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Ebook vs. Hardback or Softback Book Release– Which Should Come First?

New Business Authors: ebook vs. hardback?

Fifty Ways to Better Social MediaThere is a lot of advice out there regarding whether a new author should publish a print or an Ebook version of their book first. Of course, like most questions about which route is the best to take, the answer is far from black and white. It will depend on several factors and your overall publishing strategy as well.

If you’re reading this, you are most likely a successful businessperson or professional and you are probably interested in expanding your reach via publishing and strengthening your brand as an expert in your field.

This is exactly what Networlding’s services help you accomplish. Today’s post will be most useful to you if your goal is to share your expertise as a successful professional by becoming an author.


Publishing Your Book In Print and/or Digital Format

Traditional books are often viewed as more desirable than releasing an eBook version first. In the traditional publishing world, print books most often precede the eBook version by six months or longer in many cases.

Publishers do this for obvious reasons because it is more profitable. If you’ve landed a publishing deal with one of the big 6, this is probably how things will be handled for your book.

However, the reason for this is that you are not the one making the decisions for publication or for the marketing and promotion strategy for your book.

Not to mention, there may be any number of requests to make changes and edits to the actual content of your book. This kind of deal comes with definite perks, such as advance payments and greater visibility, but consider the true price in terms of giving up the rights to your content and having less say in how things are done. Additionally, if you go with one of the small press publishers, they won’t have the same budgets that traditional publishers have for printing and promotion.

Ebooks have many advantages over print for new authors. For starters, they cost very little to produce and deliver to customers. They are by far the less expensive option. Also, the learning curve for producing high quality eBooks is considerably less than the skills needed to produce the same quality of results on the printed page.

Another motivation for publishing eBooks before print editions is that you can test the market without investing extra money to publish printed books. If your book tanks and ends up being a complete failure, it won’t have cost you nearly as much and you can give it another try by changing your title, cover, topic or marketing techniques.

Last but not least, eBooks are easier to fix than printed books. Re-uploading a corrected digital file is certainly much easier than resubmitting files for print and ordering new proof copies every time you discover an error in the text or don’t like any aspect of the formatting as you’re paging through it for the first time.

Of course, as an author in the business niche, you will likely want to have both an ebook and a print version available for sale at some point. My recommendation is that you come out with a digital book first as your testing ground.


The Curve Ball Publishing Approach that Works

At the same time you bring out your eBook I would suggest you print up between 25-100 copies of your book preferably as a hardback. Take these copies then and get them out to 25-100 of your most influential connections.

Give them at least a month to go through your book and ask them to share their thoughts and, of course, any edits they may suggest for your book. Ask them if they like your book to let you know and, if possible, write a review of it once your publish your book through a site like Lightning Source as a hardback or Createspace as a softback book.

I took this approach for one of my latest clients who is coming out with a great leadership book at Mercer. It’s an approach that will garner you a solid base of advocates while also allowing you to catch any edits for one reason or another you missed. It also helps build your platform in a way that leverages the best of your thought leadership.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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