Enquirers sometimes ask me whether they should publish a paperback or an eBook, so I thought I should let you all know my opinion on this subject.
eBooks are very easy to publish now we have the likes of Amazon KDP and Smashwords. You write your book, get it proofread, format it yourself or get me to do it, design a cover and then upload it to Amazon or Smashwords. It’s so easy many people are doing it every single day, you only have to look on the home page of Smashwords to see the speed that the new eBooks are being published over there.
The problem with eBooks being so easy to publish means there are a lot of very badly written eBooks on the market, where people are trying to make money fast. They have failed to understand that if your eBook is badly written that people won’t generally buy it (hopefully most will download a sample before they commit to spending the money), and if it’s very bad it will receive 1 star reviews which means it will soon vanish into oblivion, never to be seen again and the author having made no money whatsoever!
But, with a paperback it’s not quite as easy, you still have the likes of CreateSpace and Lulu which makes the process a lot easier to self-publish but at the end of it you will have a physical book. In my opinion creating a physical book which people have to pick up, flick through and buy is more of a risk, which means authors probably put more effort into writing and publishing it.
Both eBooks and paperbacks don’t have to cost anything to publish, ok you have to factor in any services you outsource such as proofreading and formatting, but in general to upload it to Amazon, or create it on CreateSpace you don’t have to spend any money.
The advice I give enquirers/clients when they ask me this question is, publish it as an eBook, see what sort of interest you get (obviously you have to market it for it to sell) and then decide later on if you want to produce a paperback version.
Some clients do it the other way around and succeed, take Lisa Cherry for example, her paperback sales are doing really well and after she published a Kindle version that also did very well. The magic here isn’t which way round she published, it’s how well written her book is and how great she is at marketing it.
If you want to sell your book…
At the end of the day, you will get out what you put into a book. So ensure it’s well written, edited correctly, thoroughly proofread, formatted nicely and marketed consistently and you’ll find that you can publish your book as a paperback and an eBook whichever way around you prefer.