More than once I have had kind-hearted readers of my novels say, “Why don’t you have those published in hardcover? Some people like to ‘hold’ a real book.”
I appreciate that suggestion and when I get it I always go back as I have many times before and examined the options and advantages and disadvantages of paper publishing. And I always come away with the same conclusion. I know that those who make that suggestion think that I am missing out on becoming a millionaire and passing up a golden opportunity.
So let me give you the hard, honest facts about paper publishing. Of course as a writer I want to make a mint – but conversely, I also want to make my work available to as many people as possible. And I truly want that availability to readers more than I want money.
That means that my books and stories must be, in my opinion, as cheap as possible so more people can afford to buy them. My books are now available from Amazon for $4.99 with some short stories at $0.99 – prices which I’m sure anyone above the poverty level can afford.
So let’s say I decide to use Amazon’s Create Space publishing company to make those same cheap eBooks in paper editions. First I’d have to pay Create Space to print the books so that $4.99 book would have to be priced at about $14.95 which is what you would pay Amazon for the printed copy plus shipping. Amazon takes 55% of that or about $8.23 which leaves $6.75 out of which I have to pay Create Space leaving me roughly $2.00 per book.
Why should you have to pay $14.95 for a book that nets me two bucks when you can get the same book downloaded to your reading device for $4.99 out of which I make $3.00?
Does that explain the economics of it to your satisfaction? It is just better for both of us to keep the price low by only publishing as eBooks and we both benefit. The market is steadily growing for electronic publishing while it is rapidly declining for printed books. If you don’t have a Kindle, or a small laptop to read on, get one. If like me, your eyes are not as good as they once were, the Kindle DX is the same size as a hard-cover book, AND I can make the print as large as I need to make reading easier.
Thanks to all for your advice. I love to hear from readers and I answer every email. You can reach me at email@example.com