Although there are many factors to consider when deciding taking the decision, the critical one is obviously the reader’s preference. Some books, especially heavily illustrated books and books for very young children are preferred as print books. But most fictional work for young adults does pretty well as an e-book. And of course, with print-on-demand (POD) now available, there is always the option of making both available to readers.
As a children’s writer, be certain about the genre of the book you’re going to publish. Then zoom onto the target readers; taking into consideration the age of the reader for your book. That should help you make your choice of publication: print book or e-book.
Plenty of self-publishers (especially writers for teens and young adults) are now moving straight to e-books. This can be a great strategy for a novice writer because you can get immediate feedback from the market on your book. The time and cost involved in publishing is minimal and even a newbie author can do almost all the work herself.
Of course, an edited book and a JPG graphic (as book cover) is still a necessity. But once you have those basic requirements, you can upload your book for sale on the Kindle or Nook platform within hours. The best price for your product can be determined by controls on both platforms. Moreover, it’s easy to change the price of your book depending on the sales and the feedback.
But if your book is a heavily illustrated book for young readers, you will probably want to publish the book as a print book, while ensuring that the printer is able to produce the quality you need at a price you can afford. Most books for children below 10 years are still preferred as print books rather than e-books.
With use of digital printing and print on demand distribution, the books are printed in response to orders. This means that every book being printed is already paid for. This eliminates cash advance for the books being published and the cost and worry of holding onto an inventory.
Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!
Most writers, especially first time self-publishers know very little about printing or book production. All these options and decision-making may seem a little confusing and intimidating. However, there is also the option of getting professional assistance and advice for your project in order to get the best job done. Also keep in mind that few of the decisions you make are irreversible ones and you can always make changes later in the process.
For example, you can use POD to print a small number of your manuscript. This will allow you enough financial flexibility to be able to bring out an eBook. When the eBook penetrates the market, it will create an increase in demand for the print book, which you can then meet by bringing out a larger quantity of books to meet the demand.
In fact many insiders believe that rather than looking at the scenario as a print book vs. eBook fight, the two formats are actually a tag team, essentially two players on the same side.
Last Word on the Great Debate
Marc Slater, director of 7 Speed Reading, has this to say. “Clearly, the winner in this round is none other than the person doing the reading, no matter which method they choose. With all of the options available in the market, there simply is no way to not enjoy reading. If anything, what people should be focused on is learning how to read faster. After all, there are so many books to pick up and read out there – both in printed form or e-book version – that we should be concentrating on reading as many as we can, in whatever format suits us best.”