The Difference Between Price and Value and Why it Has Nothing to Do with Your Book

a new pathWhen I read Richard Halliburton’s first book, The Royal Road to Romance it altered how I think about the process of living. Though it is as far from a business book as you can get, it is one reason I make a good living doing things I love.

Another reason (and, to contradict what I said above, even less of a business book) is Dr. Seuss’ unknown classic I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. A youngster, plagued by problems, sets out for Solla Sollew, “where they never have troubles, at least, very few.” The lesson he learns, again, triggered new thinking and new actions, a different path in life.

At the other end of the spectrum, I own 3/4 of Donald Knuth’s indispensable The Art of Computer Programming and haven’t made it past the first few chapters of book one (the engagingly entitled Fundamental Algorithms, which I assure is dead sexy to Knuth’s target audience.)

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10,172 Words of Free Marketing Advice About Marketing Free

Since going live in September of 2013 this has become my most popular post ever, by a wide margin. I’m updating it in May of 2015 and will give it a polish every quarter or so.

Marketing Tips & Tricks

Here’s that list of 13 27 posts. The first is at my personal blog. The rest are here at Someday Box.

  1. 5 Business Lessons Nobody Taught Me (But I Sure Wish They Had)
  2. Free: It’s Not a Price, It’s a Strategy
  3. Growing Followers
  4. Would You Like Someone to Sell Your Books for You?
  5. What Does It Cost to Make a Living as a Writer?
  6. You Don’t Want Fans of Your Book
  7. Why Authors Must Have a Blog
  8. But I Just Want to Write
  9. Marketing Your Books in the New Age of Publishing
  10. Book Marketing: The Long Game Wins
  11. 6 Quick Marketing Tips for Authors
  12. 4 More Quick Marketing Tips
  13. Engineering Best-Sellers (Are Your Pants on Fire?)
  14. If You Want Word of Mouth to Work You Have to Teach Your Fans How
  15. Advertising Only Amplifies Visibility
  16. 5 Ways to Provide the Fresh Blog Content Your Fans Crave
  17. 6 Tools to Help You Find and Develop Your Blogging Voice
  18. Marketing: No Budget? No Time? The One Thing I Would Do Is . . .
  19. You Are What You Measure
  20. 6,000 Copies Sold: But How?
  21. Personal, Anticipated, and Relevant: Keep Your Email List Up to PAR
  22. Do One Thing
  23. Free: Here, There . . . Everywhere?
  24. Marathon, Not Sprint
  25. Can’t Hurry Love. Or Marketing.
  26. The Magic Formula for Marketing Your Books
  27. Learn to Love Marketing, or Give Your Books Away (or Both)

It’s doubtful the book I originally envisioned here will ever see daylight.

But I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.

Should Price Equal Value?

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1334745 by Robert Linder http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=profile&l=linder6580Price is a number. Value is the outcome of a relationship.

My first book, The Commonsense Entrepreneur, has made the difference between a lifetime of struggle and successful entrepreneurship for more than one person.

Lifetime earnings of, let’s estimate, a million dollars. Measure of happiness and contentment from working for yourself instead of a soul-sucking corporation: priceless (meaning, oddly enough, “of such high value as to be incalculable.”)
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5 Things I Believe About Pricing Your Digital Book

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1243714 by  floretan http://www.sxc.hu/profile/floretanSmashwords did extensive research and discovered that, all other things being equal, the price that sells is $3.99.

A few thoughts:

  1. I don’t buy digital books. I don’t even download them free, or, well, when I do, I don’t bother to read them. I’m a book in my hands guy. So as a buyer, digital price is irrelevant.
  2. The market expects that digital books will cost less than print. For good or ill, we have to be aware of the expectation, and if we defy it, we have to manage it, not just ignore it.
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