Why My eBook isn’t $1.99

Why My Ebook Isn't $1.99

I’ve debated writing about this for awhile. But…well…I’m just going to say it. (Don’t hate me.)

If you don’t know, I write novels and music. I’ve been writing music for quite a bit longer, so I’ve published far more songs than novels. I’m fairly comfortable as a composer. As an author though, even though it’s been two years since I published my first novel, I still feel new to the whole book industry. Crazy industry, btw.

This last year I decided to branch out and try self-publishing with both my music and my latest novel. Self-publishing is really taking off in the world for many reasons:

  • It’s easy
  • It pays higher royalties
  • The author/composer is in control of the content, start to finish

There are also cons to self-publishing. You probably already know these, so I’m not going to delve into them.

Well, I’m going to delve into one.

As I put my latest novel Augustina up on Amazon and B&N, I had this big debate within myself:

What price should I choose for my ebook?

I had a pretty good idea on the paperback price based on the price of my first novel. Plus, CreateSpace had a minimum price I had to charge, so that gave me a good baseline to work from.

But as I researched ebook prices, they seemed to be all over the place. $7.99 to $0.99. Some were FREE (a lot were free), while others were up around $12.99. All for books similar in length.

So…I picked a spot somewhere in between: $2.99. Sounded reasonable. I’d self-published, which for some reason made me feel like the price needed to be lower (even though the work on my part was MUCH higher). But $2.99 it was.

Last week, I finished up some new arrangements of How Great Thou Art, and I went to upload the digital version onto Sheet Music Plus.

As I did, I noticed the minimum price set by Sheet Music Plus is $3.99. They don’t allow me to sell my sheet music for less than that. No discussions. $3.99 is the minimum. That’s fine with me. My songs have been selling well on their site, and I’ve never complained about that price. Four dollars seems fair for a song.

Here’s the thing though.

It takes me a week or two to write a song. Maybe a little more if it’s complicated or has several different parts, like a choral number.

I spent four years working on my novel.


Years. Not weeks. Not months.

And I’m supposed to sell it for less than my songs? I’m sorry, but I just can’t, people. And honestly, I don’t think other authors should have to either.

*deep breath*

*still don’t kill me*

I didn’t twiddle my thumbs for four years on Augustina. I edited and edited, and had friends read it, and English grammar people read it, and I edited it more. I had a publisher willing to publish it, but for various reasons, I decided to self-publish. I’m glad I did.

I think.

Look, I’m as cheap as the next person. Probably cheaper. I’ve bought plenty of cheap ebooks. I’ve downloaded many FREE ones, too. But looking at the trend happening on Amazon and in the book world in general makes me sick.

What are we doing to authors by cheapening four years of hard work and selling it for $1.99? Are ebooks easier to write than paperbacks? Nope. They take just as much work. 

I don’t mind the occasional sale. In fact, I look forward to it. Books go on sale. Food goes on sale. Even sheet music goes on sale. Just last week I offered some of my sheet music for free.

But to set your base price at $1.99 or $0.99 is just so sad to me! I love books too much to cheapen them like that. And yet, in the ridiculously huge world of 8 million books on Amazon alone, authors are forced to do just that to get ahead (or to get more readers).

My husband likes to tease that I’d make more per hour working at McDonald’s than I do as an author. Sadly, that’s true for most authors. Unlike J K Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, the typical author gets paid pennies per hour.


I’m expanding my wallet. If I can pay $10 for a movie ticket that entertains me for 2 hours, I can pay more than $2 for a book that entertains me for 7-8.

I’m willing to invest more in an author’s time so they won’t quit their pathetic-paying writing job and give me more wonderful stories to immerse myself in.

Are you?

*rant officially over*

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’m really curious to know what you think on this topic either as a reader or writer (or both).

Free Christmas Sheet Music

It’s that time of year again. It’s the most . . . won-der-ful time . . . of the year. I know it’s too early to think about Christmas. (Way too early. Seriously store people, settle down.) But, this is the time of year musicians start planning carols and Christmas melodies to perform under starry lights.


Like I did last year, I’m offering a few of my Christmas arrangements for FREE. Yep. Free..




  1. Go here.
  2. At checkout, enter the promo code “FREE MUSIC”

Getting free stuff shouldn’t be hard. If it is, email me here, and I’ll figure out how to get it to you.

Here’s a video of “Noel Medley,” piano solo version.


Merry almost (no, not really) Christmas. 


Oh, How I Love Reviews!

I’ve been sick and feeling kinda bleh for the past little bit. Ugh. But there have been a few things which have cheered me up! :)

Augustina received 2 reviews that totally made my day. As part of one review, I shared 10 fun things about me. Plus, there’s another giveaway for Augustina! 

