This last week I have been busily working on a document I have to produce for work. The deadline was yesterday, and I made it, but that's not really the point.
Along the way, my boss and I set up a breakfast meeting to talk to a graphic designer who would produce a schematic for the document. I got to the meeting early and had a chance to chat with her before we officially started. She works freelance, and she was telling me that she had a bad habit of working cheap because the non-profits she likes to help rarely have enough money. I got this just a few days after I was at a pool party and a friend told me she's great at helping other people negotiate, but she isn't so good at negotiating for herself.
I thought about how this might apply to our writing. After all, eventually, money does exchange hands eventually. I'd gotten paid (not much) for a few of my short stories. I've won some prize money. I've also had to put a price on my self-published collection, and that price has fluctuated a lot. I started it with the print version at $7.99 and the e-book at $4.99. Currently, the prices are $5.99 and $0.99. The changes haven't had so much to do with marketing as they do with my own self-esteem and sense of charity. For some of you, you may also face advances and the negotiations that deal with that.
So, I'm curious, how do you value your work? If you were to self-publish your last completed story, how much would you price it for? If you were to be offered an advance, is there any number you'd turn down?
Okay, I know money isn't everything. But it's something. And it's Friday! (So feel free to talk about upcoming meals and dreams and children's birthday parties and the such.)