The Thinking Quill

Dear Reader Who Writes,

One cannot help but feel that one scarcely needs to trouble oneself with an introduction. The trademark quill? The eloquent and sophisticated writing style? It could be none other than Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV – acclaimed and admired author of “Fatswhistle and Buchtooth” whose fantastical and fortuitous adventures through the megaplex-multiverse have been steady in the Amazon charts as Bestseller One – in a – Million for over a year.

And, as Mummy so eloquently put it, “Moony, you little tosspot, you have been  writing that freaking crap for so long now – if the poor unfortunate sods who read it don’t know your name by this time they ain’t never gonna learn.” As I recall it, she then spat reflectively into the fire and a gobbet of saliva and mucus bubbled gently on the artificial logs.

And so to our next lesson. Sit up straight and pay attention. There may be an examination later.

Lesson Thirteen: The Write Price

Yes my panting little followers, let us for just one moment pretend that you have come so far as to be able to offer a book of your own creation up for the delectation of that cruel and capricious bitch that is the reading public. You have crossed every eye and dotted every tee, you have edited and subedited, you have begged the opinion of many readers (none of whom will agree on any point, leaving you to either start again from scratch or ignore them all) and placed your precious manuscript into the hands of the holy angel Kindle. All is going swimmingly, and then you are asked what price you wish to place upon this darling offspring of your imagination. Your mind will be in turmoil. What should I do? The question reverberating around the cold, damp, muddy canyons of your simple little psyche.

Is it wise to charge the mean 99p/99c? For those whose virginity had yet to be breached in this area of life, this Is the smallest moiety Dame Kindle allows her charges to place on their literary efforts. Many so-called wise heads will tell you that this is the course of wisdom and the road by which your little effort may reach the hearts and minds of the greatest number of possible new lovers of your precious prose. These prophets of doom will say unto you that you are a new author and you should be properly humble and have low expectations of the sales and monetary gain to be expected from a self-published novel from the pen of an unknown.

I say. Fie upon them. And again fie upon them.

Let not such smallness ever press its skinny little fingers into the soft pink marshmallowiness of your flesh. Let not such paucity of ambition sully the pristine pathways in your little head.

Never price a book below Ten Pounds Sterling. Whatever that may be in colonial currencies (eleven euros or thirteen dollars, Mummy tells me). Whether she be correct or as far off the beam as the mad old bat usually is matters not here. We are speaking of principle here, of the sale of our heart’s’ blood, of the prostitution of the children of our mind. Therefore let us at least ask a fair price for our endeavours. Ten Pounds Sterling, and not a penny less…

And while the rightness and wrongness of pricing is on my mind there is one other thing we must discuss. The promotion. The book sale. The freebie. The so-called  holy grail of marketing, supposed to garner you sales ranking and reviews. Well it’s just so much pish and tush. I am here to tell you not to bother. One, having once been inveigled into allowing one’s masterpiece to be offered free of charge for a whole week, knows of what one speaks. And how many downloads did that garner? And how many reviews followed? One download (which turned out to be Mummy who was too stingy to buy it before). I repeat One Download And No Reviews.

So don’t do it. Price in a way that reflects the love and inspiration you have put in your magnum opus – and stick with it.

Until next. Remember to wash behind your ears, and ecrit  bon

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

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