Is it worth producing print versions of your e-books?

5 books overlappingAt the beginning of this month, I shared the news that I’d finished producing print versions of my three smaller e-books and that they were now available. At that point I was quite tired; I’d been slogging away through the admin of getting new covers (from my cover designer), getting them formatted appropriately (by myself, including loads of fiddling around, turning links into footnotes and goodness knows what else) and uploading them onto CreateSpace. Phew.

I had done this because a few people had overtly said to me that they wanted to buy print editions, and I’d run some informal market research which suggested that enough people still read print books – in fact some commenters strongly suggested that I produce all of my business books in this format because they liked adding notes to their books which was easier with a pen, some sticky notes and a “real” book than with an e-book. So it got done, and I was really busy, and it was a bit of a chore, but it was all done.

Then we went away on holiday (hooray!) and I sort of forgot about it. So much so that I – gasp – forgot to look at my statistics! Goodness me! When I had a look at them, I was pleasantly surprised. We’re almost half way through the month and I have sold some print books (and these don’t include the ones I ordered for myself to check they’re OK). Interestingly, although I haven’t sold the number that I sell in e-book versions every month, the proportions are about the same across the different titles. That’s fine, and I suppose what I would have expected if I’d thought about that aspect.

Now that the effort is over and they are starting to pay for the only real monetary cost (the covers – yes, I know: my time, my time, but I did slot them in, in between paid jobs and didn’t turn down any paid work to have the time to do them). In future, I’ll bring out simultaneous print and e-book versions of any new books I produce (I have a version of my two business books aimed at editors coming out in the next couple of months).

I’d be interested to know about other indie publishers’ experiences – have you done one format then the other or did you start with both? Which is more successful, and do you know why? Would you recommend it?

You can find out more about my books on running a small business (and dealing with high cholesterol) here.

3 thoughts on “Is it worth producing print versions of your e-books?

  1. I’m so glad you DO make the hardcopy version available.
    I don’t mind reading fiction thru e-book format, but non-fiction,
    especially helpful non-fiction that I want to refer to again & again,
    cries out for print format.

    Like

    • Thank you for your comment – this does reflect what people told me when I was considering producing paper versions of my e-books. From now on, I’ll be releasing e-book and paperback versions of all of my books at the same time.

      Like

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