Self-Publishing Digitally: Pros, Cons and Tips
Self-publishing digitally has become an ever more popular option for budding authors. A lot of authors are finding that publishing digitally makes a lot more sense for them financially. And don’t make the mistake of thinking digital books can’t sell as well as physical books. In many cases, digital authors have literally sold millions of dollars’ worth of books.
==> The Pros and Cons of Going Digital
The two big pros of going digital are profits and speed to market.
With digital books, you collect anywhere between 40% to 100% of the profits, depending on whether you go with an eReader format or with an eBook format. With physical books, you can expect royalties around the 10% to 15% range, sometimes even less.
Getting your book to market is also much faster. You don’t need to go through a lengthy editorial, publishing and printing process. You just write the book, have someone proofread it and start selling.
The downsides to digital publishing are considerable, though. First, you have no marketing apparatus, so you have to generate all your sales yourself. People also tend to view digital books as less credible than print, so you don’t get the same clout for being an author.
Unless you’re trying to hit the New York Times bestseller list, often times the added profits of the digital path makes more sense than trying to go the traditional route.
==> Publishing to Kindle, iBookstore and Nook
The Kindle, iBookstore and the Nook give authors a fantastic hybrid between traditional and non-traditional publishing. You get the same high profit margins and speed of publishing, while still getting a pre-established audience to market to.
Publishing to each of these stores is slightly different and each has a slightly different format they want their books in. That said, the process is quite simply across all three platforms.
==> Tips for Digital Publishing Success
How do you hit a digital publishing home run?
Start with an amazing book cover. Design five to ten completely different covers, then survey your friends and your co-workers about which cover(s) they like best. Your cover is what will make the biggest impression on people, so make sure it’s stellar.
Create a solid marketing plan before you launch your book. It’s hard to generate a lot of sales through these eReader platforms without a push from your own audience. Once you start to generate some sales, that’s when you start to rank in the store’s search engines and categories, which brings in more sales. But you have to start off by marketing the book yourself.
If you’re publishing digitally, it makes sense to start your own blog or website. Build your own email list. Build more name recognition and build a personal brand. Build a Twitter following. This way, the moment you launch a new book you’ll already have a ready and receptive audience.
Publishing digitally is a great choice for marketers who don’t want to take the traditional route. You make more money per sale, you get published faster and you don’t have to deal with people telling you how to write your book. The only caveat is that you need to have your own marketing plan, as you won’t have anyone out there spreading the word for you.