Some writers believe that each of their works should be priced as high as the sky...because it's their art and their art is special. Their time is special. They deserve to be paid for their time. With each book sale.
I won't say that their art isn't special, because it is. I believe that each author has an audience. The trick is FINDING that audience. Plus, the audience for Sally just may be bigger than the audience for Tom. Who knows?
Some writers believe that their work should be priced in the gutter...so they can attract that many more readers. They believe that selling 6,000 is better than selling 1,000, even if selling 6,000 copies makes them the exact same profit as selling 1,000 copies would. But, with 6,000, they have 6,000 more readers and potential fans than the author that only sells 1,000.
I won't say this is faulty either, simply because we all know that when businesses have a loss leader or even a freebie, it tends to WORK. It does it's job and brings in more customers. That's the whole idea behind the promotion. If it didn't work businesses wouldn't continue doing that.
With the high priced books, obviously not everyone will spend money on their art. Especially if you're not familiar with that particular author. The majority of people that I've talked to and listened to have the same thought process with this. If you don't know an author, you're afraid to spend more than a few bucks on them. You're only willing to spend a few bucks or MORE if you know AND TRUST that author. Perfectly reasonable sounding to me. We work hard for our money...unless Uncle Sam gave it to you for free.
With gutter priced books, some people believe that undervalues the author's work and therefore undervalues the author. They believe that .99 and free books devalue books in general, lowering the actual value of every other author out there. But, I figure, if that were true, we wouldn't have James Patterson, Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, etc on the top of the best-seller lists. Those books sure aren't .99 or free.
See, the idea with this idea is, if you give your book away for free, your book makes another author's book worth less. So, if they feel they should get 4.99 per copy, suddenly, because yours is free, they can now only get 2.99 per copy.
I kinda think that those that are willing to pay for quality, will pay regardless of how many free books are out there. I kinda also think that those that aren't willing to pay for anything, wouldn't pay regardless, even if there were no free or cheap books out there.
But, what do I know?
Either way, if the work sells, you WILL make a lot of money. Either way, there are legitimate reasons that will scare away some readers.
So, as a reader, how much is a book worth to YOU?