With the onslaught of the “e” world … and yes, it is an onslaught; the overwhelming amount of “e” pollution has turned many off. “You’re an author … what type of an author are you? A real author … or who that just jabbers and tosses out anything and everything, without really thinking about content, much less the audience that it is meant for or who it really is?
Can you be a real author and publish just in the “e” world? Sure. Can you just publish in the “p” world—print—and be considered a real author? Maybe—it depends on what you are printing/publishing.
Solid questions. Good questions. It boils down to quality.
I, just a solo voice out here, am getting tired of the massive amounts of info coming out me—please read my book; read my book; get my book for free; get my book for only 99 cents; comment on my book; recommend my book, etc., etc.
The few times I’ve opened the files up to “look” at the book, I’m shocked at the immense, and I mean immense, lack of editing—both from the “p” and “e” world. Today’s publishing opportunities invites a lot of garbage possibilities. For some, it’s anything to make a quick buck. “Get my book—today only for 99 cents … such a deal it sounds like … until you figure out what your time is worth. My time, a couple of hours is worth lots more than 99 cents—isn’t yours?
The POD world—print on demand is inexpensive, which is very cool. I’ve openly recommended CreateSpace as a strategy for many clients as a test, stepping stone, even a way to enter the publishing world with the giant Amazon in play—but, and always a but in the mix—there has to be editing, get a professional cover done and yes, lay it out—don’t do the template Amazon version …than have the layout designer do the uploading—for less than $3,000 (most likely), you have quality cover design, interior, editing and you are rocking and rolling with the big boys—you get max percentage on eBook payout, you have print books available on demand and you can start marketing your work and words like crazy. If, and it’s a big if, the demand comes in for mass amounts of copies, you can then go to print.
This dear reader, is a far better strategy than getting sucked into all the pay-to-publish operations that demands you buy “x” amount of copies plus fork over many thousands of dollars.
So … why consider printing vs. just the “e” method.
- Credibility. If you want any media, you need a print option, no exception.
- Libraries. I love libraries … and you should to –yes, you should. Without them, much of our culture, and the culture you want your kids to know about and your words to continue you, wouldn’t happen. I was thrilled to discover my own books were in the local Arapahoe Library system in Colorado … and the Nelson Mandela Library in South Africa.
With your books available to libraries—and yes, they are active buyers of eBooks as well, you can do signings. The savvy author gets to know his or her local librarian. Just getting you book on the shelf opens up networking opportunities, create book signings and speaking gigs—plus when someone asks if your book is at the library, you can say, “yes.” Suggestion … donate a few copies to your local library and let your network know that they are there … then, as a demand is shown for checkouts, the library will be inclined to order more copies, both “e” and “p.”
- eBooks can be signed. With Kindlegraph, www.kindlegraph.com/ you can digitally sign kindle copies of a book. Print paperback copies of your book and you can have a book launch party and book signing—authors love a crowd! Note: the great majority of local bookstore or library is unlikely to host a digital book signing.
- Review copies. Believe it or not, some people don’t like eReaders … and don’t own one. There are not hundreds, thousands … oh yes, there are millions of readers out there who still, gasp, love to hold a book. Why in the world would you want to ignore them? In fact, many of us have been known to stroke the covers, feel the pages, even smell the ink …aaah, heaven!
- Goodreads. The Goodreads giveaways programs is all about the “book book” meaning you are do paper here—it’s great exposure, Goodreads is quite the place to start and build the buzz. Why would you want to exclude it?
- pBooks sell eBooks and eBooks sell pBooks. And, of course, there are aBooks and vBooks surfacing—audio and video. We live in a menu/restaurant type of world. Let your readers select the book morsel they desire. After all a hamburger can be pretty boring—it’s all the goodies and ingredients that are added between the buns that make it mouth-watering around the world.
- Stop being a snob. Use Amazon. Get books on BN.com. Ditto for iPad and Smashwords. Spread your words. Learn about Amazon’s KDP program. Maximize. Leverage. This is the book business.
Mom was right … if you are going to do it, do it right. Here’s to the author who cares, really cares about the reader. Write good stuff. Get it edited. Have it designed. Publish in multiple venues. Thank you.