Jumping on the E-book Train? and a Poll

POLL INFO AT BOTTOM. Even if you don’t read this, please take the polls.

With everyone jumping on the e-book train, is there an advantage to just get a paypal account and offer your book(s) on a blog/website etc. for the ten bucks that Amazon would charge? Just make it a pdf file and advertise by word of mouth?

  1. Not everyone is jumping on the e-book train. I have a Kindle. One of my dear friends has a Sony. We’re the only two people I personally know that have e-readers. (I’m not counting reading from an iPhone because those are so teeny that most people will not read an entire book that way.) If e-book is the only way you’re going, sales will be low. Most people still read paper books.
  2. If you can go through traditional publishing, that’s still the preferred method for most people because:

    a. You don’t have to make all the files (or pay someone to do it).

    b. Your publisher has distribution avenues to bookstores that are closed to individual authors.

    c. Your publisher has a marketing budget and plan. Even if it’s small, it’s still usually better than what you can do by yourself.

    d. If someone else is doing the marketing, promos, selling, etc., that frees you up to write more books.

  3. This is not a “one size fits all” situation. A basic pdf file will not work with all readers. In fact, a basic pdf won’t work with most readers. There is a conversion process that has to happen first and it’s different for Kindle, Sony, etc. In fact, there are about five or six file variations that you need to create if you want it available to all e-readers. And now there’s the new B&N Nook, which I know nothing about but I assume will require it’s own file variation.
  4. If you’re going to do it yourself, I’d suggest using Amazon’s CreateSpace (which is what I’m using for the Christmas book). They will allow you to create both a paper version and a Kindle version to sell through their site. Since Amazon is THE leader in book sales, you’ll want to make sure you get on there. The set-up is free; they take a percentage from each sale. But you do have to create the files following their very specific guidelines.
  5. In addition to Amazon/Kindle, you may want to create e-book files that work on the other popular readers and sell them from your own site.
  6. Unless you have a very big mouth and a spectacular product, word-of mouth is not going to get you much farther than your immediate circle of family and friends.

All that said, there are reasons to follow this do-it-yourself route. If you have a niche book that appeals to a small but dedicated readership and if you have avenues to sell your book (like you do a lot of workshops and other speaking engagements).

Now, because I am extremely curious about all this e-book/e-reader stuff, I have two polls over in the sidebar. (Scroll down beneath the ads.)

The first one is about e-books in general. Everyone please take this poll.

The second one is about e-reader brands. Take this poll if you own or use a reader regularly. If you have multiple readers and you use them regularly, then select all the ones you have. If you mostly use one and the other one just collects dust, don’t include the dust-catcher. If you expect to get one soon (and by expect to get one soon, I don’t mean wishing you could; I mean, you have the $ budgeted or Santa will be bringing you one) then select the one you are planning to get.

*Special thanks to my lovely assistant who knows about this kind of stuff. She says to thank MOJO who helped her with a lot of the info.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

6 thoughts on “Jumping on the E-book Train? and a Poll”

  1. My husband got me the Sony e-reader last year for Christmas. He did this because 1) he's a tech geek and 2)he was tired of me packing a separate suitcase for vacation books. (True story). I mainly use it when I go on vacation and it's absolutely worth it for that alone. However, I like it when I have the desire to start something new at 11:00 at night and the book store and library aren't an option. Also, although I like the Sony, I'd get a Kindle if I had my druthers.

  2. Actually, my ebook sales outstrip my print book sales by 2:1.

    Both of my books have paid for themselves. The second one's not even officially out yet.

  3. Oh, another thing. The most common formats MY customers prefer is EPUB and PDB (eReader). I know for a fact that many of my sales are because I offer the PDB format.

  4. I would like a Kindle, but it is low on the priority list due to the impact of the current economy on our household finances. I have read several books entirely online, though, so I do foresee myself going this route eventually. Not all books are compatible with this format though (My two books, for example…)

  5. .

    I want one — probably a Nook or a Que — but alas, I am poor.

    Besides, I still have a few hundred paper books on my shelves languishing in an unread state. I should probably start there.

  6. I'm not voting in the poll because none of the options quite fit my reply. I am not interested in an e-reader for casual, recreational reading and don't imagine I ever would be. On the other hand, if Amazon were ever to turn all the books I have in my personal medieval research library into e-books, I'd happily buy a Kindle so I could take all my "research" along when I go on vacation and more easily work on my WIP's. I once heard the president of Amazon give a talk on Book TV and he said that Amazon's goal is to eventually digitalize every book that has ever been written. When that happens and it includes all my research books, THEN I'll want a Kindle!

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