#Paperback or #eBook? That's the big question for authors. How do you most enjoy reading? I know a lot of people who prefer to hold a book in their hands. But someone is buying all those eBooks! Reports show far more digital books are sold than paperbacks in adult fiction. My guess is lower prices and convenience drive these sales.
Traditional publishers still make more off paperback sales than digital, although that percentage has shrunk in recent years. It's the indie authors pushing the eBook numbers over the top.
Paperback sales have increased in some markets, however. Just not in physical bookstore. Amazon increased their market share in print sales in 2016. Whether this trend will continue into 2018 remains to be seen. Read the article I linked above. It made my head spin with all the facts and figures.
How does all this effect me and other authors? Up to now, I've pushed my digital sales because that's where my profits were. No one but my mom was willing to pay $15 for a POD book. But with the release of BURIED TRUTH at the end of this month, I'll have my very first mass market paperback available. The price is an extremely reasonable $4.99 vs. the $3.99 price for a digital copy. For an extra buck, readers can hold it in their hands. I actually make far more off digital sales, but there's the potential to actually see my book on a bookstore shelf. That counts for something, right?
The thing is, I'm learning that mass market doesn't necessarily mean bookstore shelf space. Publishers produced more inventory each month than stores can carry. Individual stores actually have to order your book. BURIED TRUTH won't automatically go out to every Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble in the country. Stores tend to order books from big name authors because their goal is to actually sell those copies, not ship them back. I have a feeling I might not make the cut!
So, we're back to the question posed at the top...digital or paperback? How do you prefer to read? Would you spend $4.99 on a paperback in a genre you enjoy with a cool cover (I have that going for me!) from an author you aren't familiar with? What if you had to order that book from Amazon, not impulsively pick it up off the shelf while you're buying dog food and paper towels or browsing in B&N? Stats show that is happening. If you're shopping for books on Amazon, do you always go for the instant gratification of downloading it onto your Kindle or will you order the paperback version?
There's a catch to the excitement of having a mass market contract. Sure, there's the potential my book could reach a whole new market and sell very well. That's what I'm hoping, of course. But if it doesn't sell well, this series will be the last one I have in print. My pub is waiting to see how BURIED TRUTH does before considering my next project. That's kind of scary, but I get that they're in the business to make money.
So, when BURIED TRUTH releases on January 30th, make my day by showing my publisher I'm a good risk. Buy my book if you see it on a bookstore shelf, or order a copy online. Pre-order your PRINT or DIGITAL copy now. Oh, and don't forget to leave a comment. How do you like your books?