Deciding if you want to publish ebook or print?

While looking for a formatter to help me finish off The Undead Sorceress, I met a formatter who kept asking me why I wanted to do print books. He only worked on e-books and I don’t blame him, formatting print books is a nightmare as I started to read a manual on how to do it. Very complicated stuff.

He kept saying that I didn’t need to do print books. But since I go to so many conventions, I do need some print books to either sell or give away to people.

I decided to look into this a bit as I was curious and wanted to make an informed decision.

Everyone says e-books are growing, it’s going to take over the world, etc, but is it really true?

As a reader myself, I don’t like digital screens very much. I like curling up in a sofa or in bed with a paperbook as I like the texture of paper. It’s an eyeball problem for me as well, because some reason I can’t look at screens for too long. I probably have some disease that I should check myself out for, but I’m a busy person and lazy hypochondriac.

According to Price Waterhouse Cooper’s stats, worldwide revenue for books went down a bit for consumer and educational books from US$101.7bn in 2008 to US$101.6bn in 2012. Ohhh…how scary…

Depending on the subject, print book growth was flat or declining, but e-books are on the rise, accounting for 9% of books sold in 2012 and projected to take 22% of the market by 2017.

pwc books 2012

The majority of e-book readers live in North America and will account for 38% of e-book sales by 2017. In EMEA, e-books will account for 17% of sales, in Asia Pacific 15% and Latin America 6% by 2017. There’s a long report here for anyone wanting to read more.

Conclusion? Print books are not dead, but still alive at the moment. The invasion of e-books is occurring slower than I thought. Someone should make a movie with books as weapons and then the consequences of not having enough books or something about e-book tablets not being able to kill the monsters. Just a random thought…

Overall, what this means is that I would want to offer both print and e-books. This also means paying more for this work as file formats are not the same for e-book and print. I really don’t want to have an obituary that reads “went insane and died while reading formatting manuals” so I will gladly fork over some cash for this service!