Guest Post: Pricing
by Susan MacNicol
I have a little bit of a personal bug bear when it comes to buying books on Amazon and other sites. I'm one of those people who really like to get into a book, and into a story hence why I prefer longer novels.
I suppose this is one of the reasons I write such long stories myself- Stripped Bare was 104000 + words, 290 pages (Kindle) Saving Alexander is just under 90 k words, and my other books are much the same, somewhere between these two numbers. I believe that if I'm writing a story, I want readers to get as much out of it as I can give.
Of course there's a place for the novellas, for the short stories, and the 'in between' excerpts to keep reader interest between books that run in a series. I enjoy these as much as the next man or woman and lap them up so I can follow the character's lives between series.
But what I don't appreciate is having to pay a price that I don't believe is commensurate with what is on offer. I've seen books of 20 pages being sold at $4.00, books at 70-80 pages being sold at the same price and then stories of 100 pages or similar going for $6 or more. Now colour me daft, but I tend to want to get value for money when I buy my books to read. So Stripped Bare, for example, priced at $5.45 for 290 pages, to me is not bad value.
But it's got to the stage where I can't tell the length of the book by the price in some cases. It could be that the more popular authors can price their shorter books up simply because they are popular. Everyone has a pricing strategy and if they can get away with it, well done to them. I just become frustrated when I read a blurb I really like, go and take a look at the book and find out its 100 pages for > $5.
And talking about the short stories, there are a lot of them in the M/M genre, short and sweet tales that are a little like my own publisher, Boroughs Lunchbox Romances , which at around 50 pages and just over a dollar, offer a read that's 'easily consumable in a lunchtime'. You honestly don't mind paying this for a quick read. But I draw the line at paying more unless I'm really dying to read it.
I know that it's up to the reader to decide just how much they would pay to read something by one of their favourite authors. I just wish there was a little more consistency in the pricing. And therein I end my little diatribe about what I deem the unfair pricing of good books on the shelves and I leave it to you to form your own opinion and even tell me if you disagree. I have wide shoulders- I can take it :)
Title: Saving Alexander
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Bookseller: Boroughs Publishing Group
Punishing himself for a horrific past that is not his fault, bestselling author Alexander Montgomery seeks redemption and love—and perhaps he will find it.
Famous author though he may be, Alexander Montgomery is not someone you take home to meet Mother. Seriously flawed, damaged by a horrific past, he’s trying hard to claw his way back to normality. But how can anyone respect what he truly is? His therapy involves regular sessions at Study in Scarlet, an exclusive S&M club.
Then comes Sage. Tall, with black hair and blue eyes, an up-and-coming actor with impossible charm and boy-next-door good looks, he’s the perfect choice to play the leading man in a TV adaptation of Alex’s last best-seller. Even more, he is a man you introduce to your family. Which Alex would do—if he weren’t taken by another man who offers the punishments Alex prays will wipe away the past and make him the person he wants to be. Yet, perhaps there is another path to redemption. If only the solution would reach out and touch him.
SAVING ALEXANDER EXCERPT
copyright 2013 Susan Elaine Mac Nicol
Sage pulled Alex to him desperately, feeling the steady beat of his heart against his chest. “Jesus, Alex, babe. You might have been fucked up but you were my fuck-up.” He felt the movement of Alex’s mouth against his chest, as if he was smiling. “You could have told me all this instead of writing a stupid word on a piece of paper and breaking my bloody heart.”
“Babe, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done this right now, I’m a selfish son of a bitch.” He drew Alex’s trembling lips to his and kissed him deeply, tasting the salt on his skin. “You aren’t going to lose me. I’m here for you, that was my promise.” He huffed in frustration. “It’s just I really care for you and I want you for myself. Every last, sexy, beautiful bit of you.” Sage to Alex
Sage moved closer to him, pinning Alex between the sink and his body. Alex stared at him defiantly and Sage reached out, cupping his face in his hands, his thumbs caressing the strong curve of Alex’s jaw. He saw something flicker in Alex’s eyes, a fierce hope that disappeared almost as it arrived.
“You don’t have to keep going with this, Sage. I don’t expect you to.” Alex swallowed, his face filled with pain. “You can leave me,” he whispered and Sage’s heart broke at the defeated tone in Alex’s voice.
Alex had found the weapon. He picked it up in and stood to face Sarah
“Stop it.” His voice was quiet. “Stop now or I’ll bloody shoot you, you bitch. And nobody fucking owns me. Not anymore.” He stood, steady hands pointing the gun he’d retrieved squarely at Sarah. “Stay back, Sage.”
Finally Sage released Alex and grinned wickedly. “Could you really give that up?” he said softly in his ear as he nuzzled his neck.
Alex shook his head as he leaned into him, enjoying his scent and the warmth of his body. “I could never give you up. I love you far too much to do that.”
Sage let him go and Alex saw him take two small pieces of paper from his pocket. He watched as Sage laid them in an ashtray on the kitchen tab and bought out a box of matches from the kitchen drawer.
“What the hell are you doing?” Alex asked, puzzled. Sage kept quiet, picking up the two pieces of paper to show him what was written on them.
Eric chuckled quietly. “Sometimes I like to exercise my prerogative and change my mind. You’ve been through enough tonight. Time to end it, don’t you think?”
The distinct desire in his voice was evident and Alex thought Eric had chosen to end it for his own pleasure, to finish off the evening for him in the way Eric liked most. Inside Alex.
He leaned in toward Alex’s face, his mouth just short of brushing his lips. One of Alex’s cardinal rules was no kissing. Eric wasn’t allowed to take Alex’s mouth with his and it frustrated him. Sometimes he really wanted to kiss him, taste him, feel Alex’s tongue in his mouth, but he knew Alex would choose someone else if he disobeyed. It was probably why he treated him harsher than his other clients. He didn’t like being denied something he badly wanted.
Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, UK, and left for South Africa when she was eight. She returned to the UK thirty years later and now lives in Essex. Her debut novel Cassandra by Starlight, the first in a trilogy, was published earlier this year by Boroughs Publishing Group in the US. Sue’s latest story, Saving Alexander is her second m/m romance.
Sue has written since she was very young, and never thought she would see herself being a Romance writer, being a horror/psychological thriller reader all her life. But the Romance genre is now something very close to her heart and she intends continuing the trend.
Sue is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association here in the UK.
To learn more, visit Susan on her website and blog on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest.
Susan Mac Nicol is also author of The Magick of Christmas, Confounding Cupid, Cassandra by Starlight , Together in Starlight and the best-selling Stripped Bare.
Tour Wide Giveaway:
Susan and her publisher, Boroughs Publishing Group, will be awarding a five-book subscription to their Lunchbox Romance line, plus a copy of Stripped Bare to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
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