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Pros and Cons of E-book Publishing

May 9th, 2010

ebook-pros-cons.jpgFor many authors, once they decide to get their work published, reaching that goal can be an exciting but frustrating journey. The work involved in publishing is a far cry from an author’s writing efforts, often involving a great deal of marketing and self-promotion. The business side of the book world can be daunting, especially in the area of print publishing, but electronic publishing is a viable, welcome alternative for many authors.

Pros of Publishing E-books

Electronic publishing or e-publishing has a few advantages over print publishing. There are a multitude of e-publishers, most of which are more amenable to unsolicited submissions than the big print publishers. New or previously unpublished authors have a much better chance of serious consideration. E-pubs also have a much faster turnaround time, from reading submissions to accepting and processing manuscripts. What often takes years in the print business can take as little as weeks in the online world. This quick turnaround is advantageous for both the author and the readers of e-books, as the market and inventory continues to expand at an exponential rate. E-publishing is also seen as a bit more environmentally friendly, as no trees are destroyed in the process.

The Publishing Spectrum

Areas of concern for authors like personal attention, amount of author involvement allowed in the publishing process, and amount of marketing legwork required of the author will vary across the publishing spectrum. In general, smaller publishers of both electronic and print books will be more attentive and flexible with their authors, but may not offer some of the benefits of larger publishers, such as more marketing handled by the publisher and higher profit for their authors.

Cons of Publishing E-books

E-publishing can have some disadvantages which make print publishing more attractive. The market for e-books is still a fraction of the print book market, which means e-book authors may not have the larger size audiences and customers that they were hoping to find. This translates into smaller royalties for e-book authors and less overall exposure to the worldwide population of readers. This smaller market may also translate into more promotional work for the e-book author — print publishers have much more established and wider connections to readership, due to decades of time and experience in the field and traditional views of reading. The technical aspect of e-books continues to be an obstacle in attracting new readership, as many traditional book readers frown upon the concept of an electronic book.

New Dimension

While there are good and bad aspects to e-publishing, many authors feel that electronic publishing is worth a shot. For new or unpublished authors, e-publishing can give them a taste of the business, allow them to establish credentials, and build a readership. But even some well established print authors can find e-publishing useful, to add a new dimension to their publicity, earnings, and readership. No matter what stage in their writing career, authors should take a good, hard look at e-publishing and decide if it’s the right path for them.

This article was written by Michelle O’Leary from Constant Content.

Related article: How to Write a Book

One Response to “Pros and Cons of E-book Publishing”

  1. comment number 1 by: Bryan Pickell

    Two additional benefits to ebook publishing would be the ease of self-publishing nowadays, and the potential to make money from (helpful) affiliate links embedded in the content. Also, some authors find offering their ebook for free helps build demand for a hard-copy version & this can help pave the way for greater sales.


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