Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Self-Publishing: Is Print Worthwhile?
I'm sure this is why more and more self-published authors are going with e-book only (not to mention, that is where the sales are).
Formatting for print isn't necessarily more difficult than formatting for e-book, it's just an additional step that is required, since the formatting is different for each (although I was lucky enough to have D. Robert Pease of Walking Stick Books do the final formatting of my e-books and print, I did go through the process myself initially).
The main problem with print is the time involved: a day for the POD vendor (in my case, Createspace) to approve your files. A week to print and ship you a proof. Rinse, repeat, because you will likely need more than one proof copy. Then copies need to be ordered for special friends who helped with the book, your mom (Hi Mom!), and the few reviewers who require print (most take e-books these days, yay!).
And of course, one for yourself, just to hold (Cover Love).
For my paranormal/SF novel Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy), I knew I would need print copies, in spite of the hassle, and not just because my mom would want a print copy as well as one for her Nook. In spite of all the time that I spend with my friends on the interwebs, I have RL friends as well, and I know a lot of them are going to want to come to a signing to get print copies, just like they did when I released my first young adult novel, Life, Liberty, and Pursuit.
And while I can't wait for my Virtual Launch Party to celebrate the release of Open Minds with all my on-line friends, I'm also looking forward to doing a book signing with all my RL friends, with a stack of paperbacks by my side.
Having that happen is worth the hassle of making sure I can get all those copies printed and delivered in time. (I understand now why many self-publishers release their e-books first, and then the print versions; it just takes that much longer to get the books ready.)
I think it is worthwhile to make print available for your self-published novel; just make sure you plan ahead and leave plenty of time.