I was just getting my feet wet in the self-publishing world in 2015, and thought paperback was the goal–I mean we all want to see a physical copy of our book! But then I learned there was a lesson I missed that self-published authors knew before me.
Unless you’re book is going to be in shelves for the public to pick up and purchase, your visibility is at risk. As a self-published author, we are not so lucky to have Barnes and Noble to display our work, but with sites like Amazon, Ingram Spark we can go international.
How paperback is done right
I met author N. J. Hanson at a con and saw several of his books laid out on his table. He attends many events and personally reach readers by showcasing his books to the public.
Don’t confuse your preference for paperback or e-book with your demographic, because you might be better off holding the paperback until you are done with your e-book version. Your e-book downloads can let you know what kind of sales you might make for your paperback. But it’s risky to think new readers will pick up your paperback from a whim.
Print sales still make the most
In her article, Physical books still outsell e-books — and here’s why Handley, reveals printed books are cashing in the most in 2019
“Publishers of books in all formats made almost $26 billion in revenue last year in the U.S., with print making up $22.6 billion and e-books taking $2.04 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers’ annual report 2019. “https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/19/physical-books-still-outsell-e-books-and-heres-why.html
This is excellent news in terms of my love for physical copies, but as a self-published author, I have reached more readership because my book is a download away. In a little over a month, I reached over 600 downloads because it doesn’t cost anything to give your book away for free, and I couldn’t do that solely on paperback–not for free. E-books give readers a chance to know who I am, what I write.
How I publish now and the pros and cons for e-books
I now write to publish for e-book and leave paperback for last. What I like about this is I can still celebrate that my e-book is now in print! The excitement doesn’t disappear when you wait for paperback!
For printed books, the sky is limit with bleed settings, you can stretch your images without having slanted or cut off images (and as long as you’re following the print guidelines)
One of my complaints about e-book is you can’t get extremely creative when you’re formatting. Not when there’s the Kindle format (mobi), e-pub, pdf, lrf, pdp, etc. On the positive side, Kindle recently allows your image to bleed to a certain degree, and that is a helpful tool for those who like to show visuals!
Publish for e-book but expect to have a paperback format, and don’t get me started on audio books.