Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books
Is print publishing still a safe marketing bet for indie authors, especially in this colossal world of ebook publishing? - Joseph Beekman, Fantasy Author
October 10, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Many indie authors are attracted to ebook publishing because it's essentially free. Or so they think. The truth is that with print-on-demand services like CreateSpace, print publishing and ebook publishing cost about the same.
You still need to pay for quality editing. A designer might charge a little more for a full cover versus an ebook cover. But if you're going to put money into preparing your manuscript for publication, why not then give yourself more options for revenue by having your book available as an ebook and a print book?
Having a print version expands your marketing options. You cannot do events at libraries and bookstores without print books to sell. You can't sell books to people who only read paperbacks when you don't have that option. Some of the more influential bloggers and reviewers only accept print books for consideration. You can also make use of promotional opportunities like Goodreads.com giveaways as well as enter more contests with a print version.
Before print-on-demand publishing, indie authors might have to spend thousands of dollars ordering an initial run of paperbacks, taking a huge risk and often losing money. I might have said in that time that it wasn't a safe bet for an indie author to recoup his or her investment.
But with CreatesSpace, you can format your manuscript yourself (or pay someone a few hundred dollars to do it) and upload it for free. With their expanded distribution option, your book can be ordered by bookstores and sold on Amazon.com with the click of a button, giving you a potentially wider range of marketing and distribution options.
Authors can order copies to sell at events, sell through their website, or for promotional use for a few dollars per copy, plus shipping. I wouldn't say it's a safe bet to assume you'll five hundred paperbacks right off the bat, so don't order more than 10 to 20 at a time, depending upon how many total books you have to sell. But should you put in the time to make a print version, yes, I think so.
– Got questions?
About Sarka-Jonae Miller
SJ is a local author, book marketing manager, publicist, and columnist who writes chick lit and steamy romance based in San Diego and Los Angeles. Her novels include the Between Boyfriends series and the All for You series. SJ also writes health and fitness articles for The Best Years in Life and Natural News.
Check out her Between Boyfriends blog for book reviews, author interviews, TV episode synopses, and giveaways. Follow @sarkajonae and @sjpublicity9 on Twitter for more writing tips, book recommendations, and industry news. Get health and exercise articles from @sjnews9.