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Why You Should Sell Paper Books Too

BookStaple

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E-book authors might be happy with their sales on Amazon, Apple, Kobo or B&N. 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 the 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 reall 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?

  • The majority of book buyers still chooses printed books at the moment (that will change)
  • You can give out review copies to newspaper/magazine or book blog reviewers
  • To be hosted at local media / TV interviewers who want to show a copy of your book
  • To sell your book easier to libraries
  • To participate in a Goodreads giveaway
  • To sell your book to those who really don’t want an e-Reader or just love paper books
  • If you write non-fiction it is almost a must to offer it in paper as well
  • You have an ISBN number and can get listed with Bowker  at worldwide bookstores
  • Physical books are just nicer to give on Christmas – unless you put an e-book on a new e-Reader and wrap it
  • To sell more e-books! Yes – because they seem to cost so much less in comparison…
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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.

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Ebook Sales Up 117%

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Gary McLaren wrote in http://www.publishyourownebooks.com

“The Association of American Publishers (AAP) is reporting today that e-book sales grew by an estimated 117.3% for the year of 2011. For the US publishing companies who report revenue to AAP, e-books (excluding the religious category which is tracked separately) generated revenue of $969.9 million during 2011 compared to $446.3 million in 2010.

2011 was not such a good year for print books however. Adult trade hardcover ($1,293.2m) and paperback ($1,165.6m) fell 17.5% and 15.6% respectively.

E-books have now grown by more than 100% for three consecutive years.

Keep in mind that this data relates to the US market and only reflects those publishers who report sales data to Association of American Publishers. The e-book market is considerably larger than that when all of the smaller and independent publishers are taken into account, and especially if all countries were included in one report.

With such exponential growth it is difficult in the graph above to see the values of e-book sales in the earlier years of 2002 through 2005. Another chart shows e-book revenue growth as reported to AAP for the past 10 years.”

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