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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pink Headphones

I still have signed paperbacks for sale (no boxsets yet). My Blood Approves has sold out for now, but I'll be getting more in soon. Check out the paperbacks: here.

My dog is almost three years old. When he was a puppy, I bought a pair of pink gel headphones. They were $9, and I spent almost a half debating whether or not I should buy them. I had hardly any money - as in I lived on ramen because I could afford it. But I wanted my headphones so I could listen to the radio on my phone.

I liked to listen to Back Track USA on Saturday mornings when they play 80's and 90's music, but the only way I could that was on my phone, and my phone requires headphones to listen to the radio.

So I finally caved and bought these headphones, because I really, really like music from the 80's and 90's. I came home,  used them once. Then I left my dog (then a puppy) alone in my room with my headphones while I went to the bathroom. When I returned, the headphones were destroyed.

I was so upset because I couldn't afford another pair. I literally did not have another $9 to spend.

Two weeks ago, I was at the store, looking at headphones. I have gone without headphones for the past two and half years, but since getting my laptop, I wanted to be able to listen to music on not crappy laptop speakers. So I was looking at headphones, thinking about how I didn't really need them, and blah blah... when I realized that I could afford headphones. I could just buy a pair. And I'd still have money to eat. In fact, I'd already paid all my bills for the month.

So I bought the $14 headphones. Yep. I'm living large now.

It's so weird to just be able to buy stuff. I mean, I can't buy anything I want - like a big screen TV or a Delorean. But I can buy new headphones. Or Inception on Bluray/DVD combo pack.

I actually had to save up to buy The Dark Knight when it came out. I'm not even kidding. And to this day, I don't own Star Trek the new movie because when it came out on DVD, I had no money, and now for some reason, I keep forgetting that I don't own it.

When people make an argument for raising books prices, saying we should sell ebooks for $6.99 or even sometimes $9.99, this is what I think of. It's not that I don't work hard on my books. It's not that I don't think my books are equal to traditional published books.

It's that I had to wait three months until after Claudia Gray's Hourglass came out because I had to save up for the ten or twelve bucks at Walmart. It's that when I ordered a used copy of J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey from Amazon for $2 I felt guilty because I didn't know how I was going to pay my car payment that month.

I write books, fun romance books with vampires and zombies and trolls and witches. I'm not curing cancer. I'm entertaining people. And when people are struggling to make ends meat, I can't in good conscience charge more than I already am.

And I am so grateful to you all, and to everything that's happened this year. Thank you!!!!


  1. I'm so grateful that English e-books are quite cheap. Otherwise I would have to start reading much slower. It's not that I can't afford buying books, but 2-3 books a week do get expensive (I read a couple of hours while taking the train to work each day). Norwegian e-books cost as much as or more than pocket books ($16-$50), so I only buy English books. And now they're discussing putting tax on Norwegian e-books (traditionally, books are tax free in Norway). I don't think e-books will be a success in Norway anytime soon...

  2. Thanks Amanda for being so considerate of your fans, especially in this craptastic economy!! I appreciate that your books aren't expensive; actually, I'm not sure that I would have even bought or read MBA when I had, if they had been more than a few dollars (as that is what initially attracted me to them on Amazon). Anyway, thanks again!!

  3. I remember eating Ramen because it's what I could afford, but it's been a long time. Thanks for reminding me of those days when I had to choose between entertainment and basic amenities. It does put things like book pricing into perspective and help us remember where our fans might be hovering.

  4. Amen, sister. Right now I want to read Last Sacrifice soooo bad, but it's freaking $10.99 for the kindle book! If I hadn't read all your books already, I would definitely choose to buy your books over the more expensive ones. Equally good books and I can get 3 for the price of 1? Puh-leese.

  5. That was truely touching. I have read ALL of your books, and I WOULD pay $10 for them because you are truely amazing, and have a gift. I tend to stay away from books that are priced high, as I read them so quickly (if they are good anyways) it does add up. But my money was well spent on your books! Keep doing what your doing, your going to go far!

  6. Enjoy your headphones! You've earned 'em. =)

    But a Delorean? Really??? You must *really* like the 80's...


  7. Amanda you are amazing! I read your first three books of the my blood approves series in 3 days :) I stumbled across your books at a bad time! Finals next week but I cannot put your books down. I can't wait to see what you write in the future, Thank you for finally letting me get some entertaining reading, it has been a long time since I found a book I truly loved, so
    thank you :)

    defiantly Team Peter

  8. <3 ahhh how i feel you! My Kitten recently ate my headphones, so i went to the store debated over which ones to get and ended up buying $19 skullcandys like an idiot. i cam home used them once left them plugged into my computer and when i got up the next morning she had ripped them to pieces. now i must go without head phones again until after the holidays. Bills or headphones? always a big question

  9. *lol* it's hilarious isn't it? For so long you have to scrimp and save and something other people consider 'normal' is super exciting to you. We've had a cr@p year financially thanks to a two month dry spell my partner had (house painter) over winter. Only just catching up now and last week we were able to do our first FULL food shop in months. I swear it felt like we won lotto *grin*

    BirthRight The Arrival, on Amazon 1.1.2011

  10. Your books are so addicting. I also picked a bad week to start reading them, the week of finals. I got absolutely no studying done because I find your My Blood Approves series absolutely addicting. I am so greatful for my Kindle, because it reccomended your books to me based on my previous purchases. I love that you keep them priced so low, becuase I was able to buy them all without blowing the bank! Thank You!

