I’ve made no secret of my difficulty in getting into e-books. Reading them, that is.
There’s just something so antiseptic about reading from a little flat glass screen. Sure, I got the big size Kindle Fire, but I think it’s the flat part that gets me.
Conversely, I’ve also made no secret of my love of paperbacks.
It’s their very bulkiness, their tangibility, that makes me feel at home with them. Hardcovers are fine, but having a book you can shove in your back pocket is just homey.
Therefore, when it came time to decide what to do about my book(s) as I determined to self-publish, there was never really a debate about having it published as a “real” book, in paperback form.
Yes, I recognize that going straight e-book through Amazon would have afforded me more flexibility to put out sales on my books and/or market it through various Amazon promotions, but I saw that as a trap.
Realistically, most self-published authors don’t make bupkis. Some of them can generate a lot of “sales” by stripping the price down to 99¢ or even free and that can send them shooting up the “sales” rankings. That doesn’t tend to generate a lot of dollars, though.
In rare cases, some authors may grab enough eyeballs and get enough reviews to become popular, though even then, it’s difficult to earn anything substantial. Still, the satisfaction of having a lot of people read your book is seductive and probably explains the hundreds of thousands of releases on Amazon.
I never believed I would be a best-selling author. I tried to imagine it once or twice, but my humility about my writing never let the dream feel very likely.
But I did feel I had written a good story and I was proud of what I had accomplished, so, for no one really but myself, I made the decision to go with a POD publisher and have copies printed.
POD stands for Print on Demand. Because a book is only printed when ordered, there are no volume savings and thus the “cover price” is much higher than a traditionally published book. It’s always given me tsuris, but there you go.
I’ve never had pricing control over my books, except to the extent I could request the lowest possible paperback and e-book prices ($2.99 for e-book). The arrangement through my POD publisher doesn’t allow for sales, though I have complete freedom to resubmit the e-book through Amazon independently and price it however I want.
Now, with my plans for a new set of books continuing the adventures of Jeremy Shuttle and his perplexing sketchbook, I am faced with the same choice as before: print or electronic only.
Remembering the feeling I had when I held my first book in my hands, it’s likely that choice is once more no choice at all.
Like an old-fashioned love song, I have too much affection for paperbacks to pass up that feeling again.