Print books are no more difficult to produce than eBooks

stack of books
If you can produce one great-looking book, you can produce many

Yes, they take longer to produce.  Obviously… because you have to design them a certain way, then get them printed… and fulfillment takes time.

So, the time between when someone orders the book (online) and they receive it, is necessarily going to be longer than an instant download. Of course, if someone is in a bookstore, they can purchase your book as soon as they see it…

Yes, print books are more structured, they need to follow a certain “flow”. You need to adhere to certain standards for size and front matter and back matter (if you want to be taken seriously, anyway).

With an eBook, you can build it out however you like. You can include full-color pictures, full-color fonts, at no additional cost (printing all those colors will cost you). So, you have more freedom. But with a print book, you’re actually trying to adhere to certain standards, so you’re recognized by a larger audience as someone to take seriously… an expert who can be trusted.

So, sticking with standard can actually work in your favor.

The thing is, once you understand those standards, and you learn how to present yourself well, it’s not that difficult to do it — and repeat the process. Everyone who’s on their own, forging their independent way in the world, knows the magic of a repeatable process. You find out what works best, you get your system down, and you keep repeating that process, tweaking it as you go for the different situations and scenarios.

It’s exactly the same with publishing a print book. You get your system down, you find out what works, and you just keep doing that same thing. You can go as basic as you want, or as complex. You can keep things simple and streamlined, or you can pull out all the stops.

And it doesn’t need to take forever.

One afternoon about 10 years ago, while I was on vacation, I was looking at four different poetry collections I had on my laptop. I wanted to publish them. And I knew how to do it. By the end of the afternoon — maybe a few hours, tops — I had four different poetry chapbooks (about 50 pages each) ready for purchase in print form. I was actually surprised, how quickly it went. The end product(s) looked great. And it took me a few hours.

That’s it.

Because I knew how to do it. I had the proper tools. And I decided to do it.

If you’ve been publishing eBooks because you think they’re so much easier to do than print books, you may want to reconsider that. If you’ve got great content, you owe it to yourself (and the world) to get the word out in print. On Amazon. Even in your local bookstores. For that matter, national bookstores, like Barnes & Noble.

It’s possible. You just have to know how.

What would you publish, if you knew you could?

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Why would anyone publish in print? Here are 4 good reasons.

old books on a shelf
Why would anyone publish in print, when digital is so much easier?

Why would anyone want to create a printed book, when they can create eBooks a lot more easily – and cheaply?

Why would anyone want to get wrapped up in the process of designing and producing physical books that take time to deliver to customers, when they can deliver a digital information product immediately, with no additional production or shipping costs?

What’s the point of having a tree-killing artifact of yesteryear in your creative portfolio? Aren’t printed books so… 1990?

1. Comfort. Familiarity. Ease of use.

A lot of people still prefer printed books to eBooks. They like – no, they love – the feel of a physical book in their hands. It gives them a sense of well-being and solidity, to have something tangible they can carry with them and put on their bookshelf. They’re “old school” and they like it that way. Or, they just never warmed up to eBooks or digital media.

Also, the proliferation of Kindles, Nooks, iPads, eBook readers, websites — the whole range of digital reading options — has reminded a lot of people just how much they love an actually book. It doesn’t need to be plugged in or charged. You don’t need to wait for it to boot up. You won’t be interrupted by social media alerts popping up on the page. And there’s something very comforting about the heft of a book. It’s a companion. It’s a haven. And the Internet hasn’t weaned us of that need.

2. Exposure.

When you publish a printed book, you have a chance to reach a wider variety of customers, regardless of operating system or hard disk space. And you actually have a chance to showcase your work on display at a bookstore. And if you’re going to appear on television, YouTube, or even on the radio to talk about your book, the person interviewing you will likely ask for a hard copy of your work. If they’re holding an actual book in their hand in front of the camera, viewers can see — yeah, it’s real. It’s a thing.

3. Credibility.

With a printed book in hand – especially one with an ISBN – you can approach magazines and newspapers and radio and television hosts and have something in hand to talk about with them. You can mail your book to reviewers and reporters, and you can hold up your creation for the camera, when it comes time to tell the audience what all the excitement is about. And when members of your audience go to their local bookstore to see if they carry your book (depending on what service you use to publish your book), they can put in a request for the book from the bookstore, and potentially help you get it stocked on the bookshelf stores. (Though you may already be convinced, like many other infopreneurs, that bookstores are not the place to sell books, still, it doesn’t hurt to see your book on the shelves of a brick-and-mortar store.)

4. Perceived expert status.

Probably my favorite reason to publish in print, is how it can take your ideas to a whole new level and get you the kind of exposure once reserved only for the select few picked up by a mainstream publisher. Having a book in print has a way of instantly establishing you as an expert, in ways that producing (even getting rich from) digital information products can’t, in the offline world. When people hear you’ve written a book, and they see that book in your hands, a something happens inside their heads that says you must be pretty smart. Chances are, it’s true – you are! But what matters most is that others think so. Perception can go a long way.

Everyday folks have an innate respect for people who can translate their expertise into an actual book. A lot of people may think about it, but most of them never do. As a published author, you’re in a league of your own. And that’s a pretty good feeling.

So, before you write off the idea of putting out a print version of your work, ask yourself what’s stopping you. Are you just not familiar with the process? Does it seem overwhelming to you? Have you just never tried?

There are a lot of benefits to be gained from publishing in print — especially as an entrepreneur or infopreneur. You owe it to yourself to consider it. And re-consider your feelings about print publishing.

Got questions about the print publishing process? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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