It’s a common question! With all the buzz about the exploding ebook market, and when the costs of producing a print book are considered, it can seem tempting for authors to skip the process of putting their books into print.
While this can be a money-saving option, there are still many reasons to publish your book as a physical book. Though the ebook market is growing at an astonishing pace, it still only accounts for part of the reading population. If you publish in ebook format alone, you miss out on part of the reading audience. And the same is true in reverse: if you publish in paperback only, you’re missing potential ebook readers.
Consider that a printed book is a tangible item that you can sell at the back of the room during speaking engagements, send to media, distribute to clients, and autograph (try autographing an ebook!). Publishing your book in print is also personally rewarding. There is a tremendous sense of satisfaction when you see your hard work in book format.
While it’s clear that reader habits are changing, I believe that we’re also changing how we buy books, as is demonstrated by the tragedy of many of our local brick-and-mortar bookstores closing. One way to think of it is that the focus should be on capturing sales online, whether you’re selling print or ebooks. And regardless of where or how the books are purchased, there will always be readers who still prefer printed books.