The price of fiction

There has been a lot of talk this week about J. K. Rowling’s new novel The Casual Vacancy, particularly about the price for the ebook version (currently £11.99 on Amazon).

Whilst I definitely believe an author should be paid a fair amount for their work, I do feel that charging nearly £12 is somewhat excessive, and if you look at the Amazon reviews, a lot of others agree with this. Of course, the price has been set by the publisher and reflects the price of the hardback version of the novel, and when the paperback edition comes out in, presumably, 6 months time, the ebook price will fall to match it.

Given the growth of the ebook market over the past few years, is there still a place for the traditional model of “expensive hardback first, cheaper paperback later” that the publishers use? I don’t think there is. Ebook sales are already outstripping their paper counterparts and over the coming years, the number of paper books will continue to decrease as the uptake of ebooks and ebook readers/tablets grows ever stronger.

So, what are the big publishers to do? As the number of paper sales decreases, it is only inevitable that the RRP for these copies will increase as the cost per unit will be more as less are printed. It is time that the publishers accepted ebooks are the way forward and that the format should be taken seriously and the RRP of a digital copy should properly set in accordance to not having a physical copy, and not matched to what they expect consumers to part with for a paper copy.

It is not just the book industry that is suffering from the onslaught of the digital age. Video games, movies and music are all in the same boat. Why would a consumer pay £9.99 for a music album of their favourite artist in mp3 format when they can buy a CD version in a shop (or online) for £6-7? Sure, some people still want to own a physical copy of a game/book/album and always will, but what about the growing number of consumers who just want instant access to new material for their Kindle or iPad or whatever?

The way we consume media is changing and those in the industry seem hell-bent on holding us back, trying to keep things “real”. “What about piracy?” they scream. Of course, there will always be piracy, but if the big companies are not willing to remodel their pricing for the 21st century consumer, then that consumer will either not buy or will pirate what they want. Either way, those who worked hard on their product will lose out.

I am not suggesting that The Casual Vacancy should be priced at 99p, but I can’t help wondering how many more copies they would have sold this week if the ebook version was priced at £4.99?


100 Word story

The Kindle Users forum ( had a thread asking for stories of no more than 100 words. Here’s my little effort…

The Dustcat.

Some time ago, not far from here there lived a dustcat. Created from the debris of a storm, he roamed the night in search of other dustcats in the hope that he was not alone. On the near light of dawn he met a badger.
‘Are you a dustcat too?’ he asked the badger.
‘No, I am a badger. There’s no such thing as a dustcat.’
‘But I’m a dustcat!’
As the badger considered his reply a gust of wind swept the dustcat away.
‘See, there’s no such thing as a dustcat,’ said the badger to himself.

Jumping through hoops

I don’t have a Kindle. I have a Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which I absolutely love. Not only can I read Kindle titles, I can do Facebook, surf the web, email and anything else I can think of. It’s great. Also, even though I use Amazon for mp3’s and ebooks, I am not tied into Amazon in the same way a Kindle Fire is.

Anyway, I bought my Tab in August when they were offering a £30 cashback deal. To get the £30, I firstly had to wait 30 days before I could even claim the cashback, which is fine. Also, when the 30 days is up, I only have 15 days to put in the claim, also fine.

So, this morning I fill in the claim form online and get to the step where I have to choose which model I have. Unfortunately, the list of model numbers doesn’t match what’s on the box. Annoyingly, I ended up searching Google to find out which model number I had.

Then they wanted a copy of the receipt. I don’t have a scanner, so out comes the camera on my phone.

Form filled in (eventually), curt comment left in the box that asked me what I thought of the claim process.

I now have to wait 45 days to get my monies. Roll on 6th November!

Getting the word out

You would think that writing and publishing a novel is the hard part. Well, to be honest, it isn’t.

Once your book goes up for sale, you then have to put in a lot of effort to get people to buy it, which is a lot easier said than done. I feel that if you do at least one little thing each day to promote your efforts, this will build up over time and create sales in the future. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

So, this weekend, I have set up a Twitter account (with a massive following of 1 as I write this!) which can be found @djnashfiction

I have not really ever gotten into Twitter all that much, but anything extra I can do to promote my novel has to be worth it, right?

I have also submitted my novel for review at a couple of review sites. I am waiting to hear back from them to see if they will consider me. I don’t expect to hear from them that quickly, as I am sure they get dozens of requests a week.

Also this weekend, I have ponied up $25 for a 1 day feature on the World Literary Café site at . This site looks pretty popular, so I hope to gain some interest from it when they run the ad. I have chosen either 24th 28th or 29th September as my preferred dates. If that goes well, then I will plan a more co-ordinated campaign with them later in the year once I have a few more reviews.

First review!

Firestone has received it’s first review on Amazon! It’s a 4 star review, which is a great start!

“A lovely first book from a new fantasy author. A new twist on dragon/human lore
which is fresh and thoroughly enjoyable. It has appeal to both young and old
readers of fantasy novels. I picked this up and did not put it down for two
days. Nicely paced with an ending that will want you begging for more.”

Best I crack on with the sequel then!


Hello and welcome to my blog.

My name is Damien and I live in Kent, UK and I am 35 years old. I work in my local hospital blood transfusion laboratory, a job that I enjoy very much.

On 16th September 2012, I published my first novel, Firestone on Amazon for Kindle. I am now working on a sequel and also another writing project.

I hope to use this blog as a way of communication with other writers and readers as I fight my way through the prose currently scrambled in my mind.

Thank you for stopping by!