No publisher has an unlimited budget, and that is also true of self-publishers. Determining the format of your publication affects the overall cost of publishing, so it’s important to minimize your risk.
Ebooks and print books have different costs associated with them. While ebooks are cheaper to distribute because there are no physical shipments, professional-looking ebooks require additional investments that print books might not: in special formatting, adding multi-media (and clearing the rights for them), proofreading specifically for the digital product.
There are loads of self-publishing services out there that promise a great deal of ease and speed in getting your book out there. And that’s fantastic, but many authors find that once they sign up, they’re on the hook for a lot more work than they had planned. This is because making a book is not an easy thing.
While mainstream publishing is disappointing authors in some ways, one way it’s succeeding is by printing the actual book. This is not simply as easy as sending an edited Word manuscript to a printer and magically getting a book back. There are lots of decisions and actual work that have to go into book production, and when an author is doing this herself…guess what? She’s the one who has to make these decisions and do this work.