29 May

Malaysian Cup of Coffee

A while back, I decided to add Google Play to the sites where my books were available. I spent an incredibly tedious several hours trying to make it work, finally got A Gift of Ghosts live on the site, and then pretty much said, ‘the hell with it.’ Well, no–I said, “I’ll do the others tomorrow,” and when tomorrow rolled around, I thought, “ugh, I can’t go through that again,” and that lasted for a few tomorrows in a row and finally I stopped thinking about it.

But because of my BookBub promotion last week, I found out that some copies had been downloaded on Google Play. When I looked at the numbers, someone from Malaysia had downloaded Ghosts. Malaysia! I don’t know why that was so exciting, but it was. A couple days later, I checked the numbers again and Ghosts had been downloaded in Malaysia four times. Four times! I don’t have a great mental image of Malaysia–it sort of blends with Thailand in my imagination, I think–but I pictured some tourist/college student at a hostel saying, ‘hey, you should check out this book I downloaded’ to an acquaintance from another country. Or a student practicing their English?

Anyway, it motivated me to post the other books to Google Play, because if someone wants to read my ghost stories in Malaysia, I am willing to help them do so, enough to brave the incredibly awful interface that Google thinks passes for acceptable. But I wish I could set the currency properly. All of the international sites do literal conversion: $3.99 translated to the equivalent in British pounds or Euros or Brazilian reals (got my first sale in Brazil this month!) or Indian rupees (ditto India!). But I want the conversion to be emotional instead. I want the exchange rate to equate values, so that every reader, anywhere in the world, is buying me a cup of their local coffee when they pay for my book, and buying themselves a small pleasure of about the same rate. I wish I knew how to make that happen.

But it would be incredibly complicated and unfortunately, Amazon’s algorithmic bots would probably price match and I’d wind up selling all the books, everywhere, for the price of a cup of coffee in Brazil, which would not buy me many coffees in Florida. Alas.

Funnily enough, though, when I went searching for information about the prices of coffee, I found this: Malaysian Starbucks prices. Turns out that in Malaysia, specifically, my books actually are priced about the same as Starbucks.

In other news, I’m working on three things at once, which is always bad for me. But Fen is due back from the editor on Sunday, so soon, very soon, I’ll be focused on her again for a few weeks. I can’t wait! Well, I can, but it’s hard.

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