The recent news of eBooks outselling their printed counterparts got the little wheels in my head turning. For us indie authors, paperbacks represent a much larger investment, both in terms of time and money. Breaking down the differences between paperbacks and eBooks:
- Require more extensive design (layout design/formatting, spine and back cover design, high-resolution cover design in general)
- Cost more to produce (there’s a cost involved in printing the physical book)
- Take more time to publish (waiting for design, setup with printer, proofs, etc.)
- Represent more of an investment for readers (generally $10+, have to carry them around, risk losing them)
eBooks, on the other hand:
- Require only simple design (I know you can get fancy, but it’s not necessary — Word and a cover design will do)
- Include no overhead (outside of the cut the publisher/distrbutor takes)
- Can be published almost instantly (not counting the waiting for Smashwords‘ book processor)
- Less cost to readers (both in terms of the price of the book and convenience factor)
With that in mind, we want to know: are paperbacks still worth it?
We want to know:
- Have you published/do you plan to publish your book in both paperback and eBook form? How did you make the decision?
- When it comes to your personal reading habits, do you prefer eBooks or paperbacks?
- Do you think there will come a time when paperbacks are extremely rare/obsolete?
- Does a paperback book feel “higher quality” (in terms of writing) than an eBook?
- Are certain types/genres of books better suited for eBooks/paperbacks than others?
- Do eBooks/paperbacks offer unique marketing opportunities/challenges?
We can’t wait to hear your responses! To join the discussion, please leave a comment below addressing any (or all) of the above questions. Also, mention the discussion to your indie author friends — we’d love to hear from everyone!