Paperback hardcover or ebook

Thanks to print-on-demand technology, indie authors can have their books printed and distributed any way they want. For many, that means go with every possible option. But is it a good idea to offer your book as a paperback, hardcover, and ebook?

That depends on two things: your goals and your audience’s expectations. Before opting for every option under the sun, read on to determine what format to offer your readers.

Know Your Goals

No matter who you are, you have goals for your book. You have hopes and dreams. Let those guide the format of your book.

Perhaps your goal is to publish so family and friends can read your book. If that’s all you want, don’t publish a paperback, hardcover, and ebook version. That makes no sense. Just choose one option and go with it. Unless all your family and friends have Kindles or other e-readers, go with paperback or hardcover.

Have a more ambitious goal? Good for you. Choose your book format accordingly.

Want your book to become an Amazon best-seller? The first step is for your book to be the best-selling new release in your book’s category. The best way to do that is by only offering one format. Why? Because of the following scenario:

You sell 100 copies of your book. However, you published three versions: paperback, hardcover, and ebook. Since best-seller status is given to an ISBN and not a book title, Amazon sees that you sold 40 of one ISBN (paperback), 15 of another (hardcover), and 35 of a third (ebook).

Unfortunately, 40 paperback sales isn’t good enough to become a best-selling new release. If it is, congrats! But if you want to maintain your top spot, you have to sell a lot more than that. Spreading out your sales with multiple versions makes this task harder. It waters down your sales.

Paperback, Hardback, or Ebook: Know Your Genre

When deciding between paperback, hardback, and ebook, it’s important to meet reader expectation. That’s right. Your plot devices and cover art aren’t the only thing that should match your book’s genre. So should your book format.

Ever settled down to read your child a picture book on an e-reader? Probably not. Picture books are for young readers, who want a tactile experience. So skip the ebook version of your picture books and early readers. It’s unnecessary.

There may be hardcover fantasy books, but what do fantasy readers gravitate toward? A paperback may be the best option. If you’re willing to price it cheap enough, an ebook version may be enticing as well.

Whatever genre your book is, study expectations. Go to the bookstore and library. Look at your own bookshelf. See what format is most common. Then use that format. Because while it may be exciting to have three options, if you’re only selling one format, there’s no need to have more.  

Leave the Formatting to Us

You’ve done the writing. Now let Argyle Fox Publishing get it to the finish line. We’ll design the interior and cover just the way you want, and you keep all the profits—whether from paperback, hardcover, or ebook versions. Learn more about us and why we do what we do.