Practicing what I preach
Well, it's finished... or nearly so. I finished writing the story, performed a quick self-edit and revision, and handed the manuscript to a professional editor because I do try to practice what I preach.
The "it" is The Falcon of Imenotash, a 45,000-word fantasy romance which arose from a an idea sparked by a movie. It's not fan fiction, so get that out of your head. The story focuses on a corrupt, all-powerful emperor, an honorable warrior pushed beyond his limits, and a woman grasping for freedom. In my mind's eye, the background resembles the Roman or Byzantine Empires, so you can also forget the typical and ubiquitous medieval background that fantasy seems to demand with consistent popularity.
The word count may change, depending upon the extent of the revisions needed to whip this thing into shape so it's fit for public viewing. And, yes, it has mature content; however, the explicit scenes aren't as frequent as in many of my other books. There's more emphasis on other aspects of the relationship and action. The launch price will be $0.99 and last for a week.
The sole intent of this blog entry, however, is not to sell the book. I drafted a blog this morning for a client on the topic of pricing integrity. The gist of the blog, interestingly enough, mirrored my own professional blog posted on LinkedIn. The coincidence was neither planned nor intended. However, the message echoes something my husband likes to say: "You can have two of the three: good, fast, or cheap." That means:
Fixation on price devalues the commodity or service being sold by setting up unreasonable expectations. Amateurs focus on price, not value.
It's easy to spot an amateur, from buyers with unrealistic (90,000 words in 30 days) to unreasonable ($50 for 100,000 words) expectations to the paranoid (signing an NDA to prevent the ghostwriter from stealing the client's idea) to the unjustified (this idea will be a bestseller). Let's not forget the impatient: "I need to get this book written now, but I can't afford it. So, will you do it cheaply?"
I do my best to educate them. Unfortunately, it seldom works.
I went through this recently. The potential client wanted a book written and delivered within 30 days. I bid on the project and stated that the 30-day deadline constrained the length of the document that could be written, edited, revised, and formatted within that time, especially considering that I had some personal obligations which would occupy my attention and reduce productivity during the last 10 days of the month. She asked me to reduce my bid by the cost of 10 days of production.
Ain't gonna happen. The bid encompassed what I would guarantee to deliver within that time span and was based on the word count of the document, not the time to deliver it.
Needless to say, I haven't heard back from that potential client. If she wants to knock a third off the price I quoted, she'll still find vendors more than happy to produce content for that. There's always someone willing to work cheaply. The question becomes whether you're that someone who wants to build a reputation as the cheap service provider.
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