Print or EPUB

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Print or EPUB


I'm often asked whether one should even bother with print books in his day and age, or just go straight to an EPUB electronic book. This is a valid question. More and more people, especially in younger generations, are used to reading things online and like the convenience of being able to carry hundreds of books around with them on their electronic book reader. Still there is much to be considered about a print book.


The first thing is that there is still a large segment of the reading audience who likes to curl up with a physical book. For them, having a book in their hands and flipping the through the pages is part of the reading experience. For these people an e-book does not have the same feel (or smell), and they cannot get into the story in the same way. To go only with an EPUB is denying access to your book by this segment of the population.


The cost to format the book for print or EPUB is essentially the same. In fact, it actually costs a little bit more to set up an EPUB than it does a print book. The requirements for an EPUB book are a little more complex, so we generally format the book initially for EPUB. This means that to you the cost is essentially the same.


Print books are handled through POD (print on demand) services. When a book is ordered, it is printed and shipped all in one go, so there's no inventory cost to offering a print book. By offering both formats you are catering to both audiences. 


When it comes to marketing your book, if you plan to do book signings at local bookstores, it is, of course, essential that you have print books available. And having a few books on hand is great to impress your friends. Seeing your name on the spine of a book certainly proves to everyone that you are an author.


And finally, as an author, nothing seals that sense of completion like holding your own book in your hands.  Seeing your book in an EPUB or PDF format does not have the same feel, does not lend the same euphoria that you get from holding your own book and knowing that you have done this.


The decision really only becomes a consideration if you have no intention of marketing your book physically and you plan to display it through online sites only. If this is the case, you probably don't even need an EPUB and can go simply with a PDF. Otherwise why not do both?