I recently shared a meme on Facebook about the value of leaving a book review on Amazon. This meme (left) stated that many authors make less than $10,000 per year. Some people may not understand how this happens when books are priced anywhere from $8.99 to $23.99 per copy. To give you an idea, by the time all is said and done, many authors might make about $1-2 per copy sold on Amazon. This is for a book priced at around $9.99 retail. Authors can make a bit more (maybe $4 to $5 per copy) if they purchase their copies to resell at retail, but this is an out-of-pocket expense that they aren't guaranteed to recoup. And no author wants to invest $100 or more (that they likely do not have) in a stack of books that they'll end up storing in their home if they aren't able to sell them. It can take several author events and interactions just to sell ten books.
Pricing is usually left up to the publisher, unless the author is self-published. In order to make more money as an author, one would have to ramp up their prices to around $15.99 or so for an average sized book. In most cases, people don't want to buy books that are over $9.99. Even for authors that they follow religiously. So, many people wait for books to be marked down or sold in a second-hand bookstore. Or worse, they just opt to not read the book at all. The electronic version of a book is a bit more affordable, however, there are still some out there who can't justify spending more than $5 on a copy that they can't physically hold in their hands. It's also a bit difficult to get a signed copy of an e-book.
Higher Ground Books & Media (HGBM) strives to price books affordably, while at the same time keeping overhead down so that the cost of production doesn't overwhelm the business. Since we are not a vanity press, the cost of production comes off of the top of each sale with a high percentage of the royalty for each sale going to the author. Our mission is to help our authors tell their story, but it is definitely a coordinated effort with the authors. HGBM Authors (and any author, really) must be willing to put the time and effort in to promote their books so that the stories they tell are actually received by the readers who need to hear them.
When you purchase a book from Higher Ground Books & Media, you really are buying a large portion of not only the author's time and energy, but the publisher's time and energy. You are buying hours of writing, editing, formatting, and marketing efforts. It's not just a book. It's often a year or more of an author's life and their willingness to share their experiences or their imagination with you. There is so much to be valued in that $9.99. So, if at all possible, if you can leave even a brief, positive review for their work, it is so greatly appreciated by the author, the publisher, and of course, by the seller.
Writing, for many, is a lifelong dream. Holding a copy of your first book in your hands for the first time is such an emotional experience. I remember the first time I received a copy of "In the Wash: The Rona Shively Stories." I had set aside my dreams of becoming a writer and for many years, I hadn't given it a second thought. In doing this, I left a huge part of my soul on a shelf, so to speak. When I finally decided to go back to writing, it helped create a gigantic shift in the direction of my life. It was my statement of affirmation that what I had to offer was good enough to show to readers. And when I finally saw my book in print, I developed a different mindset that eventually led me to write more and to reach out to other authors and help them to write. To the person who left me my very first review, I am forever grateful. Their words helped to spur me on toward a greater purpose. And now, through Higher Ground Books & Media, I'm able to help others tell their stories and redefine their lives through the written validation of their experiences. Your purchase of one of our books is even further validation and we can never express how much your support means to us.
I hope you will continue to support the wonderful authors of HGBM and to leave feedback for them on Amazon whenever you can. Some other ways you can support them include following them on social media, subscribing to their newsletters, subscribing to this website, liking their blog posts, and even purchasing copies of their books for friends and family when appropriate. We've got more great books on the way and we hope you'll continue this awesome journey with us. We love to tell the story!
Higher Ground Books & Media is an independent publisher based in Springfield, OH. We publish stories that are inspirational, educational, and motivational! Our work is Christian-based and we strive to share stories of positive transformation that showcase God's power in our lives.
Just for fun, here's my very first book review, from Lucille P. Robinson:
Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2007
Rona Shively's life IS full of surprises. As a private investigator, she finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for when she takes on a missing person's case: looking for an ex-wife who has changed her lifestyle drastically. As though that didn't present enough trouble, Rona escapes murder by a thread until it finally surprises her 'In The Wash'--room that is. During all the difficulties, Rona is faced with a chance to love and be loved, but will her tendency not to trust anyone keep her from this very aspect of life a woman desires so badly? I liked Rona Shively because she's so down-to-earth. She's tough, but underneath that toughness lies a tender heart. The story is good, the plotting great. Rebecca Benston draws you into the story from the first page. Read the book. It's a delightful, but short, mystery.