The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Publishing Your Book As An Ebook

By on May 23, 2016

These days more and more budding authors are turning to e-book publishing as a way to get their book out there and increase their readership. With Kindle, iPads and e-readers now hugely accessible, an increasing number of people are getting used to this way of reading due to its convenience, and the huge variety of choice available.

While some die-hard readers will always prefer the feel and weight of a novel in their hands, these devices are gaining in popularity, with many individuals being won over by the idea of being able to take an entire library with you, wherever you go.

So, as an author, as you missing a trick if you don’t publish your book as an e-book? Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.

For starters let us think like readers do.

An e-reader such as a Kindle or iPad can store hundreds of books at once. This makes them very appealing to people who like to read a great deal, for example, when they go on holiday.

Taking two to three physical books in a suitcase takes up valuable packing room and adds weight, where downloading some favourites onto a slim and light portable device is far more convenient and hassle-free.

Apps allow you to read your book anywhere, not just on your reading device. This makes those who may not have read previously because they ‘don’t have time’ reading more as they find 5-10 minutes where they have a break in the day and can easily access their books on their phones, laptops and so on.

Authors can benefit from all of the above, and will find that publishing their work as an ebook opens up new possibilities. For starters they can manage their own pricing, and offer discounts or even freebies to encourage new audiences to read their work.

Sending your book for review as an e-book saves printing and mailing costs (which are particularly annoying if the reviewer politely declines to review your book in the first place)! Many websites will also promote authors who are offering freebies to their followers thus increasing your chances of widening your readership even further.

However, naturally there are some disadvantages to promoting your work as an ebook, the most obvious being the price discrepancy. For ever reader that buys your book as an ebook is unlikely to then buy it as a paperback too, and as ebooks are priced lower then paperbacks, each time this happens, you lost money.

Of course there is also the possibility that people, having bought your ebook will make copies to share with their friends instead of buying it themselves - though people lend each other books so this is an issue for both options.

The reality is that ebook sales may make you lose some paperback sales, but it is unlikely to be many, and you are far more likely to have more people buy your e-book who wouldn’t have bought it as a paperback then if you decide not to publish your work as an ebook at all. 

With technology growing as it does, it is likely that more and more people will turn to reading on devices in the future, therefore offering your work digitally is probably something you should get used to, whether you like it or not.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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