My Two Cents’ Worth

posted in: Various Musings | 2

Did you know that, still—decades after the women’s rights movement—females continue to make less than their male counterparts?  Look it up if you don’t believe me.  Yes, the playing field is more level nowadays, but that fact was totally clear to me back when I was a young college graduate, working for a well-known company (yes, you know them), and I was in a lower management position.  After holding that position for a year, a man was hired in a comparable position, and—I can’t remember now how I found out—he started out making a lot more than I did.  You better believe I was angry.  And, after a ridiculous amount of negotiation, my boss and my boss’ boss decided to increase my pay.

Like they needed to find money in the budget.

It was a shitty job anyway.

Since quitting that job, I’ve often worked two or more jobs at a time.  Yeah, I have three degrees that only helped me when I taught college.  Go figure.  But I also happen to be a bleeding heart who works in professions that help people but don’t pay much.  That’s okay, because it’s left my integrity intact.

Enough about me, though.  Believe it or not, this post is about you.  I’m just taking the long way to get there.

I was raised to value hard work and to believe I would have to work my ass off to make it in this world.  That’s the only way I’ve survived.  Aside from what a cynic it’s made me, it’s also made me value and appreciate what I have, and I have been a notorious penny pincher most of my life.  Yeah, nowadays I’ll indulge in the occasional latte and I spend way too much on music, but—aside from that—I’m pretty frugal.

Okay, here’s where YOU come in.

As much as I love books (and I DO—you should see my house full of them), I have to be careful with my money.  Before the era of ebooks, I would buy paperbacks or used books most of the time.  I would sometimes borrow from the library or friends, and I inherited a lot of books from my mom (I have most of John Grisham’s collection in hardback for that reason).  When I bought books on my own, though, I had a budget, and buying books at the used book store (or even used books at the new book store) allowed me to get lots more than I would have if I’d purchased them new.  I did buy new ones a lot of times, but it was usually the paperback version (because they were less expensive).  It’s simple math.  If you can buy one book for twenty dollars or four for the same price AND you have to watch your money, why wouldn’t you get four?  Avid readers understand what I’m talking about.

 Ebooks were such a boon for those voracious readers.  No longer were we paying for paper and ink.  We were instead paying for the story.  Sure, we had to buy a device (unless we just downloaded a free app), but once that initial cost was gone, our books were significantly cheaper…for the most part.  There are still some ebooks that cost $7.99 to $10.99, and I’d rather buy the paperback if I’m going to pay that much.  That’s me.  I realize I don’t speak for everyone.

But something I do—something I’ve always tried to do—is put myself in my readers’ shoes.  I don’t need to get rich writing.  I just want to be read.  Oh, I’d love to be able to just write (and maybe someday I will), but for now I’ll be content with what I have.  Because I’m an indie writer, I don’t have to pay a publishing company for all the things they do for traditionally published authors, so my book prices aren’t bloated.  And the craziest thing is this—if I were to sell as many books as I did of Bullet or even Rock Bottom, I’d be able to write full time…yes, selling books for no more than $2.99.  EVER.

I believe I’ll get back to that point someday, but that wasn’t what this blog post was about.  It was about the cost of my books.  As I said, many of my writing decisions are focused on what readers want.  As you probably know, Bullet was meant to be a standalone book, but readers begged for more—thus, the Bullet series.  Readers asked for more Feverish, so I’ll be turning that into a series as well.  You’ve never asked me to price my books lower, but I do price them lower with you in mind.  I don’t want you to suffer just because you wanted to buy my book.

This next week, my Street Team is going to focus on highlighting all my 99 cent books for that reason.  A lot of books go on sale for 99 cents (I’ve even had a couple of mine go on sale for that price in the past), but I have thirteen books that are now, have always been, and will always be 99 cents.  I’ll include a list of them at the bottom of this post if you’re curious.

So…enjoy, my friends.  Those books are not 99 cents because I have no faith in them or because I don’t think they’re valuable, some stupid ass argument I’ve heard from people in the past.  Sure, some of them are shorter (but not all of them area).  The main reason?  They’re 99 cents for YOU.

And, no, that doesn’t mean I’m cheap, either, so don’t be spreading that rumor. 😉  It means I love my readers.

Jade’s ALWAYS 99 cent books:  Tangled Web, Stating His Case, Fabric of Night, Worst Mother, Old House, Quickies: Sexy Short Stories and Other Stuff, MADversary, and Nicki Sosebee #1-6:  Got the Life, Dead, No Place to Hide, Right Now, One More Time, and Lost.

Jade’s ALWAYS $1.99 books:  Everything But, Then Kiss Me, and Nicki Sosebee #7-9:  Innocent Bystander, Blind, and Fake.

Find them here on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I also have a few at Smashwords but not many. If you can’t find me there and are desperate to, just drop me a line. 😀

Oh, and in case you thought I was full of shit, you can read this Forbes article on the pay gap between men and women.

UPDATE 11/26/15: Yes…I have decreased some of my bargain books and it is for the very reason I cited above–a perception of value.  I can’t fight the system anymore.  🙂

2 Responses

  1. Carrie

    I’ve been feeling bitter about my pay this past week. i work at a public university and they claim they like to be “fair” across departments. What I do is not comparable to what anyone else does on campus. Unfortunately, I’m in a probationary period until my one year anniversary in September so I cannot negotiate my pay until then. Fortunately, my director feels I’m being underpaid and has been documenting in my quarterly evals all of my responsibilities so that we have justification of why I should be paid more. She understands the frustration because she got screwed over with her pay. When my director was offered the director position they refused to offer her the full salary, even though it was in the budget. The reasoning behind the higher ups decision is because it wouldn’t be fair to what an assistant director in another department, who is male, was making. Of course a director should be making more than an assistant director. She’s also been at the university longer and has more liability associated with her job.
    I really do appreciate that you make your books affordable for your readers. There are so many books on my wishlist but I cannot afford to buy them all because I need to watch what I spend. I was against e-books for the longest time because I love the feel of books. However, I can buy two or three e-books for the price of a paperback. I’ve also discovered so many wonderful indie writers. I’m with you that if an e-book is priced more than six dollars, I would just rather buy the paperback.

    • Jade

      Thanks for your response, Carrie. It is disgusting, isn’t it, that decades later, we are still fighting and still being screwed over? It’s a shame.

      I’m with you–I much prefer the feel of a paperback, but I can’t knock the affordability of ebooks.

      Best of luck with your job. I hope they make your pay more equitable when your one-year anniversary rolls around.

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