Crime novelist John Locke recently perfected the strategy of ‘going it alone.’
Shedding the conventional methods for success, Mr. Locke became the first independently published author to join the “Kindle Million Club” by selling electronic versions of his books for $.99 through their Direct Publishing Program.
Amazon.com nets a profit of $.65 for every copy sold, leaving John with $.34 per copy, or a gross profit of $340,000.
It’s evident that this venture has proven profitable, but what is the measure of success?
Is following Mr. Locke’s ‘flying solo’ approach a blueprint for crafting a best-seller or an archetype for selling yourself short?
On the surface, this particular instance presents a classic case of the ‘chicken or the egg’ syndrome. Did John Locke’s books sell so many copies because they’re fantastic works of literature with a pre-established audience, or were purchases inflated because of the meager price and massive affordability? If the first proved true, then Locke may have colossally undersold himself and his profit potential for the sake of autonomy. If the second theory were the case, then abandoning traditional wisdom was the right path to take.
The truth is: there is no right answer. Your pricing model all depends on your readership and the breadth of your audience. A first time author might consider following in Locke’s steps and releasing an eBook at a diminished price for the lack of immediate overhead cost and visibility potential alone.
What Locke accomplished is truly fascinating and a firm statement regarding the profound differences in the markets of today versus those of yesteryear. However, another question is raised when considering the circumstances: is there valid career sustainability with one big ‘splash?’ Just like with publicity, large placements are always a wonderful thing, but it is a continuous process with the ultimate aim being professional longevity and relevance.
Constructing your career model for interminable success is priority one. With an ever-changing business market, navigating the straights and narrows to a lucrative professional life includes many factors which need to be carefully weighed. Don’t price yourself out of your demographic, but don’t undersell your potential, either. The sales and marketing stratosphere can sometimes appear a delicate tightrope act; meticulously consider every decision and opportunity when preparing for your future to ensure maintained success.
PR/PR Public Relations