If you’ve followed the newsletters and blog entries at Open Door Publications in the last year or so you might think that our answer to that question would be a resounding, “Yes! Of course everyone should have their book available electronically.”
You’d be wrong.
Yes, e-books and electronic readers such as the Kindle are certainly more than a fad. They have a growing presence in the marketplace and should always be considered when planning a publishing and marketing strategy for your book. But electronic books aren’t yet a viable option for every book.
Here are a few things you should consider when deciding if electronic publishing is for you.
- Your Target Market. Who will be reading your book? While there are more and more electronic readers out available out there, driving the price to right around $100, e-readers are not yet in the hands of the majority of readers. While demographics on exactly who is buying dedicated e-readers are scarce, we can still draw some conclusions. The vast majority of e-readers are being purchased by adults, age 35 and older. Most are upper middleclass income, and well-educated and often travel.
- Type of Book. What type of book you are writing will also help you make the decision on whether or not to publish electronically. Workbooks, manuals or journals which include a number of question-and-answer pages or forms to fill out do not lend themselves well to the dedicated e-reader format. While e-readers do have note taking capabilities, they don’t lend themselves to quick and easy typing of long answers.
- Color Graphics and Photos. If your book has a lot of color photos and graphics it won’t do well on many e-readers. While some newer models now have a color feature, many do not, and photos are not as clear and sharp as on a typical computer screen.
The e-book question is still incredibly complex and there is no one right answer for every author. Because e-book technology is so new, its definition is still very broad. Just because your book will not sell well in the Kindle format doesn’t mean you should not consider other formats, such as a PDF that you sell on your own website or through other sources or even give away for free.
Before you make your decision, look at the e-book from many perspectives. Choosing the right formats for your book is more important these days than ever.