I wrote an email to the marketing department about getting my book's price points lowered. It was a very nice and cordial letter. Here is the response I got from Brandon(didn't list his last name)from Publish America.
Dear Nicole Noffsinger:
Thank you for raising the issue of PublishAmerica's pricing and marketing policies.
We must respectfully beg to differ with you on this issue. Book publishing is business, and PublishAmerica is in it to make a profit. In a free market economy, an enterprise has two tools. One is the quality of its product; the other is pricing. We never receive complaints about anything we do from authors who run, or have run, their own business. They understand exactly what we do, and why we do it. Like all enterprises, PublishAmerica has its detractors. None of them have ever run a business.
PublishAmerica took a leap of faith when it decided to publish your book at no, zero, cost to you. It costs many millions of dollars annually to operate a traditional publishing company such as ours, our sole source of income being book sales. Therefore we must do all we can to 1. sell as many books as possible, and 2. do so at a price that will keep us in business.
PublishAmerica is negotiating discounts with customers every single day. They have been going as deep as eighty percent, depending on a book's age. The younger the book, the smaller the discount. No business lowers its pricing ultra-deep when demand is still in its higher zone. Our eye is on the end consumer: can they buy our product at a price that they are willing to pay. We don't consider the competition. People don't buy a book because it's cheaper than another book. They buy a book because its content is worth more to them than the amount in cash that they are willing to pay in exchange.
As everyone can see PublishAmerica is re-aligning its pricing options. That's a business decision. We now make it possible to have our titles on the market for undiscounted prices as low as $9.95. If the consumer can choose to buy one and the same book, brand new, for $9.95 instead of $29.95, he will always choose $9.95.
Yes, your book may be selling at a somewhat higher price than a similar book written by a celebrity. How could it not? No publisher can expect to out-compete the celebrity, unless it loves to flirt with bankruptcy. Celebrity authors are not your competition, you cannot compare the marketability of your work with theirs. One is an apple, the other is an orange.
Your book's competition is the other half a million-plus unknown authors who were published in the past twelve months. Their books list at prices that vary wildly, anywhere from very low to very high and, no, pricing has no impact whatsoever on average sales. Brace yourself:
According to trade magazine Publisher's Weekly, the average book in the U.S. sells 500 copies. However, since that number also includes those celebrity bestsellers, the harsh reality is that eighty percent of all books sell under 100 copies, with a reported average of, get this: fifteen copies.
PublishAmerica is happy to report that our authors do considerably better than that.
Clearly, with 50,000 authors onboard we must be doing something right. It's not hard to see why. It is also not hard to see why, and where, those authors share their appreciation: www.publishamerica.com/testimonials/.
Thank you for having given us the opportunity to explain these sobering facts of life in a little more detail.
Thank you and have a good day,
Follow us on Twitter at @PubAmericaNews!
Now exactly who does he think he's condescending to? Testimonials-let me tell ya about those since I've been my own Nancy Drew here-I've tried to email these authors and they have no listing in the white pages or online. Their books are only listed with Publish America but no where else. They gave stellar testimonials praising Publish America and how successful their books are. I even looked up the woman who has been in their "This Author's Book made into a movie for Halmark Channel Network and according to them-they have no clue what I am talking about or the website's claim. They do not know the woman or her book. The woman, btw doesn't even have a blog or anything to validate her as a real person. Look, I really want my book to sell and as bad as the publisher is-the author here is very real and has worked very hard and until I can get released from my contract, I have to keep hoping that I can get it out there! I mean we all want to make money but for me I just want my work of art out there you know. I want honest reviews and if it sucks, then it's back to the drawing board. I want to be able to have book signings and to meet people just like me who is striving to make their dream come true. Okay that sounds a little Wizard of Oz huh, but seriously folks what if the Louvre had told Monet, "Well we need you to buy the first 100 paintings and then well we might put you in" because that is what it feels like. I shouldn't have to buy copies of my own book! Actually I would love to buy copies of my own book but here's the deal 1: I get no royalties off any purchase of my own book.(reguardless of how much money I pay out of my pocket I get no royalties), 2: The price, even with the 10% discount, still is unaffordable to me. I mean the whole thing is for me and them to make money right? Can't get blood out of a turnip here and I'm so po' I can't even afford the turnip most days. Okay okay no pity...no pity but seriously my fellow aspiring authors and artists here is the huuuuge lesson! And I'll put in capitol letters!
READ YOUR CONTRACT BEFORE SIGNING. YES IT IS EXCITING TO GET TO THAT STAGE BUT IF YOU DON'T READ EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR CONTRACT YOU ARE GOING TO GET SUCKERED. I BELIEVED THAT THINGS SUCH AS OH I DON'T KNOW PROMOTING MY BOOK OR ATLEAST MAKING IT ACCESSIBLE TO VENDORS THAT THEY BOASTED ABOUT HAVING CONTACTS WITH, MEANT THAT IT WAS TAKEN FOR GRANTED THEY WOULD ACT IN MY BEST INTEREST. NOT THE CASE! DO YOUR HOMEWORK! A PUBLISHER SHOULD NEVER ASK AN AUTHOR TO BUY THEIR OWN BOOKS, A PUBLISHER SHOULD NEVER HAVE THE AUTHOR "PAY" TO HAVE THEIR BOOKS SHOWCASED WITH OTHER BOOKS FROM THE SAME PUBLISHING COMPANY AT EVENTS THE PUBLISHER IS INVOLVED IN. A PUBLISHING HOUSE/COMPANY WANTS TO MAKE MONEY! IF THEY TAKE YOU IN AS A CONTRACTED AUTHOR THEY ARE GOING TO GO THE MILE EVEN IF THEY ARE A SMALL AND INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING HOUSE. THEY WANT TO SELL YOUR BOOK AND THEY WANT YOUR REPEAT BUISNESS! DO YOUR RESEARCH AND IF A PUBLISHER DOESN'T INCLUDE THOSE THINGS-OR WON'T DISCLOSE WHAT THEIR PART OF THE UNDERTAKING IS THEN DO NOT GO WITH THEM NO MATTER HOW GOOD THEIR SITE LOOKS, TESTIMONIALS, ETC. VISIT WWW.WRITERSBEWARE.COM AND AUTHORS DEN. THERE ARE MANY AUTHOR MILLS(PUBLISHING COMPANIES THAT MAKE THEIR MONEY OFF THE AUTHOR AND WILL ACCEPT ANY MANUSCRIPT AND THEN TRY TO SELL IT BACK TO THE AUTHOR REGUARDLESS.I WAS VICTIM ONCE-DON'T YOU BE!