think that way when deciding to buy an ebook. Plus, since I’m a Nook user I can’t return ebooks so I need to be pretty darn sure I’m going to like it. Regardless is an author is traditionally or self published, I’m not likely to buy a book of an author I haven’t read before – that’s what the library is for. And I’m cheap – I stopped going to the movies when tickets went over $6.

    I also think authors shot themselves in the foot by saturating the market with low priced ebooks. The pendulum is swinging the other way now and authors won’t do any writing for free (like guest posts). Instead, demanding the reader to value their work. (Ironically authors want me to content edit, “beta read”, for free).

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you on pricing, just providing a different perspective for discussion. (I’m one of those people that could debate either side of an issue). If it’s an author who I’ve been reading awhile I’ve paid $3.99 for one of their ebooks.

    Girl Who Reads


    • I agree, Donna, with what you say about the market being saturated with low priced (or free) eBooks. As for editing, I think Mr. Gallacher was pointing out the difference in price between traditional publishing editing and Indie publishing editing. Indie’s usually pay anywhere between $600 and $1400 for editing/proofreading services and have a few BETA readers at their disposal. But still not every error is caught.


Leave a Reply to Claire Stibbe Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s