Kevin Muldoon

WordPress Reviews | Internet Marketing

The Timing of Your Paperback Release

Many bloggers are trying their hand at writing a book. The process of selling a book digitally is painless. Once you have written your book, you just need to upload it to a service such as Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), CreateSpace and Smashwords. Sure, you still need to spend a lot of time writing, formatting and reviewing your book; however you don’t need to spend months trying to get a publisher to release it for you.

The timing of your paperback is something I have been thinking about recently. I mentioned yesterday that my upcoming book is around 80% complete. I am releasing it as an eBook and as a paperback. A reader (Dennis) left a comment yesterday saying that it is best to release the physical copy of a book first.

This is something many authors do but you could also release it at the same time as your eBook. Alternatively, you could release it after. There are pros and cons to each option:

  • Before the Release of Your Ebook – The idea is that you can drive more sales to your paperback if you release it before the digital version of the book.
  • Released at the Same Time as Your Ebook – Releasing both versions of the book at the same time will maximise your promotional efforts. Customers can then choose which version they want.
  • After the Release of Your Ebook – Many times authors release the digital version first and then later decide to release it on paperback too. I think there are benefits to doing it this way.

I’m not keen on the idea of releasing the paperback version first in order to encourage more sales. We live in a digital age and I don’t want to have to make owning a physical copy of any of my books the only way of reading it first.

Releasing the book at the same time is probably the best thing to do as it allows people to choose the version they want. I do think there are advantages to releasing a paperback a few weeks later.

I am going to edit my own book once or twice and have it proof read by others too. Despite this, some errors may still sneak through. It’s the nature of the game. Even books that are released by large publishers have many errors in it. This isn’t a problem with eBook’s. All you do is correct the error and then upload the new copy of the book. Customers will then be told that a new version of the book is available.

You can’t do that with a physical book. The process of uploading a new copy of your book to a service such as CreateSpace is the same as updating your digital copy. However, lots of people would still have physical copies of your book with errors in it.

So at the moment I am faced with two options. Do I release the paperback version of my book at the same time and maximise my promotional efforts? Or do I release the digital version first and use the following weeks as feedback for correcting errors and improving the book through suggestions? I’m going to release the eBook for free for the first few days so I don’t think I’d get many sales of the paperback during the first few weeks anyway. So why not use that time to improve the book.

I can see the benefits of both options so I’m unsure as to which way to go. What do you think is the best time to release the paperback version of your book?


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About Kevin Muldoon

My name is Kevin and this is my blog :) I am an experienced blogger who has been working online actively since 2000. Through this blog I talk about internet marketing, technology and travelling. You can get updates to this blog by subscribing via RSS or Email. Alternatively, you can follow me on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

4 Replies

  1. Hey Kevin,

    Just wanted to throw in my two cents here. I firmly believe that we’re beginning to see something unique in publishing. Unlike others, I do not believe that digital publishing will completely replace print publishing, but rather for the first time in history the nature of the content itself will dictate the best publishing medium – according to how it best serves the consumer.

    A story best told through a blending of video, hyperlink, and text (think documentary film) might actually be a multi-media release via Amazone Kindle or iBooks, instead of just a book or just a movie. A book about printed posters could be best communicated via a print format, etc.

    Right now no-one know definitively. But I suspect that the question you raise of “should I launch a paper-back and when” will turn into something like “how will people best receive my content” because publishers/distributors will figure out where certain types of content are best received.

    Nathan B Weller

    1. I definitely think books are going to change over the next few years. Once Kindles and tablets can handle videos and audio within text books we will see a whole new way of publishing content.


  2. Great content as usual, Kevin 😉
    I am going to bookmark this one since I am currently writing a book myself.

    Do you already have a publisher for your paperback version?

    1. Thanks K. I’m going to self publish using Create Space :)


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