The Price of a Book

When I was a kid…I keep going back to those carefree days.

I was twelve years old when I bought my first paperback book.  The price was twenty-five cents.  For a quarter of a dollar (plus a penny for sales tax), I received a weeks worth of an exciting tale, taking me to places I never dreamed I may really go someday.

Not long after I started reading paperbacks, my dad got really sick.  He was in the hospital for a long time.  I did not know he liked to read but learned his favorite genre was Westerns.  So my twenty-six cents went to Zane Gray.

The author Zane Gray was a member of Penn's va...

The author Zane Gray was a member of Penn’s varsity baseball team in 1895 and 1896 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then one day I went to buy a book and they were up to fifty cents.  I had just enough money.  I planned to buy two.  That was okay, Dad was not working but was starting to get around.

By the time I graduated high school, paperbacks were up to seventy-five cents.  There was no money for college and my grades were not good enough to think of a scholarship.  The Vietnam war was raging, and I had a choice:  Get drafted and go straight to war or enlist.  I would get enough training to keep me alive.  So, enlist I did.

During those days of training, I learned that cold was not a totally bad thing and that an hour of sleep spread out over twenty-four was actually a lot.

Reading any type of novel was out of the question.

Some years later, I went past a drug store that had rows of paperbacks to buy.

My father passed away not long before.  So when I started looking at the books, my first tendency was toward the Westerns.  All the ones the store stocked I had already read.  It didn’t seem right to read Westerns any more.

I bought another book.  That cost me a dollar & twenty-five cents.

Since those days I have bought many books; a great many at used book stores where most were slightly discounted.

One day at a used book store in St. Louis, the owner and I were talking about what a new book would cost to publish.

He explained things simply:  A person takes a year of their life to write the book.  Then they spend money for the edit.  Perhaps, the person lands a literary agent who gets 15%.  Then if it gets sold to a publisher, they have the cost of cover design, printing, stocking and distribution.  For that they get 50% or a little more.  The book store that sells the book also gets a percentage.

At this point the poor author who thought he hit the mother lode is, for the time and energy to write and promote a part of his life, the recipient of the smallest amount from each sale.

On a twenty dollar paperback he makes maybe $5.00 per sale, but more like $3.00.

That made a great deal of sense.

Now I am an Indie author.  I pay those costs out of my own pocket.

I am lucky enough to have a wife who is not just a business manager but does as much as a creative consultant.  She did my cover design, as well as the book trailer.  Sandy stays up with what I have going and need to attend.  My wife designed the webpage and tends to it.

The Wolf Moon by Patrick Jones

My paperbacks sell for almost $17.00 per copy.  My e-book sells for $4.99.

I am not saying anything bad about a person selling their book for 0.99 cents, but ask yourself:  Would James Patterson or Stephen King?


“The Wolf’s Moon” BEST SELLER by Patrick Jones FEATURED on Indie House Books

Fantastic Article by Indie House Books…Thank you!

The Wolf’s Moon by Patrick Jones, Book 1 of The Linden Chronicles

    It has been one year ago today that my novel, “The Wolf’s Moon”, was launched. After a year, one might expect the memory of that day to have faded – at least a little. It has not. Everything from my first cup of coffee that morning to the cup of black tea before retiring, are still vivid in … Continue reading →

My New “Engagement Area of Learning” the Past Two Months

By Sandra L. Jones, wife of The Author of “The Wolf’s Moon,” Patrick Jones

Anthony Wessel

Interview with Anthony Wessel by Gale Martin

I start my writing career with this article dedicated to Anthony Wessel, CEO of Digital Book Today.

He believed in me, in us.  Sometimes in life, you meet people that are cornerstones in your pathways through the maze they call life.  My husband wrote a book.  Great!  How could I possibly have ever known what this self-publishing platform had in store for us, as my whole career has been in the medical field!

Anthony Wessel featured “The Wolf’s Moon” by Patrick Jones on his website.  The book had received just enough reviews and a rating of 4.2 to qualify for the interview questions.  We were so excited!  It was the very first “Featured Article” that we had!!  We had an incredible response on our free Kindle days thanks to the popularity of Digital Book TodayJumping Man Jumping up and down, we concluded that the process was now complete – WRONG!  Therein begins the book cover saga.

