My personal preference is usually a printed books and I’ll detail why in a later post. For now, I want to point out how ebooks do provide some useful advantages—starting with the author/publisher point of view, which concern production advantages that save time and money. Here is a list:
- ebooks can be sold directly online with no shipping delay or shipping costs
- ebooks can be updated easily and often with no effect on inventory
- ebooks require no printing costs—no print management, no material costs, and no shipping from the printer to storage and no storing of pallets of books.
- adding color to ebooks doesn’t have any major effect on production costs
- ebooks can contain features unavailable to print books such as hyperlinks
- ebooks can be published faster because there is no time allotted for printing, examining press proofs, and shipping books to storage and then retailers.
- the length or number volumes is not restrained by print production costs.
- ebooks provide instant gratification making them ideal for social media marketing.
Ebooks also offer a number of reader advantages that make ebooks attractive to readers.
Storage and mobility: Unlike printed books, ebooks can be stored and accessed on a small devices, allowing readers to have an almost endless number of books at any time and any place. Ebooks can also include features that are not available to print books, such as hyperlinks, the ability to enlarge the type, and the ability to look up words. Some Ebook devices can read the book for the user and have a built-in light source enabling the reader to continue reading in the dark.
Immediate gratification: When a reader is searching for a book online, and both the print and ebook options are available, the reader doesn’t have to wait for a printed edition to be shipped. He or she can purchase and download the ebook immediately. A competitor that doesn’t have an ebook edition may loose out to the publisher that does. (There is also a marketing advantage for publishers who make books available in both print and as an ebook.)
Lower costs: Because ebooks do not require the same amount of resources or costs to create, this savings is normally passed on to the reader in prices lower than print editions. This is not always the case, especially for valuable “how-to” books.