eBook or Print for Self-Publishers?

With the close of Borders, it has become evident that electronic publishing is in and print is out. For those who prefer the smell of ink and paper, this is devastating news. Perhaps the physical aspect of holding a book versus holding a tablet is more romantic? Or maybe it’s the nostalgia of shelving books in alphabetical order. After all, when finished, the print book gets placed on a shelf to collect dust. While some will never pick up a tablet and will forever insist on a hard copy, the forests of the world are rejoicing.  So are trash dumps. Yes, many books are recycled to friends and family, but others do end up taking up space in dumps. Score one for the environment with eBooks!

If you are a first-time author with a terrific novel, you will be faced with the decision of print or eBook.  Last I checked it cost around $800-$1000 to publish a print novel. But that’s not all. Many publishing companies also demand a royalty agreement. Why in the world should you pay one penny to a publishing company to whom you have already paid for printing expenses? It simply doesn’t make sense.

Last December 26, the Los Angeles Times ran an article by Alex Pham called “Book publishers see their role as gatekeepers shrink.” http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gatekeepers-20101226,0,7119214.story. In effect, some authors are looking forward to their publishing contract to expire, so they can electronically publish with Kindle. Why? They will make a much bigger commission. At Kindle authors earn a 70% commission per sale.  For me the decision was easy.

I published my first novel as an eBook. I couldn’t justify the expense to create a print book that I expected only friends and relatives to purchase. So I began by reading up on it from Kindle’s Direct Publishing site (KDP). Start with the first link, “Getting Started & FAQs.” Then read the forums that are applicable. I posted on the forums and got help really quickly. I even got hold of a live person from Kindle when I needed to. Here’s the link: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin.

If you don’t have time, there are companies that do eBook Conversions. One I highly recommend is Booknook.biz http://booknook.biz/. I found them through the Kindle forums. I had gotten extremely frustrated with uploading my book cover. I was concerned about the way my book was displaying and Hitch explained that books display differently depending the device or computer being used. It was a concept I had never thought of!  She didn’t charge me and emailed me later to see how it went.  She sends out a monthly newsletter that is full of helpful information.  A million thumbs up for Hitch!

So you decide, print or eBook. In case you haven’t checked out my eBook, you can get a free sample on my webpage http://www.ginaladinsky.com or my Face book author’s page at http://www.facebook.com/editprofile.php?sk=contact#!/pages/Gina-Ladinskys-Author-Page/147005248709226?sk=wall

By the way, the only thing it cost me to publish my eBook was my time and $200 to create a “Doing Business As.”

Stay tuned for more info on eBook publishing.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “eBook or Print for Self-Publishers?

  1. Tdiddy

    Yeah, it’s similar to the music industry in the sense that now anybody with a computer can record a decent to good quality album, if they know what they’re doing. This, as ebooks, puts the power back in the artists and out of the money makers(publishers and recording company’s). Good or bad the change has come…

    • Hi Tdiddy,
      I agree that the change has come, but for both writers as well as readers. Many are still resistant to electronic reading or just don’t know how it works yet. But kids today, who will grow up reading from a tablet, may prefer it to print reading. After all, eBooks have many advantages such as adjustable font size, the color is amazing, and books are so much less expensive.
      As you mention, the same is true for the music industry. If someone would have suggested in the 1980s that we would load hundreds of songs on a tiny thing called an iPod instead of putting a record onto a turn table, no one would have believed it.
      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Friends of mine have had great success with e-book sales, particularly overseas. Although I think it’s wise to have both versions available (I must have hard copies of my faves! ;)) I see great value in electronic versions. People tend to purchase more of them, which is fabulous for writers and readers alike. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

  3. Hi August,
    I agree about the plus sides to both versions. Hard copies are nice if you would like to revisit what you read, and you can write notes or questions on the pages. iPads have the same abilities, to write notes on the pages, and to revisit passages, are easier to cart around, and books cost a lot less. But it is an adjustment for sure. There’s something about having your favorite book sitting on the shelf that feels good. I agree that the answer is in finding some kind of happy medium between the two.
    Thanks for the comment.

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