When you consider the consumers' expectations built into the design of the internet, should authors expect anything other than downward pressure on our ebook prices?
For example, my consumer-expectation as an author is that I will find free images to use on my covers. Is that a reasonable expectation? For me, the author, it is. I suspect that a photographer would hope to get paid for his/her image. Only recently, have I seen a coordinated effort on representative sites to force consumers to pay for pictures. These kind of sites are beginning to outnumber the free sites, it seems.
I don't see this concerted effort, where a common understanding exists among the suppliers (authors) and enforced by representative silos. As such, I believe ebook prices will drop to "free," as this is the consumer's expectation for treasure-hunting on the internet.
The internet is for bargain-hunters. I've never heard anyone say, "I think I'll go shop online today. I hope I can pay the full retail price, plus taxes, and shipping. And, I don't feel like searching the 'net for online discounts and coupons."
Heck, we, consumers, pat ourselves on the back whenever we find a way to avoid paying taxes and shipping, or save some money with an online coupon. How clever and crafty we are!
So, in closing, and building on my previous rants about the downward-spiral of book pricing, I say, "what do we, the authors, expect?" We used free tools, free publishing sites, and free images to peddle our wares, and then we whine when we can't get paid for capitalizing on the backbones of those before us.
We're publishing within a medium that demands competitive and aggressive discounting. If our focus is to generate the maximum amount of income, then do we turn our attention back to the traditional agent model? Unfortunetly, many agents or publishers won't work with a writer who's self-published. Hmmm .... What will be the model that benefits the author - a series of sites like those that photographers are posting within? I don't think it's working for most of us in the two existing business models.
Just a late night flip-flop. I'll go back to foaming at the mouth once again after I've warmed up with my morning coffee.
Good night and take care.
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