I’m sitting outside, waiting for the sun to rise and listing to coyotes “bark” in the distance. Our rooster us starting to crow—he’s up early, too. Rain is dripping from the leaves overhead and everything is a bluish black color.
It suits my mood.
Weve has a string of rainy days…no, weeks. And I don’t mean weather.
Besides the fact that we started our not-for-profit mustang rescue and retraining center, we’ve been hit with sick horses—Bella, Essie, Mustang Charlie (client’s horse), Rosie, Izzy, Tilly, and Digby. Each horse had something unusual happen, especially for the new arrivals —mastitis, colic, stomach upset, etc. Nothing WE did, just a string of bad luck.
And then my little dog Tobi was nearly killed.
Through it all, we’ve worked and struggled to care for these animals and (thank you God and great but expensive vet care) with 100% success. That says A LOT about my daughter who got up multiple times each night to administer medicine and change bandages and check on horses.
It has been a lot of rainy days for us. And yet there are glimmers of sunshine. Cat has rehomed four mustangs to amazing people. She’s continued her training AND her learning. She has worked with multiple clients’ horses, helping to work out little and sometimes big problems so that owner and horse could reconnect. I’m proud of all she has done as she continues her mission of educating people about the magnificent American Mustang.
And I continue to write so that I can fund this initiative. And yet the book industry has changed. I find that disheartening. After ten months of working on Mending Fences, I’ve noticed fewer preorders and way fewer sales.
I suspect it’s because I priced it at $3.99 and not .99 cents. That makes me sad—that my work is not valuable enough to be worth four dollars.
When I self-publish, I have to pay for editors and cover designers. I also have to pay for electricity and food and water. If I publish a book for $2.99 or less, the publisher (Amazon) keeps 70%. I’d have to sell 2000 copies to break even on the editors and cover designers—never mind the cost of basic survival during the ten months I wrote the book. Over $2.99, the percentages flip. Yay for that!
But people are less likely to buy higher priced eBooks. So it’s becoming a losing financial proposition for authors.
Authors have two choices. They can either short change their readers and pump out poorly written and poorly edited books with bad story lines—what many readers see with the bombardment of “fake” authors who churn out dozens of “books”, flooding the market and diluting the pool for a quick buck or starve.
I cannot starve and I cannot lower my standards. I’m faced with deciding whether writing is worth it. The amount of time I spend writing a book is worth more than thirty cents in my pocket which doesn’t cover my expenses.
When authors publish via traditional publishers, we get into bookstores but earn even less money per book and get paid twice a year. Can you imagine having a paycheck arrive twice a year? Even worse, you have no idea how much it will be! Often it’s for a lot less than you’d imagine.
Is the end near?
It’s up to you, dear readers. You can help by recognizing the value for good books and spreading the word. Not just for me but for all the quality authors out there. I know I am not the only one who is struggling. Many great authors still work full-time jobs because of this very reason while the “authors” who don’t care about the Amish or writing—just the quick buck—ruin it for the authors who value a great story with great writing about a culture and religion we love.
It is up to you. Which would you prefer?
The sun is finally up. Time to start my day. Hopefully it’s bright and sunny and the rain disappears a little today…
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