I've been receiving lots of emails lately from folks asking about the different book formats ... There seems to be confusion about whether it's important to release a book in multiple formats. For instance, some writers are convinced that they should go straight to eBook and forget about a print version altogether. Others don't bother with eBook and want to release their book in print only. I think -- in both cases -- this is a big mistake. When you start comparing print vs. eBook, you're going to lose sight of someone very important: the reader. Readers want options. Releasing eBook-only excludes readers that do not have an e-reading device and/or do not enjoy reading digital text. Releasing print-only excludes those who prefer reading digital text or refuse to pay the price of other formats. And then there's the audiobook--a hugely forgotten format in self-publishing. Many book lovers prefer audiobooks over all formats. iPods and other mp3 players are great for listening during long trips by plane, train, car (for some, these trips represent the only free time they have available for literary entertainment)... Many readers suffer from motion sickness and simply cannot read while moving, but they'd still love to be entertained by a good book. Hello, audiobook!
So what does all of this mean? Release your book in as many formats as possible in order to reach the widest audience possible!
Look at the movie industry. Most new movies are released in at least three formats: DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Copy. You see, some movie lovers don't have a Blu-ray player, so DVD is an ideal option. Others have a Blu-ray player, so obviously they're going to opt for the Blu-ray Disc instead of DVD. Digital Copy is a format that is usually included in some sort of COMBO PACK, in which you receive all three formats in one pack...for one price. Viewers enjoy Digital Copy on the iPod Touch, iPad, and other devices ... My point: I'd like see more self-published authors (and traditionally published authors, too) offer combo packs: Print, eBook, and audiobook for one price. I've tested a paperback & eBook version of the combo pack at my website: http://www.jjhebert.net. It's been a huge success. I highly recommend it!