Sales have been okay recently but there has been a clear downward trend again over the past couple of weeks. I've had several people recommend that I raise the price of my books--I could not disagree more. I am a firm believer that this country is heading for disaster and it's all driven by greed. Just because I can charge more does not mean I should. I do treat my writing as a business and businesses are gauged by their profitability. I don't charge the business for my time to write a book. I am totally self-published and my only costs are what I pay to have an artist build a cover. My actual cost to create a book is very minimal.
There are other costs associated with my writing business:
- Mileage linked to attending meetings, selling books, getting to the airport for business trips, etc.
- Partial cost of the internet to my house.
- Business card printing.
- Paper and other office supplies such as software license renewals and purchases.
- Writing-related trips (Launch Pad in particular).
- Magazines and books associated with the business.
When it is all compiled at tax time, my writing business has a variable record. I took a loss three years ago and broke even the last two. This year, because I'm limiting my trips to only one (Launch Pad), I will show a profit.
Raising my prices might bring in more royalty payments but it could also have the opposite effect. If I raise my price too much, then people will be less inclined to buy a copy. Since I don't rely on my book sales to support myself and my wife, I can keep my prices low enough to cover my business expenses and make my books affordable at the same time. I would rather see a large number of sales than a large royalty check. It's the thought that there are large numbers of people out there who are enjoying my books that keeps me writing. That is why I write.
I haven't been working on my next book at all this past week. I've been concentrating on learning how to build web pages. I'm almost done with one book and I will be starting on another soon. I have prepared an older computer to be set up as a local web server (Ubuntu operating system and full LAMP install as suggested by several author friends). The long-range plan is to hand-code my author website and have it fully tested and ready to roll out on a new host when my contract with my current host is up for renewal.