Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hardcover Or Ebook Exclusive?

On the heels of my last post talking about KDP Select and whether or not to use that platform, thus knocking myself out of the ability to use other platforms like Smashwords, I'm looking at something else - should I publish hardcover books too or go exclusively with ebooks?

Ebooks are all the rage,   That's where most indie published writers make their bones.  Readers unfamiliar with you are more likely to risk a $3.99 ebook they can delete from their e-reader than to buy a physical book that both costs more and takes up space.  I know I'm very selective nowadays as to which books I buy from the bookstore since my space is rapidly dwindling.

If this was purely a business decision for a newbie author, it'd be simple.  I could remove all the emotion from it and go exclusively with ebooks.  However, emotion plays a part, whether we want it to or not.  Besides, as writers, we're emotional creatures.  All my life I've wanted to hold a book I wrote in my hands.  No, not the printed out pages, but a physical book with a cover and a blurb and pages I can turn, in addition to something with my name I can put on a shelf.  Some writers may have moved past that particular ego boost, but I haven't.

Does this mean my ego is wasting both my time and my money?  Maybe...but do I care?  I understand that unless/until I earn a great degree of success as an established author, most of what I sell will come from ebooks.  That doesn't mean I want to go to my e-reader every time I want to look at what I've produced.  Further, some of those on my distro list have said point blank that they want a physical book.  They may not be many, but how many does there have to be before my ego can justify it?

In the end, this is my career.  I chose to publish independently specifically to have the freedom to make decisions like this, and I'm 99% positive it will include physical books.  Doing so will grant me three pleasures - 1) holding my book in my hands: 2) providing those who've asked with a hardcopy of my work; and 3) to stick it in the face of all those who said what I was doing was a fool's errand.  Yes, that's petty, but I don't care.

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