Once upon a time, self publishing print books was a costly and risky endeavor. Minimum orders, inventory risks, and lengthy lead times were not self-publisher friendly. Then, print on demand came along. POD creates one-off and entire print runs of bookstore-worthy hard copies from a “print-ready PDF” hours after an order is placed (i.e. when you place an order with the printer or when a customer purchases a copy on Amazon).
The ease and affordability of digital publishing makes for a great starting point for self publishers, but there are plenty of reasons to go print as well. To name a few...
Not everyone has an e-reader
From print-book-devotees to the less-than-tech-savvy, some people just don’t buy ebooks. And while ebooks are on the rise year after year, a print book guarantees that no one in your audience is excluded. If people want your book, they will purchase it. Which brings us to the next point…
Don’t leave money at the door
In addition to reaching a wider audience, print books can retail for a lot more than their digital versions. Secondly, come October, authors with both print and digital books can enroll in Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook program, which bundles a discounted ebook with its print counterpart, facilitating a sale that might not have happened otherwise. Finally, a higher print price could make the lower digital price more enticing; suddenly, your ebook is a bargain.
It’s not just about Amazon
Small print runs (“publisher direct”) open even more doors to generating revenue and reaching a wider audience. With a small print run, you can:
- Get your book in regional bookstores, which are more open to supporting local talent
- Sell copies at book signings, events, and speaking engagements
- Break into local book clubs and watch the word of mouth spread
- Incorporate books into your business offerings (great for consultants and advisors)
Reciprocity and rewards
Giving away a free copy of your ebook is no Everest, but it’s a lot easier to get a print into the hands of reviewers (literally) and make them take notice. Whether you cold mailed review copies or distributed them through a Goodreads free giveaway, the tangibility of print books can ignite the recipient’s desire to reciprocate the gift – in this case, with a review.
If you’ve crowdsourced your publishing enterprise—via Kickstarter or Indiegogo, for example—signed print copies make strong, tangible rewards for backers.
Recognizing these advantages, Vook recently expanded beyond our digital publishing services to offer POD print runs and distribution. Turns out, it’s even easier than we thought. Just wait and see; next up, we tell you how to enroll in a POD program.