It used to be that when writers thought about becoming authors, they thought in terms of printed books. Printed books will always have a market, but e-books have quickly caught up to their printed counterparts.
The Way It Was
Once upon a time, back in the days before the home pc, books existed as something tangible that you could pull off a shelf, hold in your hand, and read. They took a long time for the author to write, and once the manuscript was finished the author had no guarantee that his or her work would be published. Publishing was big business, and publishers were choosy about the authors whose work they accepted. They had to be, because books were very costly to produce, and the publishers needed to be fairly certain they would get a return on their investment.
In time, authors began to publish their own works. But, it was such a costly endeavor that few could afford to do so. Self publishing was a HUGE undertaking of both time and money. Just a few years ago an author could easily expect to spend a minimum of $10,000 for between 3,000 – 5,000 books, which was the minimum print run for most book printers.
Even worse than the price of printing the books was the slap in the face when those books didn’t sell the way the author hoped they would. Suddenly, dreams of having a book on the New York best seller list came crashing down to the reality of having spent all that time and money for nothing, and leaving the author to wonder just what to do with all those books that were taking up space in the garage.
The Way It Is
The computer changed the publishing industry. After the internet came online, it was said that the computer had finally leveled the playing field between the big corporations and the little guy trying to eek out a living from his kitchen table. Nowhere was this more true than in the publishing industry, as the computer allowed anyone to become an author easily and inexpensively, through a variety of venues other than printed books.
But, that playing field didn’t stay level for long. It was only a matter of time before the little guy overcame the big guys, and many of the large publishers folded up or were bought out by even larger publishers. At last count, there were only six of the major publishers left in the United States.
What was it that was directly responsible for the shift? It was the availability of publishing options for authors. They no longer needed the big publishers, and they no longer had to worry about exorbitant fees to self publish. Publishing was brought down to a level that anyone could afford, as long as they had access to a computer.
Today many authors become self published in the form of e-books, or in our case, e-booklets. It used to be that e-books and booklets were frowned upon by authors and the publishing industry at large. In the dawn of the e-book, they were few and far between and they sold for very little. The small price was what made the publishing industry adverse to creating them. Yet, the small price was exactly the thing which attracted the public and enticed them to buy.
The Way It Will Be
Industry statistics now indicate that, in the first quarter of 2010, wholesale trade e-book sales reached an all time high of $91,000,000. That figure does not include retail sales, which could be as much as double that amount. Also, this figure is only inclusive of U.S. sales. If you were to look at global figures, the number would be much higher.
Compare that figure above to sales back in the first quarter of 2002, with sales of just over 1.5 million dollars. As you can see, sales of e-books have dramatically increased to over 90 million dollars in just the past eight years. The popularity of the e-book is rising, and is expected to continue to do so.
What does all of this mean for you? It means that you have options. It means that you can produce a booklet today, and literally sell it tomorrow. It means that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to produce your work. And, it means that you can publish for so little that you can afford to make a mistake and not have to worry about tying up thousands of dollars in inventory that doesn’t move. It means that even if you create a printed booklet, you had better create an e-version too.
There will always be a market for printed booklets, but the market for e-booklets is growing. Wouldn’t you like to get your slice of that pie?
To your riches!
PS: I cover all the details for creating a booklet, whether you plan to print copies or create an e-booklet, in the Ultimate Get Rich Guide To Booklet Writing And Production. Click here to check it out!
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