  11. Amanda:

    Great post - I knew it would be because I linked from Konrath's blog. Glad I found your spot. I've had my books priced at the "sort of" default price of $2.99 for a while now. But all the authors on the Kindle forums are screaming about how important it is to raise the prices so that everyone's work doesn't get "devalued."

    According to the posts, lots of them are priced around $5.99 but there are a few who are priced as high as $9.97.

    I worry about my customer's budgets too. But it's been a tough year for me too, and all those folks ranting about higher prices convinced me to raise 1 of mine to $3.99. But I didn't feel good about it and still don't.

    I agree with you - it's not so much a question of what the work is worth as it is what folks in this quacking bad economy can pay. How did you arrive at your price? Did you give any consideration to $1.99 or $2.99?

    I understand you're selling very well - congratulations. I wonder how much of my keeping my price at $2.99 or $3.99 is a crutch for me? Like - if it were priced within everyone's budget (like yours) would everyone actually buy it (like yours).

    Keep up the great work and I'd love to see you stop by the Kindle forum sometime and discuss the pricing stuff there. I'm not trying to "devalue" - I'm trying to be fair.

    Now you've made me wonder if I'm being fair enough -- or if I'm just chicken!!

  12. With all the ebook sales that you are doing... treat yourself to the best headphones you can get. You deserve it!

    As for ebook pricing; I want to keep my prices low. $6.99 seems outrageous. There is less overhead and less time involved with putting the book (ebook) together. I don't know how higher prices are justified. Then again maybe high prices will become industry standard in the future.

  13. Amanda,

    I would like to thank you for the quality work you produce, and your consideration. I am a working mom who is also a college student. Money is tight! It is the price of your books coupled with the genre and great reviews that lead me to purchase one of your books. After that I was hooked! I read all your stuff and I am very grateful that I can afford it.

    Had you been priced much higher, I would not have even tried the first. My Kindle was a HUGE indulgence! Reading is a passion of mine, but there is an entire library full of books that are free to all. The e-books that cost to much I just don't buy.

    So, once again I thank you for your genius and your consideration

  14. I've not read any of your work (yet), and actually just "found" you moments ago through I forget which source, but this post has me wishlisting each and every one of your books and movin' 'em to the top of my "to get when I can" priority list. :)

  15. I adore your work and think you are very wise for pricing your work as you do. By making your books affordable and accessible, you reduce the temptation to pirate, or buy used copies. There is an invisible threshold of "reasonable pricing" that people are willing to pay for things that they find "necessary" in their lives. If they cannot afford the price set by the owner of what they consider necessary, they will still acquire it through other means outside the owner's control.

    My evidence is the list of 10 most frequently pirated software titles of 2007... All of these titles are EXTREMELY PRICEY, but people consider them necessary. So they steal them. The key is to make it easier to pay for your work than it is to steal it (Or buy it from a used book store, or check it out of the library... etc.).

    I'm very glad that you and a ton of other authors out there have seen the logic of that lesson, or still have compassion for the underpaid/underemployed. All that aside, I'd have paid $7 for every one of your books without batting an eye. I've paid more for less, but firmly believe that yours is the way of the future.

  16. I just wanted to say thank you for not having a high price on your books. My husband always gets on my case for spending so much money on books every month so I am glad I came across your great books for an awesome price.

  17. Wow. I love this post. I have read a lot of your books (all but Hallowland) and I just wanted to say your books are so good I can't put them down. I find myself reading all your blog post because I am just so eager to find more. More things about Wendy, Finn, and Tove. More things about Alice, and Peter, and Jack but I guess mainly more about the person that wrote them. I would have never read your books, or been this interested in your characters you have created if it were the common $9.99 because I can't just spend money like that. I just wanted to thank you for your books, your blog, and your characters that I am in love with! (wendy and Finn!) Thanks I'm looking forward to your new books.
    -- Morgan :)

  18. Hi I stumbled across your books by browsing and reading reviews, best discovery I've made in a long time. I've read all the MBA series and I've now finished the two trylle books I was actually surprised how cheap your books were but I have to say although i would have paid more for them, I wouldn't have been able to buy them so quickly, the joys of the kindle is that you can purchase the next book as soon as you finish the last word of the previous book and with your pricing this has become possible. You now have another fan sitting on the sidelines waiting the release of more of your work, keep it coming, I'll keep buying it.

  19. I have a very important question. I am young and i feed on your kinda books are you making another book for hallowland? I love your work and everything you do!!

  20. I do agree that your work is well worth the 9.99 or more ebook value, but i think it's absolutely wonderful that you still remember being broke all the time, and you sell your books so cheap. That may have come out wrong, sorry. I worked a server job for four years pregnant and then single mom, making 3.95 an hour plus tips, and not everyone tips. My sister an I roomied up and were still only able to afford homemade sweet tea and instant cups of noodles. We only ever had one cabinet in the kitchen that was always filled and it was filled with containers of baby food. And now that I'm married with a good household income, and my second baby on the way, I never take any of it for granted. I donate as much as possible, and I always bargain hunt and save leftovers. Just because you have the money, doesnt mean you should waste it. I think it's wonderful to see someone living their dream, and not taking it for granted!

  21. I like your more now that I've read this post.

    My boyfriend, my dad, my sister and I all pitched in for me to get a Nook. So when I had it all charged and was ready to download a book, I was disappointed to realize I'd have to dish out MORE money to buy a book. So I browsed and downloaded samples. Then I got lucky and came across Switched. I saw the price, read the summary and bought it.

    Now I've read all yours books and am anxious for more. :)

    Also, my little opinion may not mean much to others, but your books are great enough to be sold at $9.99. Awesome sauce.

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