It was 99 cents!

Every year before going on our annual vacation, my family sit around the kitchen table for some intense negotiating as we decide which songs from the past year will find their place on the 201x family vacation playlist. The songs with the highest consensus are the first. This year’s number one choice was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s hilarious and anti-consumerism song – Thrift Shop – it was 99 cents! (the version below is the clean one with lyrics – thank you to Jadey Wadey – if you don’t mind the language, the official video is hilarious).

If I’m honest, I’m one of those people who go into the 99 cents store to buy 2-3 items and spends $15. In my humble defense, I rarely make such a trip.

So the concept of 99 cents shouldn’t faze me. But with Ashbar – Wycaan Master Book 3  due out in one month, the powers that be have decided to offer the kindle ebook version of At The Walls Of Galbrieth for 99 cents for the month of August.

Ashbar front cover

I objected: the book is already only $2.99 – less than a coffee at Starbucks (or most coffee shops). It took me a year to write and rewrite. I invested in a professional editor, cover artist, and many hours of blood, sweat and tears. I gave birth to it, sat up all night with it when it got a fever, and saw it take its first steps on and Smashwords.

At some point, eyes were rolled. They might have been relieved that the signals were there that I was on the road to becoming famous – I was acting the cultural prima donna.

I changed tracks: it is an award-winning novel, I whined. The response was brutal: it’s all about the sales.

And I was reminded that writing for my kids in the ancient Northern California Redwoods is one thing, making a living was another.


And so: for the month of August, At The Walls Of Galbrieth will be available in Kindle form for 99 cents. Oh well, it worked for Macklemore.

Alon Shalev writes social justice-themed novels and YA epic fantasy. He swears there is a connection. His latest books include: Unwanted Heroes and the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Award for YA – At The Walls Of Galbrieth. Alon tweets at @alonshalevsf and @elfwriter.   For more about the author, check out his website.

9 comments on “It was 99 cents!

  1. Interestingly enough…I have found some good books at those .99 cent stores! LOL

    Thanks for the mark-down! I would have bought it for $2.99 sooooo I will wait till it comes back up! : )

  2. Reblogged this on Left Coast Voices and commented:
    It’s all very well buying other people’s ebooks for 99 cents: not so great when it is yours. Award-winning At The Walls Of Galbrieth is on sale for August to celebrate the third book of the Wycaan Master series that is due in September.

  3. Hope it sells a million!

  4. Tracey Best says:

    We feel your pain. Amazon price matched our Smashwords July sale and we’ve had several free downloads of Guiamo. They marked two of the others to $0.99. It wasn’t so bad, but now they have left them at those prices. We’re making sales but it is frustrating having no control over what they offer them for. In the end, it’s not such a huge deal but can be frustrating. Hope all goes well with your new release!

    • Elf Writer says:

      Thanks, Tracey.It is a strange process, especially with Amazon. At least my publisher has a face and voice at the end of the line. He explained his reasoning. Are you having much success with Smashwords? I want to suggest to my publisher that we focus on Amazon and try the KDP Select for one book.

      Good luck,

  5. It may hurt the ego, but having short sales leading up to new releases is a good way to get people to look at your work. There are way too many fantasy books available, and new or unknown authors tend to be ignored. Readers are more likely to try series they haven’t heard of for free or $.99 then pay the full price. I put my first “Kingdom of the Snark” novel on sale for $.99 when I released the sequel, and it helped my sales so I can pop a few tags of my own. (I did increase the cost of the short stories to offset anyone who might feel “gypped” for paying full price.) I hope your publisher’s tactic works for your benefit.

  6. […] Ashbar, my publisher has decided to lower the ebook price of At The Walls Of Galbrieth to $0.99 (see my very different attitude here as the author!) for the month of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s