Blog Post

Indie Author Versatility

Blog by Kristena Mears
Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

So you’ve finished your manuscript. Congratulations!

Now comes all the decisions.
You know you’re going to self-publish. (this topic is one for either those going traditional or self publishing) but in what format? There are so many options, and I’m not talking about where you publish. This will not be a discussion of what publisher you use. I have my favorites, which we will go into at another time. There are many options available.

This is one of my biggest question
as we neared the publication date,
and one that is often overlooked.
What format should my book be?

Today I’m talking about versatility in the format of the books you put out. Are you going to just publish in one form? Many Authors, especially Indie Authors, choose to only in paperbacks and ebooks. But do you know you are limiting your audience when you only choose those options? Let’s look at some choices and see why they may be a good idea to consider.

A manuscript can go
from your computer to a published work
in less than thirty minutes.

Ebooks – These are quickly becoming the most popular among new authors, thanks to Amazon’s KDP publishing. It is quick and easy. A manuscript can go from your computer to a published work in less than thirty minutes. How cool is that!
Of course, you still want to make sure you put in the same effort you would in any other manuscript before publishing.
But what do readers want? Would you be surprised to find that many readers still don’t love ebooks as we do? There are actually people out there that refuse to buy them. They don’t have an E-reader and may not have a smart-phone. (or have one but don’t know how to use it) Yes, this is true!
“But I can show Grandma. I know she’ll read my book.” This may be true, but by choosing to only publish and ebook, you are limiting new reader who are interested in your book but “don’t do e-books.”

Many people like
having a printed book in their hands
when they are reading.

Paperbacks – Paperbacks have long been the most popular, although ebooks are quickly catching up. Many people like having a printed book in their hands when they are reading. It’s a physical item that they own. Once a book in bought, it’s yours. There is a concern floating around about ebooks being deleted at the source. Your book may not fit the narrative at the time and may be labeled “offensive” by someone when you didn’t mean it that way when you wrote it at all.
Hey, if it could happen to Dr Seuss, it can happen to anyone!
Another reason for paper books is a book signing. Author’s going to need a book to sign and fans love to see this in their book.

They last longer.
It gives the elution of a “real” book
and can shout
“I have arrived” to book lovers.

Hardbacks – People will pay more to have the hardcover copy. Its value is higher than that of a paperback, even though it has the same story or information inside. A hardback is sturdier and can withstand more abuse. They last longer. It gives the elution of a “real” book and can shout “I have arrived” to book lovers. A hardcover can help your book stand out among authors who don’t have a hardcover book, more so among paperbacks laying on a table in a library or book fair. Even if that person never buys a hardcover, they will often look at the hardcover book first if laying side by side with other books.
Also, even among books that are available in multiple formats, many people prefer, and only buy a hardcover for its sturdier appearance, durability, and professional appeal.

Don’t forget large print additions.

Large Print Additions – I have realized the importance of large print additions. I used to think only old people needed them. Wrong! Yes, it was because my eyes started going bad that I finally took notice, but there are many reasons someone might choose a large print book over another. I have spoken too many that have stress-filled days and what to come home and escape in a delightful book, but their eyes are tired from staring at a computer all day. They prefer large print. There are others who read after a spouse or partner has gone to sleep, and the large print is easier for them.
But the main audience in large print are those who have limited sight. By not publishing in large print, an entire market is being cut out.
There are limited authors who think to publish in large print. This means there are limited choices for an entire group of readers. That market is begging for more books to read. Don’t you want your book in their hands? I encourage you to publish large print additions.

There are those who like who like to listen to ebooks,
and those who need to listen to ebooks

Audiobooks – I love audio book. They are now my favorite form.
You can listen to your favorite books and authors while in the car, or doing things around the house and yard. This is a major bonus, and you know what? Audiobook people are buying more books. They go through more books at a faster pace. This means they’re turning their “Want To Read” list into an “Already Read” list.
Buying more and reading them often means more authors are making a profit and getting more reviews.
There are those like who like to listen to ebooks, and those who need to listen to ebooks. This is personal with me. I have family members that are blind. My Dad is. If I want my father to read what I write, it has to be in audio form. He can’t see well enough to read.
My dad isn’t the only person with limited sight who likes to read.
Many authors don’t think to publish in audio books. Yes, there is extra cost, and it is work to produce an audio book. But the rewards are great. This is another market that an entire group of readers is being limited.

Diversifying formats enables indie authors
to reach a wider audience.

Diversifying formats enables indie authors to reach a wider audience. As an Indie author, we don’t want to give the impression that we are in a lower category than a Traditional Author. We’re not! There is actually more work that needs if you publish indie.
One reason this becomes a perception is because often indie books are published in only one. Just having more formats available gives credibility to the author.
Let’s break that mold and go all in with our books.

෴❤️෴ About Kristena Mears ෴❤️෴

Kristena is an award-winning author,
speaker, blogger, and self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur.
She lives near Cincinnati, OH, where she is a supervisor at a large company. She’s been married to her “better half” for 40 years
and has three grown children.
When Kristena’s not busy writing or working,
you’ll probably find her nose in a book.
She also loves spending time with her family, traveling,
cooking and dabbling in photography

find Kristena on Facebook and Twitter

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