E Books have started to become the rave in literature. For a one time price a reader can download their favorite books, magazines and newspapers to their ereader device (Kindle, Nook, Sony, IPad) and enjoy reading their titles. The added bonus to having the ability to get their favorite book anywhere at any time is that they can carry as many as the device can hold at one time.
These devices are also changing things with self publishing. Now a writer can directly upload their books to the systems servers, set a price and start to bring in a return. But a question I often get from writers; Are publishing ebooks better than traditional publishing? Well, let’s compare the two.
I broke down the system of getting your book put together in another blog. With the exception of having to do a layout for your book, everything else still applies. You want your work to be at its cleanest so you cannot avoid those first steps. Having your work edited should always be a must and you do need to have a cover for you book to attract customers.
The major differences between traditional and ebooks is pricing and printing.
There are no printing costs with EBooks. You do not need to keep boxes of books in your home to sell, no print on demand necessary nor to you pay a storage fee for distribution. The technology now has the customer simply download the book to their device.
If you need to make changes to your work, you can simply switch your ebook to draft mode, fix your document and upload it back. Unlike traditional where you have to recall the book, fix the problem, redo the entire layout then reissue the book which costs.
There are no barcodes necessary for ebooks, another cost saver. With ebooks, all you do is assign a price to the book and you’re good to go. You can also change the price without having to fix the cover. Barcodes on books are found on the back cover and to change them requires a recall of the book, reissuance then back to print. If you go with a regular printer and order 100 books then decide to change the price, those books you have can’t be sold in a store.
As for pricing your ebooks, the same concept applies here as it applies to your print books; you make up the price. But there are some things you need to consider about that.
With print books, take into consideration your printing costs. You need to price your book good enough to offset that price as well as tax. This way you get a decent return in sales.
Also with print, the size and texture of your book should be considered. Paperback books are always cheaper because shipping costs for them are lower. Hardcover books are heavier and cost more to ship. They also don’t sell as well as paperbacks because they both more money for the consumer and aren’t as travel friendly.
Ebooks tend to be very consumer conscious. Many of them are under $10. Kindle even has books that start at $.99. Kindle has a deal that as long as you set the price of your book below $9.99 you get 70% of your sales. You can set the price higher but, like hardcover books, people will tend to gravitate to the more affordable end of the deal. You will find that many people will ask if your book is on Kindle or Nook as that’s the way they like to purchase and read their books.
Publishing through ebooks does not exclude the fact that you still need to market your work. Even if you price your work for cheap, you still need people to get out there and purchase the book. Making sure you market your book is very important.
Now while the ebook way is cheaper and cost effective in many ways, I wouldn’t suggest it be the only way. It’s difficult to promote books at fairs and conventions when you don’t have something to show. You can carry an ereader around with you and show off your book, but potential buyers like to have a product they can hold. Also, most reviewers and book clubs like sample copies and won’t go out of their way to download a book to read or pay for it to review it. Also, you cannot sign ebooks and the novelty of having something signed by the author will never fade away.
Ebooks, though, can be great ways for you to push other works you may want to print but feel don’t warrant the full book treatment as well. Short stories can be sold for a dollar, maybe you have a novella you want to just get out there for your fan base. You could even put a companion piece to a novel you have already written and give a code to your readers to read it in one of your books.
The choice will ultimately be yours in the end. Check out both options and see what fits your budget and, more importantly, your goals.
- Marc L Abbott
- I am a self published author from Brooklyn, New York. I have been publishing my work since 2004 and currently have four titles on the market in print and ebook format. I write horror and fantasy fiction as well as books for young adult. I am also a playwright with stage productions in and around New York City. Visit my website at www.hobbcatpublishing.com