Monday, April 26, 2010

When Should You Publish Your Book in Print?

It's a different world: Thanks to Kindle, iPad, and other E-readers, micro-publishers are asking themselves when, if ever, they should publish printed editions of their books. Here is our take.

1) Publish your book as a printed edition when your book has legacy value. If you're doing a memoir, a scrapbook, or any kind of history, print it. One of the values of "hard copy" is that it survives in a way that other media does not. Think of all the important material you stored away and can no longer retrieve easily or at all on such things as ...
  • reel-to-reel tape
  • vinyl
  • 16 mm film
  • 8 mm film
  • super 8 film
  • 8-track tape
  • 8-inch floppies
  • 5-inch floppies
  • 3 1/2-inch "floppies"
  • cassette tapes
  • zip drives
2) Publish your book as a printed edition if it is a "literary" (word-based) work. If you've written a novel, print it. The genre won't survive except in print. Devices like the Kindle won't survive as pure book readers. They will all evolve into multi-media devices, which will no longer be "books."

3) Publish your book as a printed edition if you need something physical to sell at your presentations. Giving presentations--and selling your book afterward--is your single most effective bookselling strategy. If you expect people to walk away from your presentation and download an electronic copy of your book from Amazon or Apple, keep dreaming.

There are good reasons for publishing your book as an E-book. By doing so, you can reach an international market more easily (because you don't have to ship physical copies); you can take advantage of the ability (in some formats, for now) to hyperlink; and you can reach those who simply choose to read books on electronic devices. However, even if you publish your content as an E-book, consider publishing a print edition as well for the above reasons. The Publishing Pro, LLC