Let’s face it. Any of us who have been in the indie publishing world long enough come across a meme or a saying about people who would instead buy a four dollar cup of coffee instead of an indie book. It’s a strange disconnect that does not seem to make sense. Well, in this blog post, I hope to put forward a theory why we are challenged the way we are. Of course, there isn’t a lot of empirical evidence, so the most of this theory is my own personal experience and extrapolating from it.
With the Coffee, You know What you’re going to Get.
First and foremost, I think the most significant difference between the coffee and the indie book is that with a coffee, you know what you’re going to get. When I got into Starbucks and ordered a venti cafe mocha and drop $4.45 plus tax is that I see the coffee makers are going to give me exactly that.
For the independent book, pay $4.99 or even .99 cents is a gamble because you actually don’t know what you’re going to get in the end. I, myself, have bought indie books with attractive covers and a decent sample chapter that ultimately disappointed me in not only quality but other novice mistakes.
As an indie author, that’s not going to stop me from buying more indie books (and I make a habit of spending $10.00 a month on indie books) to support and try other adventures. The average customer may not be willing to do that. It comes to the old adage, “Once bitten, twice shy.”
They bought a book that turned out to be bad, and they don’t want to risk it again.
There’s no Proof they Haven’t Bought a Book.
It’s simple as this, there really isn’t any proof that the casual coffee drinkers have not bought their ludicrously expensive coffee, sat down with the reading device and purchase one of our books to read while sipping of the overpriced liquid.
I know for me, sometimes when I grumble about the damn coffee drinkers, I think I’m more upset that the book I worked so hard on really did not sell as well as I hoped. I have to remind myself that it’s a pipe dream just to release something online and expect it to be a best seller.
I actually have to go back and read the few positive reviews I’ve got, remind myself why I got into the writing business, and start typing again….after purchasing a coffee that must be strained through a gold laced filter for its cost.
We are our Brand, and we’re Fighting the Odds
In the end, we are our own brand, and we don’t have the advertising, editing, or budget that many authors with traditional publishers get. That doesn’t mean we don’t’ have a chance, but we actually have to recognize the deficiency and plan around it.
One step is being more forgiving of errors in Indie works and just enjoying the story that we were given.
We also should continue to support each other and remember that we aren’t competitors but trying to provide our readers with quality stories that will keep them at the edge of their seats for a long time.