Should you publish your print book or ebook first? Or, should you publish them simultaneously?
An author sent this to me the other day:
Do you recommend that I proceed only with the print version first, and then the ebook version later? If so, how much later?
Many authors write in with that question. The theory seems to come from the practice of traditional publishers offering a hardcover first. With the higher price point on hardcovers vs. paperbacks, they make a bigger profit up front. Readers desperate for their favorite celebrity author’s next book will pay just about any amount of money to get their hands on one of the first copies. (Remember the Harry Potter craze at bookstores?)
Unfortunately, most of us aren’t celebrity authors. If you’re self-publishing, you don’t have to worry about thousands of people lining up around the block at their local bookstore to get their hands on your new release. Even if you have a following, do you really want to force your loyal readers to pay more for a print edition if they prefer to buy the ebook instead…or if they can only afford the ebook?
For my readers, and in this economy, I want everybody to be able to save money and, of course, I want more readers for my books. If more people read my current books, more will want to read my future books. Remember, happy customers are return customers!! They’ll also sign up for my newsletter so I can alert them to my future books as well. If you are an author of multiple books, or if you plan to publish more books in the future, it’s imperative that you build up a mailing list of your fans.
At BookLocker.com, we usually get a print book to market within a month (though we also offer a two-week rush service). We use specific formatting elements in the print interior file that will make the ebook a much better product later (EPUB/MOBI friendly). So, the print process is finished first, followed shortly thereafter by the ebook process.
Our formatting is hands-on. We don’t use those cheap conversion services that create embarrassing errors and we don’t spit out garbage like THIS. Those types of errors in ebooks reflect poorly not only the author, but on the publisher as well.
MOBI is the ebook file format used by Amazon and EPUB is what almost everybody else uses. BookLocker offers ebooks in PDF format as well. Most people still don’t own dedicated ebook reading devices and we sell lots of PDF ebook editions through our website.
As soon as the author approves their print proof (the first printed/bound copy of their book), we start the EPUB/MOBIformatting/conversion process. That usually takes around two weeks. Since our hands-on method is personalized, our ebooks are high-quality, professional files that make our authors proud.
While it may be difficult to release the print and electronic editions on the exact same day, I recommend publishing the print edition first, and then publishing the ebook editions as quickly as possible thereafter. Be wary of publishers that force authors to go through the print and ebook processes at the same time. If the author has changes they want to make later, they may be forced to pay twice for those changes – for the print and ebook editions. Some publishers may even charge authors three separate fees for changes (for the print, MOBI, and EPUB files).
Of course, you can always wait until both editions are available before you begin your marketing campaign. Unfortunately, most POD publishers don’t offer turn-around as fast at BookLocker’s, with many taking four to six months or longer to get a book to market.
So, go ahead and release the print and ebook editions together, or as closely together as possible. Don’t force your loyal readers to pay more money for a print edition when they may want the less-expensive ebook. Of course, knowing they can download your newest book instantly, in electronic format, is a huge selling point for your readers as well!
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE