E-BOOKS VS PRINT BOOKS
We continually get asked about the impact of ebooks. While 20 percent of national sales are now digital, print books sales have started to grow slightly as new retail channels opened up. The big impact of ebooks has been in the romance, fiction and nonfiction genres where lost revenue for print book sellers has resulted in bookstore chains to close or retrench. Internet sales are growing. We are looking forward to technology that will make ebook conversion to convert illustrative content into digital delivery less expensive and time consuming.
There will always be print book buyers because of convenience and likeability—holding something tangible in your hand.
And there will be digital-only readers—younger people who grew up with digital content and techies of all ages who consider it sinful to not use digital. Then there will be the middle-readers who, depending on where they read, will prefer one version or the other. Ebooks are definitely more convenient when traveling—just load up your digital reader instead of your suitcase.
The other continuing big development is author publishing. For a fee, authors can have their book available as print-on-demand, as an ebook, or as a printed inventoried book—or all three. The author is in complete control of contents, choosing the level of proofing and editing, he/she deems warranted. The author is entirely responsible for sales and marketing. This works great if there is a definable, easily reachable targeted market.
A small percentage of author-published books make it big. (There are of course name authors who prefer to do their own publishing and have their own staff to do marketing and sales.)
Here at Mutual, we have our Scripta Imprint for author published books where we provide production services with the author responsible for marketing. This works well for legacy books. We do have a hybrid model where we will provide marketing support and have Mutual’s imprint on the book.
Advice—If you have time and other resources, do it yourself. Very satisfying and rewarding. But, it’s always more work than anticipated. As hard as it is to write a book, it is even more difficult to market it.