All authors eventually face the great debate of publishing: print versus ebook. It’s a complex debate with critics on either side. Many critics claimed the print book would soon be dead after the advent of ebooks. Others point to recent industry trends to prove that print books aren’t going anywhere. Although there are advantages to both, they are not mutually exclusive in any way. For many authors and readers, it’s simply a question of which form better suits their needs.
Ebooks are a convenient and accessible alternative to print books. Most books are published in both formats, leaving the decision up to readers. Whether you’re looking for a way to help the environment or simply looking to save shelf space, here are just a few of the advantages of ebooks.
Ebooks are immediately accessible. By publishing an ebook, authors can make their book accessible to anyone who has an e-reader or digital device. For readers, there are countless reasons why ebooks are more convenient than print books. Ebooks are available on a variety of devices, ranging from e-readers like Kindles and Nooks to smartphones and computers. Readers don’t have to trek to their local bookstore, only to find the title they want is sold-out. They won’t have to wait three to five business days for a book to ship either.
The process of manufacturing print books is long, but digital publishing can speed up that process immensely. Authors and editors can easily update and publish a newer edition of a book without worrying about re-distribution. With physical books, reprints are costly and time-consuming.
If you like to hoard books, ebooks might be the right choice for you. With ebooks, you won’t overcrowd your bookshelf or add to the growing stack of books on your nightstand. If you live in a small apartment or plan on moving soon, keeping lots of print books can be a hassle. An e-reader can store hundreds of titles that you can take anywhere. Plus, ebooks are great for traveling, since readers can store twice as many books on a slim device than a suitcase.
Ebooks offer authors and publishers the ability to include various features not possible in print books. Software differs between devices and publishers, but most feature similar technology. Ebooks can include links, videos, and audio with the text. Readers can adjust the size and font of the text as well as the brightness of the screen, making for a more comfortable reading experience. Users can also search for keywords in ebooks, look up the definition of word on the same page, and add comments or notes to a page. No more dog-eared pages and scribbling in the margins!
Without printing and manufacturing costs, ebooks are often much cheaper than print books. Paying $26 for a hardcover release can be painful, especially when your book wish list includes multiple new releases. You can usually buy ebooks for $10 or less, and there are thousands of ebooks available for free. Buying ebooks directly from publishers is also a great way to save money.
Along with lower pricing, ebooks are a great way to help out the environment. As a paperless product, it’s the obvious choice if you want to go green. You can download as many titles as you wish without feeling guilty. When you’re done reading a book, you can easily delete or un-download it from your device. Without going to a physical bookstore or having a book shipped, you also cut down on gas usage.
The decision to go digital is a big one, but it can be a convenient and beneficial choice. Which do you prefer: print or ebook?