Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is ebook Publishing Right For Everyone?

Photo by Adamr
Should you publish an ebook?

The short answer is YES, you should – at some point in your career. Ebooks are a fantastic way to reach people in a relatively quick time frame.  (Just to be clear, we are talking about ebook publishing specifically, NOT creating an ebook version of your new book in print.)

However, a much better question to ask yourself is: Is an ebook the best way now for me to publish my particular book and make it available to consumers?
The answer to this question requires a bit more information.

For instance, are the people you are targeting in this particular book (your tribe) likely to download their books, or are they more apt to stop in their local Barnes & Noble to pick it up?  That is an important piece of information to have. YOU may be personally savvy enough to download and read ebooks regularly, but if the group of people you are trying to reach aren’t generally that tech savvy, your sage wisdom or latest novel will never make it into their hands.

If you feel that your target audience - your market - would be inclined to download a book, your next step is to weight the advantages against the disadvantages of ebook publishing.


  •  Ease.  Once you have written an ebook, it is relatively easy to upload to websites such as Amazon or B&
  • Higher Profits. Your royalties (profit) for each ebook sold is generally higher than if you were to go through the traditional publisher / print route.        
  • Full Control.  You have complete control over your work from cover design to typesetting to price (although price setting takes a little maneuvering!)
  • Ripple Effect:  Publishing an ebook can help promote and sell books you may have published in paper/print.
You may be sold already by this list of advantages and be thinking “Why would anyone not publish an ebook?” The answer has to do with your overall business plan as an author.  If you are a professional consultant or speaker, your primary goal may be to get your work into the hands of people you speak to, or who use your materials.  Ebooks work well here. You don’t have to cart around boxes of books to conferences, or ship and warehouse them yourself.

But, if you are a writer whose professional goals include having your book on the New York Times bestseller list one day, you may find that goal tougher to obtain by relying solely on ebook publishing. Here’s why:


  • ·      “Vanity Publishing”:  Ebook publishing is still not held in as high esteem as publishing your book through a traditional publisher.  But this is changing and changing fast. In August of this year, four self-published ebook authors landed on the NYT Bestseller list in higher positions than well know print authors’ (such as James Patterson) ebooks .
  •     You are CEO:  When it’s your ebook, the buck stops with you. You are responsible for putting out a quality product.  Your book will only be as good as the team that you put together, and good teams cost money and some extra time.  How much are you willing to pay in time and money for a quality product?
  •     Marketing and Social Media:  When you have put out a book you have to market it to let people know it’s out there. This is no different for ebooks.  You will need to carve time out of writing the other areas of running the business to market and connect on social media.  However, social media is tremendously more important for an ebook author. If you have determined that your “tribe” is tech savvy, then the best way to reach them will be online. That requires time and it requires it from you in the form of building online relationships.

Ebook publishing is on the rise because it is easy, profitable and provide quick access for consumers.  However, you will only know if you should publish that ebook when you spend some time looking at your professional goals and business plan to know if it is best for you right now. 

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