Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Paperback books or not? - STRATEGY

That's a big question and the answer is relatively easy:

When I asked my audience, 95% responded that they like the instant download format for everything!

They often said as well that if there had been a delay for accessing these materials (because they needed to order them by post) they would not have bought the programs.

Instant access / Digital format / Access what you need online any time

That's a very convenient format.

Books?

Books need to be prepared, bought, printed, shipped, etc!

The process is much heavier - You need paper, printers, ink, etc.

Why have a hard copy when the digital format.

I had one of ebooks available as paperback online for close to 2 years now.

result?

Not a single copy was sold as far as I know.

The digital PDF copy on the other hand got around 1000 downloads in the same period - and I am sure that some people probably printed it with their own printer.

My point is that digital is THE way for me.

Should I offer paperback copies as well?

I could but the distributions channels need to be through bookshops.

It's a whole new audience and format.

True, I like having hard copies of my work as well - I like seeing them and having them around - I like as well the idea of giving a copy to a friend if needed.

At this stage, that's a whole new line I could focus on and develop - simply didn't go that way until now because I had other priorities.

Right now, It would take me a month of work to get all ebooks on a print on demand system.

It tested the system - It works

I could as well hire someone to complete this project

The reason why I didn't go that way till now is simply because there hasn't been a real demand for it + I had other priorities.

Another element is that already millions of books exist.

It's a market that feels saturated.

The process for creating, printing and distributing books is much heavier than and the easy and instant ebook format.

Of course, there is the environmental impact but I feel that this not much - I have it in mind but I feel this is not a true deal breaker.

What I notice for myself is that 99% of what I read and the information I access is online, not in a book.

I NEVER buy books anymore. I might buy a magazine a couple of times a year but's about it for the hard copy format.

My guess is that the same applies to a huge fraction of the population.

People used to read books as one of their key ways of accessing information.

Nowadays, this balance has radically shifted and I feel that people spend way more time online than reading books.

It's an open question on my side.

I keep this door open