11 Reasons Why You Should Offer Print Books Too

09 Jan


Last October I wrote a blog post why every author should offer print versions of their e-books. 
In the meantime I discovered even more reasons to have at least a small amount of printed books
listed.  Read on:

E-book authors might be happy with their sales on Amazon, Apple, Kobo or Barnes & Noble. You might have even turned it into an audio book. But the questions for a “real” book, paper back or hard-cover copy from conservative friends or elderly family members are nagging… And wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a Chapters or Baker & Taylor or one of these rare independent book shops and see your book in the shelf?

You will not earn a fortune, not even a living, but for a couple of months it is a nice pocket change. Only months… yes, because longer than this, barely any book will stay in the book store, unless it really is a bestseller and gets re-printed.

If you go the indie route and choose for sample the POD services and worldwide distribution through Lightning Source, (provided you have at least 3 books to be considered a small publisher) your book is printed on demand and will never get discarded (good: no-return-policy in POD worldwide distribution). See my blog from last month How to Distribute Your Book Worldwide.

All you need is the spine / back of your cover designed and professionally formatted (graphic designer, book designer, lay-outer). To work with Lightning Source you need to have at least three books to be considered a publisher and you will not receive technical help. Using CreateSpace as a POD service is the better choice if you are not a computer geek and you have less than three books.

Due to the high print-on-demand printing costs, you need to sell a 180-page fiction book for more than $10 to make any profit at all. Still you don’t make real money with your paper book, unless you are a marketing pro, very entrepreneurial and able to organize a small publisher business and invest in your written work and in letterpress print.

Role models are enough out there and they will tell you exactly how to do start as a real publisher with their books and blogs – from Dan Poynter, Aaron Shephard to John Kremer, Joanna Penn and Joel Friedman. Author David Gaughran wrote in one of his blogs: Making Money from Paperbacks  “I was really slow to see the potential in print, and it was probably the biggest mistake I made over the last year.”

But then again: Why on earth should you go with a paper edition of your e-book?

  1. The majority of book buyers still chooses printed books at the moment (that will change)
  2. You can give out review copies to newspaper/magazine or book blog reviewers
  3. To be hosted at local media / TV interviewers who want to show a copy of your book
  4. To sell your book easier to libraries
  5. To participate in a Goodreads giveaway
  6. To sell your book to those who really don’t want an e-Reader or just love paper books
  7. If you write non-fiction it is almost a must to offer it in paper as well
  8. You have an ISBN number and can get listed with Bowker at worldwide bookstores
  9. Physical books are just nicer to give on Christmas – unless you put an e-book on a new e-Reader and wrap it
  10. To sell more e-books! Yes – because they seem to cost so much less in comparison…
  11. To list your book in more categories / genres on Amazon: per book type you are allowed to choose two categories / genres. Two print and two digital versions – which increases your books’ visibility and also shows you exactly in which genre you have the most success.

And last but not least: Think hurricanes or other reasons for power outage. I know e-Readers have batteries. But guess what: just yesterday my Kindle went dead and needed to be re-charged! With heavy thunderstorms around the house due to hurricane “Sandy”, I did not want to plug it in – and instead I read a paper book surrounded by lots of solar lamps and candles.


If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 570 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris



Hyper Smash



Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “11 Reasons Why You Should Offer Print Books Too

  1. Patrick Jones

    January 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Reblogged this on The Linden Chronicles and commented:
    Great information regarding paperback books vs ebooks

  2. Michael Sheridan

    January 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I totally agree with you on this. The only reasons you can get me to buy digital, is if it is cheaper, or I needed it yesterday.

  3. P. C. Zick

    January 10, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Reblogged this on Writing Tips, Thoughts and Whims and commented:
    Good discussion of print editions. I agree with the author of this post. I hope to be back next week as I’m still recovering from a virus.

  4. P. C. Zick

    January 10, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Thanks for laying this out so clearly. I reblogged on my blog today.

  5. ferris robinson

    January 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Great blog! Great post!! Just pinned you, so thanks!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: