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At risk of starting yet another price thread, i've been thinking a lot about how many sites promote free and 99c ebooks. I realize that lots of readers are looking for deals and these sites are giving them what they want. But would a site that promotes $2.99-4.99 ebooks work? If the emphasis was on supporting independent authors who create great work, might this be appealing to readers? I know it would be appealing to authors. Am i totally naive in thinking readers might care about the authors they buy?

Thoughts?
 
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Anything has the potential to work. The question is whether or not you have the time, resources, and energy to invest in it to make it work.

Does the world need or want yet another site cheerleading indie books that is only ever going to get visitors from indie authors? Eh, probably not. You would have to target the site to the needs of READERS. Why would a READER want to visit the site? The free/99 cent sites are not there to help indies, even if they make money on indies buying ads. They target bargain shoppers of books. They fill a niche in the marketplace by targeting a very specific demographic. So you would need to consider WHO the site would be targeted at and then determine how to build the site to cater to that demographic.

Readers care about individual authors that they enjoy. They do not care about indie authors on the whole. And this is an important differentiation. The typical reader doesn't care about indies in general. There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of indie authors. Readers can only offer a finite amount of emotional (and by extension, financial) investment. Nobody cares about your dreams. Nobody cares about whether or not you make money. Chances are, most readers don't know you exist. Same goes for me. Same goes for any of us. As much as we all feel like we are little snowflakes, the reality is most people don't know or care about us. They care about their own needs and wants.

So why should readers care about indie books? Answer THAT question, and you will know how to craft the site to give readers what they want.
 

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What Julie said.

To be honest, most people subscribe to bargain books sites because they want to help THEIR bottom line (ie, saving a few bucks). They don't care about YOUR bottom line. If helping their bottom line also helps your bottom line, then great. But they're looking out for themselves.

For someone to subscribe to a site that catered to slightly higher priced books, you'd need to add some value. Probably reviews, to be honest. And that times a lot of time and effort. Or maybe not actual reviews, but refereed recommendations. Not just recommendations on the basis of the star ratings on Amazon and the fact that an indie paid to advertise, but on the basis of you actually having read the book you're advertising.

Do you have that kind of time to invest? I don't. Most other people don't either.

Or you could just do a review blog, but there are already a lot of those out there. I'm sure you'd get a flood of submissions, since most blogs are booked up for a long time in advance, but do you have that kind of time to invest in reading and reviewing and then hoping readers will find the reviews?
 
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