I've been giving pricing quite a bit of thought. I could make the book free of course and hopefully get lots of downloads that might artificially massage its rankings, which in turn might produce lots of positive reviews that would then generate paid sales - but you know what? I'm not going to! The reason being this: I don't personally believe that anyone should receive no recompense at all for their hard work (unless they themselves choose that path, of course!). To my mind, giving stuff away for free can't ultimately be good for anyone, least of all independent authors. And anyway, do the people who download all these free books actually bother to read them? Some do, I don't doubt it. However, in the fairly short time I've been twittering and involved with indie authors, I could have furnished my Kindle for PC with enough reading material for the next two or three years easily. Yes, I've people-pleased and taken their books when Twitter pals have been doing Free Day Promos - but I have to ask myself, is this really helping them, and perhaps more importantly is it helping independent publishing, or is it helping to wreck it from the inside? I'm not at all sure!
I'm certain that the big publishing houses aren't concerned that indie authors give their stuff away for free. They know full well that the reading public will always want whatever is currently flavour of the month, and if you want 'flavour of the month' I guarantee you'll have to pay for it.
Like I said, I don't believe it's right to give work away for nothing. Perhaps I feel this way after many years in the theatre where experienced actors are constantly being asked to work for all kinds of reasons for either no money or less money than they truly deserve, "It's an ensemble piece ... There's not much money in the budget ... Stephen would love you to do it, and knows you'll be brilliant in the part ... I'm afraid the entire budget has gone to pay for the star and everyone else is getting paid Equity minimum ..."
Niedermayer & Hart is 162,000 words long, was seriously considered over several months by two major publishing houses and in the process received considerable praise from quite a number of people in the publishing world (I have the letters to prove it!). When it didn't happen, I felt utterly crestfallen and didn't write again for ages afterwards. Some time later, after I'd completed another book, it was my wife who suggested I might reconsider N & H - I read it, realised it was still a decent read but re-drafted it because I felt my style had improved after the exercise of writing book number two. I then had it proof-read by three people that I trust implicitly.
The trade paperback is (IMHO) a beautiful looking book and I've organised a few compos and promotional giveaways. However, this has, and will always be, limited to a certain number of copies at a time. The paperback sells for £12.99; unfortunately some people have contacted us to say they've been having trouble ordering it from Amazon, and if you find this is the case for you it is easily available through most other sources including via PayPal through this website.
The ebook is easily available from Amazon and Smashwords and is now at the special August-only price of £1.96 UK (price including VAT) $2.99 US. I hope as many of you as possible will take advantage of this offer and enjoy reading the book.