Self-publishing is a rapidly evolving industry with lots of competitors that are constantly throwing out new information. Publishers are continually upgrading their facilities, infrastructure, and pricing, and what I write here could all be changed in just a few months. Many authors are choosing to only publish their books in digital format and forgo a print version. They consider their major audience is online anyway and costs and ease are still with the digital publishing. So why go the extra step to publish a print copy?
But ebooks require either an electronic reader or an app on a tablet or smart phone. Some readers haven’t made the switch to e-readers and many more find it uncomfortable to read on their phones. And let’s face it–a lot of people are holding out on making the switch to digital because they love the smell and feel of a real book in their hands or because they prefer a physical product over a digital one.
Let’s look at some of the considerations to look at when you are deciding whether to one version or the other, or go with both.
The Benefits of Publishing in Print
• First, there is the opportunity of expanding your sales if your book is available in both digital and print. Not everyone has an e-reader. It’s a portion of your potential audience you may be losing.
• You can hand paperbacks and hardcovers to loved ones, acquaintances, and random strangers. You can bring them to bookstores, libraries, and networking events. When it comes to in-person marketing, nothing beats a physical product that you can hand out.
• Sure, you could scan your signature and paste it into your ebook, but that’s not a real autograph, is it? You’ll need a print version if you want to autograph copies of your book, which are great for giveaways and a good way to build a loyal fan base.
• On a site like Amazon, a lower priced ebook looks like a good deal next to a higher priced print book, therefore possibly driving up your digital sales.
• Kids are still more likely to read a print book than an ebook.
• Print books make a more tangible gift.
• Get your book into circulation: It’s easier for people to share, show, and lend physical books
• Even if you’re only making one or two print sales per month, those print books might be passed along to friends and even used bookstores, exposing your work to new readers.
Advantages of publishing Ebooks
• It’s usually much less expensive to produce an e-book, particularly when it comes to formatting and cover design.
• you can price a digital book for much less than a paperback, which makes it easier to sell (the majority of self-published print books cost $13.99 and up while the majority of indie e-books sell in the $.99-$5.99 range.
• Print books have a limited shelf life, perhaps 30 to 60 days in the brick and mortar store. The digital book’s shelf is forever. You can continue to market and sell your book for years without the bother of keeping an inventory. New fans can always come back and get your back inventory. As you become more popular, you’ll continue to sell your earlier books.
Some self-publishing links.