7 Thoughts on Ebooks vs. DTB’s

I’ve been spending hours upon hours researching this issue and these are my thoughts thus far…

For those that don’t know yet (i just learned this), DTB is the affectionate name some people have started calling physical paper book. The acronym stands for Dead Tree Books.

In any case, here are some of the things I’ve discovered.

1. My personal experience is that some of my favorite bloggers are releasing pdf books and making decent money from low volume, high profit sales. Seems to work as a business model although I doubt it is sustainable.

2. Joe Konrath is pretty much the evangelist for ebooks and his blog is the go to place for all things fiction and ebook related. Here is a good link to check out…
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-to-make-money-on-ebooks.html

3. Fiction is the #1 thing selling on Kindle right now. Although this might change I think for the time being most ebook readers are leisure readers and they aren’t trying to learn something (i.e. non-fiction). Forget about the fact that a lot of non-fiction is entertainment and has nothing to do with learning. 😉

4. The market is growing and growing rapidly and Kindle is in a very good position to simply dominate the market. This means at least going with a Kindle version is worth thinking about.

5. Do you want to make money or build an audience? Do you want to reach the most people or just a few? Answering those questions should tell you how you will publish.

6. Any success in book writing will require you to keep producing. Your original book sales will peak and fall, and unless you have a true classic your sales will fall to a trickle. To do this full time you have to keep producing and I feel like that is easier to do when you are a fiction writer. 😉

7. This wouldn’t be complete without a 7th… No matter what you do, what platform you choose, you still have to be business savvy and know how to market yourself. There is a reason distributors make the lion’s share of revenue in the book business. They make the sales.

Once again, you decide whats important for you. Is it more important to be a writer or a marketer? High profit, low volume ebooks or low profit, high volume traditional books? Neither one if necessarily better and its best just to choose whats important for you.

Update: Good little link I just found at Wired magazine. Title : Amazon Sells More Ebooks Then Hardcovers…

Link on the Wall Street Jounal. Title : ‘Vanity’ Press Goes Digital

Last but not least, Cory Doctorow, and how he gives away his work for free… Free Download of his book “Makers”

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2 Comments

  1. Craig October 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    We sell a few ebooks and are in the process of creating more. There is certainly truth in the “low-volume, high profit” argument: if our production costs weren’t so low (normally under US$1000 per book after we use an external editor/fact-checker and a professional designer) we wouldn’t be able to produce our work.

    Our niche topics, like solo woman travel (http://artofsolotravel.com/), just don’t have enough market for mainstream publishers to look twice. eBooks allow for bigger consumer choice, which is great — and allows publishers to find smaller audiences that are willing to buy, encouraging authors to push on.

    • jeremy October 9, 2010 at 6:35 am #

      Hi Craig,

      Thank you for the reply. I’d love to chat with you more sometime about your ebook publishing. I am currently doing a lot of research on it, and might like to start interviewing some people that are already doing it if you are interested. Always happy to see authors making some sort of living off their work.

      Cheers,
      Jeremy