Tuesday 19 March 2013

Sell more books with CreateSpace

What is stopping so many self-published authors, who are now selling their ebooks via Amazon's Kindle platform, from offering a paperback option? This question has puzzled me for sometime. Having gone to the trouble of getting the book formatted, and a cover designed, it seems to me the next logical step has to be developing another sales channel in the form of a paperback edition. Many pundits have predicted the demise of paperbacks due to the popularity of ebooks, but then other reports state paperback sales are still healthy. It doesn't really matter which report is correct, the simple fact is, BOTH formats sell in large quantities. With Amazon accounting for about 85% of ebook sales globally - again figures depend on which source you believe, but those I've read all believe they take the lion's share by some sizeable margin - it clearly makes sense for self-published authors to use their Kindle platform. The reluctance to go down the paperback route may come from a number of perceived problems, such as setting up the book, choosing which publisher is best, etc. However, these are not insurmountable obstacles, and once overcome will open up a unique client base - namely those who still prefer the feel of a traditional book in their hands, as opposed to an e-reader. 

Manufacturers of e-readers will talk of the benefits in owning one - 'x' thousand books conveniently stored in one place, downloading the book and having it immediately available, and so on. But it's not all doom and gloom for the good old paperback. You can read them safely in the bath, also on take-off and landing when flying, and they don't need to spend a lot of their time 'tied' to the wall, as they don't have batteries. 

With regard to choosing a publisher, opting for CreateSpace makes a lot of sense. To start with it is owned by Amazon, and therefore it's in their interest to make the interface with their website as efficient and effective as possible. As printing is done on a demand basis, there is no need to hold any inventory. Their set up programme is totally free, and the royalties very generous. My own personal experience is I sell many more ebooks than paperbacks, but the simple matter is, I do sell paperbacks, which wouldn't necessarily convert into ebook sales if I didn't offer the paperback option. I also gained a lot of exposure for the book when I offered a number of free copies via Goodreads 'giveaway' promotion. Over 1800 requests for the book, and several hundred people adding it to their 'to be read' list. This promotion at Goodreads is only available for physical books, and not ebooks.

If none of the aforementioned convinces you to offer a paperback version of your ebook, then hopefully this will. Ask any self-published author what it feels like to hold a physical copy of your own book in your hands for the very first time. It's a very special moment I can tell you.

Authors, Share Your Book with Millions of Readers


Me said...

Great insight. Thanks for the post.

Unknown said...

I can't find the words to describe holding a copy of my work. It is beyond amazing. That was the moment the novel was real.