Friday, June 03, 2016

What are you and your books worth?

In addition to being an author and writer, I'm a voiceover and on-camera talent.

When I book acting jobs through a talent agent, rates for the shoot and usage (national TV, internet, internal only, etc.) are already set. If I think they're too low, I decline the audition. For example: a radio commercial for a hospital in perpetuity (unlimited time period) for $500. That might seem like a lot to a beginner, but I could have conflicts trouble down the road when the next hospital doesn't want to hire someone who already has hospital spots running.

If I book a gig myself, I set the rates with the client. When I self-publish, I set the prices for my print and e-books after taking prices I see for other books in my genres and Amazon's suggestions into account.

Yet there's often pressure to discount or lower rates or prices I set for acting work or books. Questions abound.

Acting: The client may have what I think is a very low budget or say they can find someone do to the project for less. Do I meet their rate to get the job, or wait until I find a client willing to pay the rates I've researched and think are fair for my skills, expertise and experience? If a client sends me a large quantity of work, do I offer a volume discount? Is there value in meeting/working with new clients at a lower rate, hoping for more projects in the future?

Books: There are dozens of discount/free book e-newsletters. To even get a spot in one, I have to pay and/or meet certain criteria. The cream of the crop, BookBub, cost $390 to advertise my first book for free in the US, UK, and Canada.

Will the ad earn out in terms of sales? Now that I have four novels available, do I make the first free to encourage readers to read it, and hope they'll pay for the others? Do I stay in Kindle Unlimited, for which readers pay a monthly fee and I get paid when readers read my books...usually around .005 cents per page? Do I do more boxed sets, which often have 4 books for .99...but since all 4 authors share in the marketing and promotion I'll probably sell more copies than I can on my own? How many giveaways do I do via blog hops, Facebook parties and online promotions?

At the moment, my first book, AT HIS COMMAND (a double Booksellers' Best Award finalist in Best Historical and Best First Book) is on sale from $2.99 to .99. How much time and money do I spend to promote that?

Often, the only way to know is to try something and see if it works. If not, try something else.

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