By Dani Greer, Chief Red Pencil
It hasn't been very long since the traditional publishing model meant printing a hardcover edition of a new book, then following that with a low-cost paperback edition, and maybe, if the publisher was really sharp, making an e-book available on the heels of print. In today's rapidly changing publishing environment, all three versions of the book are usually published simultaneously, or at least within very narrow time-frames. This gives readers all the options quickly, and multiplies the opportunities for sales.
In the past year, a growing number of publishers have started printing new titles in only e-book version first, presumably capitalizing on the success of indie authors who have discovered the potential of feeding the e-reader market. Later, if e-book sales proved successful, the door might remain open for a print run, particularly if libraries and schools demanded the title for their shelves. But fast disappearing are the days of large print runs, warehouses full of books, and the dreaded remaindering of books that didn't sell as expected. It's an awful production model, particularly since few publishers print in environmentally conscientious ways to begin with.
Recently, I interviewed Keith Anthony, the printer broker for Little Pickle Press, about the comparative costs of printing children's books in North America on recycled papers with soy inks. The cost of these books is 5-6 times the cost incurred by traditional publishers printing off-shore. With any sort of commitment to the environment, it makes even more sense to publish new content in digital format first, and then follow with a true collector print book that will be treasured for life, rather than sent to the Goodwill bin.
Last week, Little Pickle Press introduced its newest children's book, written by Coleen Paratore (who writes the adorable Wedding Planner's Daughter YA novels) and illustrated by UK artist, Clare Fennell. BIG came out as a Kindle edition with special pricing of $2.99 through July 26. In August, the print edition is available, and can be pre-ordered at 25% off by clicking here. I think this sort of new book presentation will become the norm in a very short time, especially if readers like the option of trying a title out at a lower digital-format price first, then buying a real copy for their shelves later.
What do you think of this approach? How have your buying habits changed since acquiring an e-reader, and are multiple buying options important to you when acquiring books?
Do share with your friends and let us know if you like this book. There is actually a "try it free" link at the Amazon page in the right-hand column, where you can have the first few pages of the book delivered to your Kindle.