eBooks or paperbacks? What sells better?

Al1981

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This has no doubt been asked before; but what do most people prefer to read, or believe most people in general prefer? eBooks or a proper paperback/hardback? I was wondering too, what most self-publishers on here sell more of? Personally, I'm not a big reader myself. But would definitely choose a paperback over an eBook. : )
 

Jo Zebedee

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This has no doubt been asked before; but what do most people prefer to read, or believe most people in general prefer? eBooks or a proper paperback/hardback? I was wondering too, what most self-publishers on here sell more of? Personally, I'm not a big reader myself. But would definitely choose a paperback over an eBook. : )
The first part of your question has a long standing and recently active thread.
As to the other self publishers tend to sell a lot more ebooks but there are exceptions - a person with a strong local support base, for instance, might sell a lot of paperbacks locally. But for sff it’s ebook
 

Steve Harrison

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I'm with a small publisher and over 90% of my sales are ebooks. While the paperback version can be ordered online or via bookshops around the world, they don't have a major distribution deal so you would be hard pressed to spot the novels on a bookshop shelf. It makes much more marketing sense for the publisher to concentrate on their ebooks.

As to my own reading, my in-laws gave me a Kobo a few years ago and I was so affronted by the prospect of not reading a physical book I refused to use it for more than a year. But we went on a holiday and I had to reduce the wright in my suitcase, so I downloaded a few books. I now only read ebooks, although I do sometimes buy a paperback or hardback copy of something special.
 

Kerrybuchanan

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Like @Steve Harrison, my publisher focuses more on ebook sales than physical books, but their marketing model seems to work very well.

For myself, there’s nothing like the smell of a new paperback, or the feel of pages in the hand, but sadly my arthritis means I can no longer hold a physical book for long without dropping it, and it becomes painful very quickly. For this reason I read only ebooks now. I can pop my phone on a little stand and just prod it to turn pages, which is far easier on the joints.

I did splash out on a Kindle with my Christmas present money last year, but it was awful. Barely bigger than my phone screen and frustratingly slow to use. I bought it because the screen is supposed to be better for the eyes than reading on a phone but since I always read with white text on a black background, it made no difference to me. I’m aware this isn’t a popular opinion…
 

The Judge

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The question about ebooks -v- paperbacks has indeed been asked before, and I'd really like anyone who wants to answer that question and hasn't already done so to go to the existing thread here Paperback or ebooks? since it gets confusing, not to say repetitive, if it's continually asked and answered at different places on the site.

The question about what sells more is interesting, however, not least for those planning to SP, so I've moved this over to Publishing, and changed the title to emphasise that issue, so please do respond here to that point.
 

Ogma

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Ebooks sell better than paperbacks for self-published authors with the exception of children's books and non-fiction. They incur less expense not having to be printed and delivered, and are generally more profitable. Eventhough a print on demand book might be 13 dollars, the royalty might only be a dollar, while the royalty on $2.99 ebook might be 70%.

However, this questions implies it's either ebooks or paperbacks. You should do both if only so that the price of the ebook looks like a bargain. And it would look odd to only publish the ebook. Anwhat would you put on your shelf? :)
 

Jo Zebedee

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Just to put in one note - I know I am in an unusual situation here, though - my Irish work sells way better in paperback than ebook. Of course, that's partly that I have a lovely sales outlet in having my own bookshop and people like the idea of meeting the author. But it's also because they're Irish sf works and, so, the reach online is limited. Whereas in Ireland, at events, or chatting to people, they love the idea of the books and so buy them. So, yeah, in total, for instance, Inish Carraig has sold more online, but I've sold hundreds of paper copies (I've never done a count, actually, but it must be coming up near 4 figures now) and they continue to sell better at the moment. Barring the film being made, I suspect that will continue to be the case. (Mind you, my sales are hardly outstanding)
 

Al1981

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Yeah, I suppose it also depends on whether or not people get issues with their eyes too, looking at a computer/tab etc. I get issues, so difficult for me to read an eBook. Was a damn pain having to read through my eBook and checking for errors etc. Multiple times! lol.
 

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