When I decided to become an independent self-published author some time ago, one of the decisions I had to make was whether I wanted to publish my books in a traditional print form or if I wanted to offer them in electronic (usually Kindle) form. Ultimately, I decided to do both.
However, while there are plenty of advantages to electronic books, including little-to-no upfront cost for me, I still prefer having my books in a printed format. And, there are three main reasons for this.
First, it makes it much easier to advertise my books. I usually have a copy or two in my car and, whenever my writing comes up in a conversation (which happens quite often), I’m able to show people my books rather than just tell them about them. And, by offering to sign it (something I can’t do with an electronic book), I’ve even managed to sell quite a few copies too.
Another fun thing I like to do is show pictures of people (usually kids) reading my books. This, again, would be very difficult to do if they weren’t available in printed form.
Another reason I like printed copies is I’m able to help good causes. There are a variety of non-profit groups in town that hold fundraising auctions and, more often than not, I end up donating one or more of my books. I also consistently donate books to local schools and libraries and have even given copies to a monthly book exchange. This, again, helps me advertise my books. But, even more importantly, it lets me help out some wonderful local causes.
Last, I enjoy that particular format myself. My youngest daughter likes having me read to her before bedtime and, even though I have read “The Icky Sticky Mess on the Floor” and some of my other books to her on many different occasions, she still ends up requesting them. And, even though I couldn’t really tell you exactly why, I always prefer reading to her from an actual book rather than off of a screen. Since I’m sure there are plenty of parents out there that feel the same as me, I want to make sure that option is available to them.
As I said before, there are plenty of advantages to publishing in an electronic format. However, while I do offer that option for most of my self-published books, I don’t see any reason to stop offering printed copies too.