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Author Topic: Which is more important: publishing an e-book or a paperback?  (Read 2010 times)

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SpringBreeze

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I'm old school. I love the feel and smell of a real book in my hand. An ebook cannot give me the same joy. But the world is changing. <sighing> So, now I'm wondering if the rest of the world has moved on and prefers the opposite of me.

What do you prefer to read, ebook or paperback? Which do you buy more often? Do you think it is more important to publish an ebook over a paperback? Do you think it's best to publish both?

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healthandfitness

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If you are ready to be a real author (respected by your peers and prospects), you will have to make a paperback book. Ebooks can be made by anyone, and that is why they are not impressive to many. Think about what you would respect more from others; a real book or an ebook?

Re: Which is more important: publishing an e-book or a paperback?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 01:32:12 AM »
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SpringBreeze

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If you are ready to be a real author (respected by your peers and prospects), you will have to make a paperback book. Ebooks can be made by anyone, and that is why they are not impressive to many. Think about what you would respect more from others; a real book or an ebook?

That's a really good point. I never saw it in that way. Now you have me wondering about longevity. What if ebooks end up becoming a technological trend that will one day go away like cassettes and cds? I can't imagine traditionally-made books ever becoming completely irrelevant.

Re: Which is more important: publishing an e-book or a paperback?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 11:21:27 PM »

Offline Rainman

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Actually, the audience you target would help you determine whether you publish your book as paperback or as an ebook. Let's take the example of a book that's about internet marketing. Where do you expect to get most of your customers? On the net.

To make it convenient for them to get the book instantly, you'd need to publish it as an ebook.

On the other hand, if you're not paying some company to print the book for you and leave everything else [sales and stuff] to you, convincing a publisher to accept your book will be an uphill task.

People read books a lot less than they used to in the past and  for that reason publishers are unwilling to give unknown writers a chance to prove themselves as great writers.

It's best IMO, therefore, to publish your book as an ebook.


CrystalMarie

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Honestly, I am a new school type of girl so I love the fact that we are able to have eBooks. I really hate it when a book does not have a digital copy. It is 2014 right? However, I do buy paper back books of those that I really love because electronics are not always reliable.

healthandfitness

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Ebooks come a dime a dozen, and the truth is that it takes a special effort to complete a real book. There is a special level of respect that I earned once I actually published a real book that is available wherever books are sold. Do yourself a favor and publish a real book.

Leeroy_MY

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To lower costs, you might want to publish an ebook first until you are sure that your book is getting popular, then make the transition to paperback books.

It is also a good idea to try building your reputation at a lower cost by publishing ebooks first. Then after you have a solid reputation, you can produce both ebooks and paperbacks.

However, if you have a great idea for the book cover and a catchy name for your book that you are sure will stand out in bookstores, (sadly, people DO judge a book by its cover when making purchasing decisions) and if you think that the uniqueness of the cover can be one of your book's main selling points, go ahead and try producing a few paperbacks to test your theory.

Offline omelette

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Re: Which is more important: publishing an e-book or a paperback?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 01:34:14 PM »
There's no reason why you can't do both! Do you know about print-on-demand publishing services like Amazon's Createspace? Another one is called Lulu I think, and there are a few more. With Createspace, you can list your book on Amazon and when someone buys it they can, for example, choose to get it as a physical paperback. Once they've paid, the book will be printed and the paperback shipped out in the usual way.

The author has no upfront costs, but does pay for printing each one as it's sold, so you receive whatever is left after the printing costs and some other fees are deducted from your selling price. If you want to have some copies to give away, or sell to friends or through local bookstores you can order the quantity you want, pay the production costs and fees and sell them for whatever you like.

Many authors these days start out with ebooks and print-on-demand, and then if they're popular they might be able to get a deal with a traditional publisher with an advance. Having said that, others are choosing to simply self-publish all the way for greater control and possibly higher earnings.

Offline SpikeTheLobster

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Re: Which is more important: publishing an e-book or a paperback?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2014, 06:10:33 AM »
There is no significant difference. Purists and old-school snobs will say that anything published purely to ebook isn't good enough, that paperback publishing is for REAL authors, and so on. But they're just wrong.

Print on demand has changed everything. Since you can publish a paperback at no cost, in the same way as publishing an ebook at no cost, the differentiation is redundant. I published to both formats when I released my book, because I love real books (same as the OP, love to hold, feel and smell them!), but it would be just as real in purely ebook format.

The only thing that now separates "real" authors from others is being published by a publishing house. And even that's not such a big deal (although the money's better) since there are so many successful self-publishers these days.

Offline pattycake

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Re: Which is more important: publishing an e-book or a paperback?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2014, 04:57:19 PM »
I'm with E-books all the way.

I'd rather not have dead tree books anymore if I can help it. If love reading in my Kindle, and I hate the living space that dead tree books take up. Highlighting and bookmarking with my Kindle is like a dream, which you can't do without marking up a print book.

Offline JessiFox

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Re: Which is more important: publishing an e-book or a paperback?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 07:29:07 PM »
If money and space were of no consequence than paper back...always paper back. You can't infuse an ebook with smells or dried flowers or lovingly dog earred pages...there is no way to get the essence of a book into an e book. But as you said the world is changing and so we must change with it to an extent. Ebooks are cheaper and more accessible, they don't take up space. There are advantages to them.

Offline WelshGirl

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Re: Which is more important: publishing an e-book or a paperback?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2014, 03:34:33 AM »
In terms of reading, it depends. POD (Print-on-demand) books are awful in terms of physical quality - the pages are glaring white, the covers are flippy ... they just don't feel like a "proper" book. It's the same with the mass market paperbacks with the brown pages. Give me an ebook over either of those any day.

In terms of publishing, I think it's completely incorrect to say you *must* have a paperback available to be a "proper" Digital is a perfectly acceptable format and recommended in plenty of instances. Even the big 5 have digital-first imprints now (Harper Collins are launching Impulse this month, too).

Genre also matters. I was reading an article by an author who's going hybrid (he has trade deals, but he'll also be self-publishing some work himself) who stated the crime market in the US is 75% digital now. Romance and Erotica are also very strong digitally. The industry has been claiming Chick Lit is dead for ages, but I've seen plenty of self-published Romantic Comedies in the Amazon top 100.


Offline dyanmarie25

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I prefer reading a paperback over ebook, but if you are just a newbie author, and you don't have much money for publishing paperbacks, then I suggest just go with publishing ebooks since you could easily market them on the internet.

Offline Alex

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To be honest anyone can publish an e-book, but to have a physical copy available is a much harder process. Foe example in Goodreads, you can't promote a giveaway unless your book has a physical copy available. As this is great marketing opportunity, it does ensure people that have invested time in producing a book can use this.

While publishing an e-book by yourself is not the easiest thing (time consuming) those who churn them out would take advantage of such marketing opportunities and run it for others.

Offline GemmaRowlands

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I think it depends on what you're looking for. If you just want to "publish a book" then I shouldn't think it would matter, however if you want to make a career from it then you might find that it is a lot easier for you to get a traditional publisher and get a paperback out there for people to buy. It can be a long and difficult road to do this, though, so unless you're willing to go through a lot of hard work to get there, you might find that just doing an ebook is the way to go.


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