Anthony humored me during the entire process (bless his heart!) in my excited state by taking the time to listen.  He emailed me once and said, “By the way, I hesitate to mention this but…you may want to think about the book cover because it needs some work.”  Here we thought we had the best thing since buttered popcorn!  What could possibly be wrong with this work of art??  Little did we know that this journey through Book Cover Design 101 would take a year to get to this point!!  The first impression of the reader was The Author’s key objective in bringing “The Wolf’s Moon” to life.  Anthony Wessel suggested that I should write an article on the steps that we went through in this process in order to contribute our learning experiences to others within the writing community.

The Wolf Moon by Patrick Jones

BTW…It’s FREE for Valentines Day Feb 13-14

Key considerations we used were as follows:

  1.  Listen to any feedback that is given to you during the self-publishing process.  Someone once told me that feedback is a “gift.”  That is important.  No one has to take the time, so if they do…pay attention.
  2. Follow through with the task you have been given, learn and read everything that you can on the topic.  There are a multitude of resources from experts in the field, like Anthony Wessel.
  3. If you are not happy with the result…that is OK.  This self-publishing platform is a continuous learning project.  The more you study, the more it makes sense.
  4. Doris-Maria Heilman with 111Publishing told me something very true.  “It is a marthon, not a sprint”.
  5. Chad Savage, CEO of Sinister Fonts emailed me after I thanked him for the free fonts and said  that the only payment he wanted was for me to believe…with all my heart.  I thought that was really special.

Simple thoughts, one would think.  Except sometimes you need someone to bring it to your attention. You are too close to it. The good news is that the solution is usually simple!  When I used to troubleshoot instrument performance, I learned to always start at the beginning.  More often than not, the solution was simple, like plugging it in!  Someone else once told me that you have to do something 10 times before your brain puts it to memory (I think it takes me 20!).  But it works.


Patrick Jones author of The Wolf's Moon


I would like to Thank Everyone for their incredible support of our FREE days this weekend!  I cannot tell you how honored I am to have the most FANTASTIC FRIENDS in the UNIVERSE!

First of all, let me say…”ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!”

Statistics on the FANTASTIC FEEBIE EVENT 2/1/2013 and 2/2/2013 are as follows:

Total US downloads =      2,916

Total UK downloads =           76

Total Germany downloads = 75

Total Canada  downloads =   16

Total Spain downloads =         1


FINISHED UP:  #10 Mystery Thriller/Thriller/Suspense AND #2 Mystery Thriller/Mystery/Series


The Wolf Moon by Patrick Jones

Please Click Here for a Link to the Interview

Today, Indies Unlimited featured “The Wolf’s Moon” by Patrick Jones as a Book Brief.  Isn’t it interesting that they chose this weekend to feature the book!  That coincidence may never happen twice!

Thanks to Indies Unlimited for their devotion to writers everywhere!

The Feel of a Book

Patrick Jones

Patrick Jones, author “The Wolf’s Moon”

I wrote a blog not long ago about how my daughter at two years of age received her first library card.

A couple of decades later she has a room full of books.  Many of them I gave to her when I moved from St. Louis to Crawford County, Missouri.

Crawford County Courthouse

Crawford County Courthouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She still is in the modern age and uses her computer for reading, but she’d rather have a book.

Although my son has almost every type of electronic device known for communication, he still has books for his three sons to read.  The cherry wood bookcase has books so packed in that if he buys anymore, I’ll have to make another bookcase.

As for myself, I have no problem with the electronic devices.  People who do use them buy my book (I hope).  I just have a problem reading from them.

A book has a certain feel.  A new book has a smell that differs from a used book to one that is very old.

The local newspaper, The Bourbon Beacon, has two articles about the library.  (The Beacon is back in print after sixteen years).  One article is how residents can apply to borrow eBooks.  The other article is about “The Alphabet Train” for youngsters.

Where I like turning pages, others like moving a finger.  I can take a book to my cabin to read in the evening and not worry about batteries.

Last evening at the local grocery story, I saw a friend, Carol.  Her mother is up in years and has been ill lately.  Carol was with her mother while the doctors conducted testing.

While Carol waited with her mother between tests, she took out her Kindle and started reading.  Carol was asked, by her mother, what she was doing.

She explained it was something she could use to read a book.  Carol took the Kindle to her mother, demonstrating how it worked.

Smiling a most becoming smile, she asked Carol, “What will they think of next?”