I have been kicking around the idea of writing a book. I have written about a dozen books in the past, and have had them all published. I used two different publishers before. One experience was a disaster, the other experience was great. Now, though, I am conflicted when it comes to publication.
Conflicted about what? Well, I am debating about whether to go the traditional way of writing a book and having a publishing house print it and distribute it, or whether I should self publish. If I decide to self publish (which is the way that I am leaning), I can see two paths to take there too.
- Go the traditional route of printing the book on paper, and distributing it to bookstores and such.
- Go the new route of doing an e-book (electronic book) and distributing it over the Internet.
It’s a tough choice. Each route has advantages. I know that from my past experience, you can expect to get maybe 10% of the sales price as your share of the money. So, a $15 book would bring you maybe $1.50 per copy sold. This, of course, is if you use a publishing house. If you self publishes, you would get a lot more than $1.50 per copy, but that means that you also have to front all of the costs for printing, distribution and such yourself.
One nice thing about living in the Philippines, though, is that you can self publish a printed book relatively cheaply here. So, let’s say that I got 5,000 or 10,000 copies printed and then distributed them myself. I can imagine that most sales would be off my own websites. I’m OK with that, because I have a lot of traffic on my various sites, and I think that I could sell that quantity of books relatively easily.
The electronic press path is attractive too. You just write the book, publish it as a PDF file, and you are ready to go. No real costs involved, except for your time (I already have all the software that would be needed for the project). You could then sell the book, even at a lower price, and still, make more money.
I feel that I actually have several different books in me, just waiting to come out. I just have to decide the proper path for publication and selling. It’s been a decade and a half since I’ve done this, and a lot of things have changed in that time.
So, what do you think? Which method of publication is best in today’s environment? If you are buying a book, do you feel that a paper book is better or more desirable than an electronic book?
Share your thoughts, I need them!