Print Or Electronic First?

Discussion in 'Indie Writing, Publishing & Marketing Discussion' started by Michael J Scott, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Michael J Scott

    Michael J Scott New Member

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    Okay, here's the question:

    Does it make more sense to release your book in print first, and then follow it up with an e-book, or is it better to go to e-books first, and then follow later with print - or should it be simultaneous? :unsure:

    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts, explanations, rationalizations, and experiences.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. MatthewJ

    MatthewJ New Member

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    I don't know. However, :) I've ended up using the paperback edition as the master copy for the ebook because of the dreaded orphans and widows. To fix those, I have to make numerous minor changes to the text. If I released the ebook first, I wouldn't be able to fix them in the paperback without going back and re-releasing the ebook. I really hate orphans and widows, but I wouldn't say so at a church. "I'm so tired of killing orphans and widows! No, wait!" Nevertheless, by the time the final proof is back, the ebook is out the door.
     
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  3. dogbone61

    dogbone61 New Member

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    [sup]I published first in print, since I had someone to pdf it for me.[/sup]

    [sup]I published in e-book, and I have more sales as e-books.[/sup]

    [sup]Print books are good if you can sell them at booksignings or for giveaways. [/sup]

    [sup]I will always publish them in both formats, but for sales I have to go with the e-book and print for booksignings.[/sup]

    [sup]http://sharonleejohnson.blogspot.com [/sup]
     
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  4. Michael J Scott

    Michael J Scott New Member

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    "Widows and orphans" - Giggle.

    In my case, I develop all three versions simultaneously. Setting the book to print is a much more laborious process, because I justify the margins and adjust the character spacing to make sure everything fits together the way it should, not to mention page numbers and header/footers. This is irrelevant in e-book formats.

    I have the same kind of experience, though I haven't done much in terms of book signings or giveaways. I'm just wondering whether print can drive e-book sales, or the other way around. Which approach results in the most bang for the buck.
     
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  5. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    Print or e-book first? Sounds like the 'chicken & the egg' question. I think it depends upon the author. I began with print since I attend book festivals, fairs and homeschool conventions. Most participants love real books not digital. Also in 2009, when my 1st book was published, e-books hadn't caught on as reader favorite and had terrible formatting issues. Each year since has seen an explosion of e-readers and formats, but not all the bugs have been worked out.

    Per request, I converted my print versions to Kindle and Nook only. I don't like Smashwords, which frowns upon DRM. Piracy is too easy with e-books and Digital Rights Management gives a layer of added protection. There have been numerous problems presented to author with the increasing popularity of e-books, the most of which are these 'freebie' giveaways and Amazon's Select and its exclusivity clause.

    Authors should consider e-books as an 'option', but not the primary souce of offering their work, and be careful not to be caught up in the giveaway frenzy or lose future credibility.
     
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  6. Michael J Scott

    Michael J Scott New Member

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    I've never given books away, except to family or close friends, nor do I plan to. I think Amazon's KDP Select is a terrible thing - granting anyone exclusivity when you're an Indie doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

    Smashwords provides me with about 60% of my revenue right now, so the piracy thing isn't as big a concern for me as it might be for some. I figure, if someone likes my books enough to steal them, even if they turn around and sell them to someone else and pocket the cash - then somewhere down the road I'm gaining readership, which will translate into fans. For now, that's worth the risk of piracy. Most of the books I read I borrow from the library or friends anyway, so I'm not opposed to people reading my stuff for free. It will translate into sales as long as I keep producing quality work.

    My question really is concerned with someone who does their primary selling online, such as myself. I think you're right, though, ShawnLamb. It might be a chicken or an egg.

    Good thoughts so far. Keep 'em coming!
     
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  7. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    For people like you, Michael, who do their primary sales online I suggest get out into the public and physically interact with people. Even a local street fair or a library event. Yes, it cost for the booth, buying print copies, travel and long hours on ones feet, but I can't begin to describe the satisfaction, gratitude and joy I feel listening and talking to people. I write YA fantasy, and kids are a great source of encouragement and fun! I've gotten comments from parents thanking me, since Allon got their kid to read. Or their request for a study guide to use my books as a teaching tool! Those connections place what I do in perspective by making readers real, not online statistics.

    On my schedule this year, I'm looking at being in 3 different states in 6 weeks - with a possible 4th waiting in the wings. I understand this is difficult for those with a full-time job, which is why I suggest a local fair to start, it's cheaper, close to home, but serves the same purpose.
     
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  8. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    I do the E-book first, because right now sales are important to me becuse I'm trying to make a living at doing this. But the best way to do it is, to get a paperback proof, because mistakes are so much easier to find when you're holding the book in your hand. Right now my on line sales are outdoing local sales. As someone said getting out and hitting the street does sale books, but I don't have time for that.

    So if you want to find mistakes get that proof and read it first, if you don't have issues with mistakes, get that E-book out there first and get that book in the hands of readers.

    Samantha
     
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  9. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    Also I still can't get my spell check to work on this site, is there some magical button I need to click. So please excuse any bad errors, because I can't spell, well.. :)
     
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  10. Michael J Scott

    Michael J Scott New Member

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    I'm sorta in the same boat with Samantha (minus the spellnig erorors - I think ;) ). I don't have a lot of time to roam around doing book signings or tours - at least not now. And the thought of taking food out of my kids' mouths to put into a writing career that my wife considers merely a hobby right now is... well, it ain't gonna happen. The best I can do on that account is try to save the income my e-book sales generate to put toward future marketing efforts. And yes, that includes buying up a bunch of copies of my stuff from CS to take to various stores or book signings for sale.

    Of course, the main problem is time. I'm working two jobs, pastoring a house church, and teaching classes in the community. While I finally get three weeks vacation this year (got a great company to work with), it isn't sufficient to put into a major tour.

    I think when my "traditionally published" book comes out later this year, I'll be able to justify putting time into some travel, etc. For that, I'll buy up some of my other books and take with for a side display (the main goal, of course, will be to sell the Tpub book).
     
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  11. mjph

    mjph Member

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    Thanks for posting this question, it's very helpful.

    Live and learn... Next time, I will make sure the basic editing is set before I convert my print book to digital. It is so frustrating doing editing in both formats. I'd get it clean and then convert to the other format. I had issues with graphs, tables and pictures between the versions so there is a noticible difference in that area.
     
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  12. thebiblestop

    thebiblestop New Member

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    My first book I did print first, then ebook a while later. Partly it is because it was all a learning process. Also, the way I did it, it was easier to be ready for print first. I had to do a lot of format adjustments to make it ready for ebook format. Also, because it is an in depth study, many people will prefer a print version to study.

    I have started a second book, which I intend to make ebook first. I plan to enroll it in kdp select for one quarter. My first book is an in-depth study of the rapture of the church. The second book will be a shorter, foundational study on the second coming - with recommendations for my first book for more in depth study. I will undoubtedly make it available as print, too, for those who don't do ebooks.
     
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