Sunday, July 18, 2010

Should writers pursue print publication or publish their own ebooks?

The above question came up in a forum recently, and while everyone has to determine what's right for them as it is a very personal decision, I gave them my thoughts on the topic.
I say go for both--print and ebooks. If you have a traditional publisher for your print, all the better. But don't let that stop you from publishing your own ebooks, especially the ones your agent and publisher aren't interested in. You definitely don't want to overlook the ebook market. That's where the money is right now for authors, if you publish the ebooks yourself.

As a self-published and traditionally published print author, I've seen the pros and cons to both sides.

If you have a backlist of titles that your publisher is finished with, get them up on Amazon Kindle, KoboBooks and Smashwords right away. Sales of ebooks are on the rise, and they won't be stopping or slowing any time too soon.

Other ideas for ebooks: publish a collection of short stories or an anthology with other authors, publish a novella or novelette, publish a how-to book or a book of poetry.

I have 4 ebooks coming out between April 1, 2010 and Sept 27, 2010. :-) There's only one thing better than promoting your books, and that's writing them!

My agent is holding 2 thrillers. I'm considering taking one back and publishing it as an ebook next spring.

The key is this: you want to build momentum, then try to keep that momentum going. And the only way to do this is to keep releasing books under some semblance of regularity.
With Amazon's recent royalty raise to 70% for qualifying ebooks, it's possible for authors to now make more money selling less expensive ebooks than selling traditionally published print books. But in the end, it depends on the personal goals of each writer.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author & book marketing coach


The Yard Bard said...

I find myself agreeing with your reasoning. While I prefer printed books myself (the heft, the smell of paper pages...), I think that the main purpose is to share. If you have the love of writing in your blood, share it however you can.

Marian Allen said...

I love physical books, too, but I downloaded Kindle for PC (free at Amazon!) and I love it so much I may get a dedicated e-reader. It really surprised me.

As a writer, I love being able to get my words out there to people who like them.

Thanks for a strongly reasoned post, Cheryl, for having it both ways. :)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Yard Bard, I hear ya. I do love the feel of holding a book, flipping through pages, dog-earing the corner. But I must admit, I also get what Marian's saying. Once you try a PC reader or ereader, there are pluses there too.

I'm glad we have the choice and pick both. For now. :-)