Welcome to the Coach’s Corner! If you have your ear to the self publishing blogosphere, you’ve heard the constant buzz on the subject of publishing printed books vs. e-books. If you’re going to self-publish a book this year, there are five points you need to consider as you consider your publishing options.
Tangible products have immediate value in the hands of your clients and customers. If you are an author who uses books to promote your business/brand, and your business/brand to promote your books, you want to leave your audiences with something tangible to carry out the door. It is more intimate to personally inscribe a book to a customer when you’ve met them face to face. Want to give them a special code that allows them to give a free download of the e-book edition to a colleague? Do that … in addition to putting a real, physical product in their hands. It will help you stay present in the most tangible way. Let the e-book provide the added value.
Publishing your printed book will require a greater commitment of time and energy, and result in a better product. E-publishing has further removed the barriers to publishing and made it so easy that “everyone is doing it.” Yes, it’s easy to throw an e-book into the fray, put it up on Amazon, make it available through Smashwords and any number of other e-book sites. You can just as easily assert that fewer are putting the care into editing and the attention to design of a quickie e-book. Why? There’s virtually no barrier to doing so.
If you’re publishing a printed book, you’re more likely to check and double check the text, design, and overall product … because you know it’s going into print in a locked down, ink-on-paper edition that could be around for decades.
With so many free e-book conversions out there, perfectly happy to accept and convert your Word document to e-book form, who cares if your e-book looks like a first draft in a word processing program? They don’t.
Your competition doesn’t have to do much to top your e-product. This path of least resistance means that you’re going to be competing with more authors and wannabes than ever before. Now that you have thousands of competitors stampeding to market with their great American novel, book on real estate investing, or collections of poetry, it’s harder than ever to beat out competing authors who 1) have greater credibility by having the book available in printed form; 2) have had their manuscript professionally edited, then designed to print-ready form, printed, and converted to multiple e-book formats; 3) are distributing their books and e-books through a variety of venues; and, 4) are marketing their e-books better than you to the same, targeted audiences.
Success requires work, and usually a great deal of it. If you’re hoping to get rich quick, it doesn’t really matter what publishing path you choose. We’ve all heard about the fiction writer who’s sold a couple million copies of a fantasy e-book. We rarely read how long the author’s been writing, how many manuscripts they’ve scrapped, books they’ve published, how long/hard they’ve been blogging, building a social network, and struggled with marketing, promoting, and cross-promoting, and comping their e-book files to reach whatever milestone. If this kind of success were easy, everyone would be in the green.
There’s great news for this New Year. If you have a story to tell, information that educates, or writings to inspire, there are more ways than ever to get your work “out there.” If you can identify your goals, you can find an avenue to get your writings published. If you make your publishing choice based on a commitment to honor your creative energies and bring out a credible product—one that you’ll earnestly market and promote—the better options will be readily apparent. If you’re committed to reaching your goals for success and investing the necessary time, energy, and capital—and you want to retain your publishing rights, receive 100% of your net profits, and confidently deliver the best product you can to your readers—there are only a few options to consider. Self Publishing, Inc. is pleased to be at the head of that class. We’re looking forward to seeing you with your latest project in 2012.