Shauna over at ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com said this about Augustina:

Only Rebecca Belliston can start off a story with the main character’s funeral and turn it into a happy ending. You will keep turning the pages of this book long into the night anxious to find out what happens next! LOVED. LOVED. LOVED. IT! Didn’t want it to end! (more here)

And Charissa Stastny from joyinthemoments.wordpress.com said this:

This sequel to Sadie is intense. Belliston did a good job taking the reader on a very emotional journey of guilt, grief, fear, want, rage, and ultimately redemption. Sadie’s a sweet character who’s been dragged through a lot of muck in both books, but she becomes strong…and it has been a wonderful journey with her. I couldn’t put the book down near the end–it got so tense and scary. Bravo!  (more here)

And then my friend Braden Bell over at bradenbell.com gave Augustina a nice shout-out here. I feel blessed to have such support for this project I love so dearly.

  • Win an autographed copy of Augustina here. The giveaway is only open until August 27, so don’t wait
  • Read 10 fun random things about me here
  • Buy Augustina here
  • Read the first two chapters here

Love you guys!

Last Day to Win Autographed Augustina

Augustina by Rebecca Belliston

Just a reminder:

Today is the last day to win one of two autographed copies of AUGUSTINA!

Go here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/aaae361/

or here: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/60458-augustina

You can enter to win both copies, and you’re also able to get extra entries for sharing the giveaway. I hope you win!

And for an update:

Augustina should be coming available slowly this week. I think it will be out first on Kindle. The print book should be available the end of this week or first of next. As I get the links, I’ll post them here and on my website. So check back. :)

So, so, so excited!

Check out the rest of Countdown to Augustina:

Countdown: Win An Autographed Copy of Augustina

In about one week Augustina will be available! Which means…

It’s time to giveaway some autographed books!

I love giving back to you guys. Over the past month, I’ve been so overwhelmed by all of your love, support, and enthusiasm for me and my books. Seriously. Every day, I open up my email, facebook, blog, etc, and have a new reason to smile. You guys are awesome. So I’m thrilled to be able to give something back to you.


Want to win a free, personalized, autographed copy of AUGUSTINA?

I’m giving away two copies. You can win the first by following the directions in this Rafflecopter.


Or if you’re on Goodreads, you can enter to win the second copy here:


Both giveaways are open until August 5th, but the Rafflecopter one gives you several chances to enter by sharing with your friends. Good luck to you!

I hope you win! Yes, you. :)


SADIE’s Book Birthday Giveaway


Well, it’s almost time folks.

SADIE, the World’s Greatest Christmas Break LDS Romantic Suspense Novel, was released on 11-11-11. That means as of Sunday, it will be exactly ONE year ago that I went from a girl with too many voices in her head, to a published author!


To celebrate this momentous occasion (okay, I’m fully aware that nobody cares but me, but still…) I’m giving away an autographed, personalized copy of SADIE.

To enter to WIN, you must:

  1. Promise to love the book. Or at the very least you must really, really, really, really like it. After all, it’s the World’s Greatest Christmas Break LDS Romantic Suspense Novel. :)
  2. Live in the US. (Sorry. Shipping issues.)
  3. Fill out the form below so I know you’re interested.
  4. ENTER by November 19th. That gives you a little more than a week to enter. 
  5. That’s it. However…If you want EXTRA chances to win, spread the news about this book birthday contest on facebook, twitter, or your blog (1 extra entry per mention). But you kinda have to tell me if you’ve spread the word, so I can put your name in extra times. (Why does that make me think about Hunger Games–yikes! This is a much happier reason to have your name entered multiple times, so don’t be expecting extra food rations, ’cause it’s not happening.) It’s easy to share this contest with the buttons at the bottom of this post. Just drop me a note in either the comments here, or in an email here to let me know. 


Here’s the synopsis:

Sadie Dawson thinks she has the perfect life until Christmas Day, when accusations and misunderstandings throw her life into turmoil. Fleeing her boyfriend’s wrath in a blinding Montana snowstorm, she is rescued by four friends on their annual ski vacation. While she knows there is more to a perfect life than diamonds and dinner parties, she must discover who has her best interests at heart and who she can trust . . . before it’s too late.

 Read more about Sadie (and watch a couple videos) here.

Okay, now you really want it, right? And don’t forget, if you already own a copy, it will make an awesome Christmas gift. See…look how happy the ladies are.

Alrighty. Are you ready? Setty? 



One more cheesy picture. Can you tell I spent several hours on the couch this week sick?

Good luck!

Leave a comment or ask questions here.