Q: I am working on formatting and editing a nonfiction book designed to be both an e-book and a published hard-copy book. I will also likely end up doing the work to get this work accepted by a publisher. Can you tell me, have e-books become popular yet, or is the core of publishing still in paper and not looking to move forward?
A: Most publishers I know that help authors produce e-books and printed books are not traditional publishers; that is, they produce print-on-demand books and do not stockpile books or distribute them to stores. They simply print one at a time when they are ordered, so there’s no major investment on their part and no advance on royalties to you. Basically if you sell a book, you get a percentage of the profit, but if you yourself don’t sell it, the printer won’t go to any trouble to sell it for you.
As far as the popularity of e-books, several companies have tried to produce machines (Kindle and others) to make e-books more attractive to readers, but still e-books lag far behind printed books when it comes to sales. Still, after an e-book is created, you incur no further cost to reproduce and distribute it when sold, so e-books can provide one-hundred percent profit to authors who have a client base and can promote their own books or sell them through their own Web sites.
What would you like to ask a book doctor? Send your questions to Bobbie Christmas at Bobbie@zebraeditor.com.