Don’t Fall Victim to the Common Pitfalls in Ebook Publishing.

Don’t Fall Victim to the Common Pitfalls in Ebook Publishing.

Don’t Fall Victim to the Common Pitfalls in Ebook Publishing.

Posted on 07/04/2013 Evan Swensen

Has anyone else noticed a trend of new e-books, both self-published and from commercial publishers that are falling flat? The fact of the matter is that e-books are becoming more common but many are now discovering many of their pitfalls.

Since more e-books are only 80-100 pages, they can be sold at a much cheaper rate. Most print books are more pages and many also have appendices that take up one-third of the page count. Sometimes the appendices are quite tangential to the main topic, and other times they contain golden information. .

Because e-books are often sold with a lot of time-limited bonuses, these books also contain bonuses printed in them – bonuses that have already expired when the book was purchased!  Usually with a print book, there are very few bonus books or add ones. In many ways this can make the purchase more valuable to the consumer.

Many e-books are free. This is a common first step in a marketing funnel, with a disproportionate emphasis on moving the reader into the next, higher-priced offering. Most print books are a self-contained information unit with no additional up sells or hidden costs.

It’s becoming common to create and sell or distribute an e-book anthology by asking contributors to send something in on a loosely defined theme and accepting all the contributions, with wildly uneven quality and relevance to one another. If it’s got a sell-able title, people will buy. With a print book, reviews can quickly determine if the book is destined for a quick death.

Above all, laziness abounds. Since most e-books have a short shelf life, there’s little thought given to making the contents substantive enough to withstand the evolution of the marketplace for a year or two. People who buy books for their personal library don’t want something that will make little sense when they pull a volume down from their shelf in three years’ time.

People can be fooled once, but book lovers won’t buy that author’s “books” again it the e-book is without a book’s soul.

One of the big benefits for an author of publishing in print is getting books into libraries. Librarians don’t normally purchase books without substance.

Want to turn an e-book into a print book that fully works in its new format? Give it depth, organize it well, use quality control if coordinating multiple contributions, and make it useful and relevant for years to come.  Interested in discussing this opportunity, let’s talk.

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