Today, Terri Morgan, author of Playing the Genetic Lottery, joins me to talk about the journey from e-book to paperback. Terri will also be returning to the blog on 3rd October to share a step-by-step guide to the process!
by Terri Morgan
Electronic gadgets don’t thrill me. I don’t rush out and buy the latest and greatest tools or toys. In fact, I didn’t even purchase a CD player until well after the rest of the music loving world had moved on to IPods and MP3 players. So when I became a proud Kindle owner last year I automatically assumed I was the last reader in America to embrace e-books.
That’s why, when I self-published my first novel, Playing the Genetic Lottery, in November, 2011, I released it solely as an e-book. At that time e-book sales were climbing steadily, and people were speculating that traditional books would soon become relics of the past, like 8-track tapes and rotary phones. After all, e-books are more affordable than traditional books. The electronic version of my novel sells for $4.99, for example, while the paperback is $14.99. E-books are also convenient. You don’t have to leave the house, or even get dressed, to buy them, and they arrive almost instantly. That’s a definite plus if you’re impatient, or, like me, get anxious when you run out of reading material. Lightweight and capable of containing an entire library of books, e-readers are ideal for travel, especially by air where each extra bag costs more than the average hardback. And, even a luddite like myself has to admit, e-readers are pretty cool.
By publishing an e-book I thought, for the first time in my life, I was on the cutting edge.
My first clue that I wasn’t came the day after my e-book became available. ‘Sounds like a great book, but I don’t have an e-reader,’ a friend said. ‘Let me know when it’s out in paperback so I can buy a copy.’
It was a theme I heard over and over as days went by. It seemed, as strange as it may be, that I wasn’t the last e-book owner after all. While I sold a handful of e-copies in the first month, I realized I needed to publish a paperback version as well if I was serious about attracting readers.
Self-publishing your own paperback book is much more complicated than putting out an e-book. It ‘s also a lot more expensive. It took months of hard work to get it print-ready, and a big leap of faith to pay for the first press run.
Was it worth it? You bet! I had been excited when my novel was published as an e-book. I was thrilled when I held the first copy of Playing the Genetic Lottery in my hands. And by the end of the first week, I had already sold more paperbacks than I had e-books. It’s also available in my local bookstores, which increases its exposure, and boosts my ego.
I also discovered something interesting. A number of people who had purchased the e-book also bought a paperback copy. Some bought them as gifts, and, I suspect, to help support my endeavor. Others surprised me by admitting they hadn’t read the e-version because they found it easier to read books in a traditional format.
I don’t know if my experiences are unusual or not. I do know, however, that I’m glad I went to the trouble to publish my novel in paperback. Even though I do still love my Kindle.
About Terri Morgan
Terri Morgan is the author of Playing the Genetic Lottery. Her novel is available through her website, Amazon.com and at select bookstores in California and the UK.
About Playing the Genetic Lottery
Caitlin is happily married to her best friend, has two healthy children, and enjoys a rewarding career and the love and support of her extended family. Her seemingly great life is marred by an obsessive fear that Caitlin can’t shake. Having grown up with two schizophrenic parents, she is terrified with what may be in her DNA, and haunted with the knowledge she may have passed the genes to the disease that robbed her parents of their sanity down to her children.
You raised some interesting points.
Good day Terri Morgan, and my friend, Ms. T.G. Long. Thanks for the interesting info here, as I have been wondering about that exact situation for months. There are so many self publishing companies, and one reads so many negative comments about them, it's difficult to decide which are the best ones to print with.
Please could you recommend the self publishers you have dealt with, as my romance / paranormal book will be completed in about 3 months, and I would like to have a few copies printed and see them on book shelves as well as e-book. Thanks so much, kind regards, Priscilla Olivier. (Durban, South Africa.)
There are so many different options out there that it can be very confusing trying to decide which print-on-demand company to use. After doing a lot of research, and getting advice from fellow indies, I used Lightning Source. I've been very happy with their service, prices,and the quality of their work. As you'll see in my next post, it required a little more work on my part, but for me, I think I made a good choice.
Hope this is helpful, and good luck with your book.
Thank you, Terri, and congratulations on your success!
I am looking to go down a similar path myself. May I ask why you specifically chose Lightening House over the free Amazon alternative, Create Space? I am in the process of investigating all avenues to find what is best for me.
I appreciate your time,
Hi Diana, I chose Lightning Source for a couple of reasons. I found their printing prices were the best of all the POD companies I researched, and their quality is excellent. They have a good support staff and respond to questions and emails quickly. The downsides of using them are that you have to handle all your own shipping and distribution for your orders(although they are affiliated with Ingram and do distribute your book(s) through their network). So far, that hasn't been a problem for me, although I dream about the day when I have so many orders flooding in that I need to hire a distribution service to help.