Paperback Writer

There is a new feature on the Amazon KDP system which is, apparently designed to promote their print-on-demand service. As some of you may know, I’ve played with PoD before and I came to the conclusion that, while it’s cool to have a print copy of a book I wrote, the sales aren’t really sufficient to justify the cost of formatting the document for print. It seems that Amazon are attempting to reduce the cost by using the same source file to produce the print copy, but I would need to produce appropriate artwork: the ebook cover would need to be enhanced, basically.

Now, I may try playing with this anyway, just to see what comes out of their new system, but I wanted to do a straw poll and see what people think. Is there an interest in physical copies of my books? Print tends to be more expensive, but it’s all Amazon so if you buy one from them you’d get a discount on the other format.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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21 responses to “Paperback Writer

  1. To be perfectly honest, although I have a house full of paper books, I have bought precisely one new one (Terry Pratchett) since I got my first Kindle so many years ago. Much as I love your books I don’t think I’d have any use for a dead tree copy.

    A Kindle is just so much more convenient.

  2. Not for me, thanks… unless it’s actually significantly cheaper.

    I find that e-books are more convenient to carry and easier to use than paper books. However, the disadvantage is that they don’t handle illustrations well. I still buy printed reference books, but generally not fiction. Covers don’t really count as illustrations in this context. Although they can be attractive if rendered in colour (which essentially means on a tablet or big computer, but not an e-reader), they don’t add anything much to the content. I’d still buy e-books without covers if I thought that the content would appeal. (This is not intended to in any way denigrate your talents as a cover designer, but pictures lose a lot in rendition on a matt monochrome screen with a comparatively poor resolution designed primarily for text.)

    By the way, my copy of Gunwitch:Rebirth (bought from Amazon UK) shows as being by “Niall Teasdale and Niall Teasdale” on my Kindle. Sounds odd – you co-wrote it with yourself? Anyway, I enjoyed it. Thank you.

    • My talents as a cover designer are… inconsistent at best. 🙂
      The double name thing is to do with that new KDP interface. I’ll see if I can get that corrected.

      PS. I’m making no comment on anyone’s opinions at the moment since I don’t wish to influence the results. I am reading your replies.

  3. The only paperback I bought since I started reading e-Books was one only available on paper. So, no thanks from me also.

  4. Although I got a Kindle and started buying ebooks out of necessity( I developed eye issues and get really bad headaches from print books now) it would still be my preferred option regardless as they are way more convenient. Ill still buy a special edition paper book, but thats a collector thing and not a preference for paper over ebooks.

  5. I buy a lot of mine in e-book fashion, but do to a work policy if I want to read it has to be paper. They don’t like people using electronic devices… something to do with not paying attention to their surroundings. lol
    I would buy some in paper format to be read at work.

  6. Love your work. Don’t need dead tree copy.

  7. I had to move to reading my fiction on my Kindle and like the others wouldn’t go back. I just ran out of reasonable space in the house. While I still get the odd non-fiction book as hard cover all the fiction I read in the future will be ebooks.

  8. I’ve gone entirely digital for my reading. With physical books you need to find a place to store them, and if you’re in the habit of carrying something to read with you, you can only take one or two books, whereas I can carry my entire digital library on my table which I usually have with me anyways.

  9. The only reasons I ever bought paperbacks were that they were cheaper than hardcovers and required less space. E-books are better in both aspects.
    The only physical books I buy are non-fiction and hardcovers from my favorite authors. I like to have nice physical copies of my favorite books. But paperbacks feel too cheap to satisfy that desire.
    I would buy your novels as hardcovers, but not as paperbacks.

  10. Hmm, as a voracious reader I think I have something north of 3,000 paperbacks on my shelves at home. That said, since I started using Kindle a couple years ago I think I may have bought one paperback, the rest are all ebooks.

    I just checked and my Ipad has 917 ebooks on it as of today and that doesn’t count the Kindle Unlimited books I’ve read and returned. I’m sure there’s still a good market for dead tree format books among those who either haven’t bought an ebook reader or who prefer a physical book.

    For a dedicated reader ebooks are much cheaper and MUCH easier to store.

  11. I buy most of my books in e-book format. The only books I buy physical copies of are series that I started before I began using my kindle, I like to have the full set in one format or the other.

    I have been known to buy repeats, if a series stops being available on the kindle, a couple authors changed publishers / got a publishing contract and stopped releasing the e-book version because of it.

    So my vote is no, though i would be interested in proper audio-book versions. I drive for a living and whilst text-to-voice programs are ok, they are nowhere near as good as a decent audio-book.

  12. I only buy ebooks anymore. Haven’t bought a paperback in almost a decade.

  13. I generally don’t buy new fiction as a physical book except when completing a series that started that way.

  14. If it cost ME the same as a ebook I MIGHT consider it but as it would cost more I would not even think about it say you could sell and make $ at 7 dollars that’s still too much for me too spend on something I will finish in 12 hrs at the very most and more like 4 or 5 hours for most authors and well that’s just far more cash then I would consider spending seeing as I read 15 to 20 books a month.

  15. I don’t buy paperbacks anymore and don’t know anyone who does. That said, if you can get a higher percentage of them, it might be worth it for the series starters.
    Could give you something to sign were you to attend cons, as well.

  16. For me, and it sounds like a lot of people, paper requires a special reason. Earlier some one mentioned electronics restrictions which are one such reason. The other main one I can think of would be if you were doing cons or other events for book signings and people wanted a book for you to sign (sharpies made it harder to read the text on screen).

  17. I might buy some, just because I like the feel of real paper books, although Ebooks are far more convenient for me for the amount that I travel for my work and the lack of space I have in my shared room when I’m overseas at my FOB.

  18. I always buy paper books from authors I like. I initially went digital to buy some short stories that my favorite old school authors were self publishing, then went on to buy buy and buy … click and buy from the living room recliner is an Evil Capitalist Plot and I am hopelessly addicted.
    That said, I’d buy your books in dead tree format just to have them on my shelves with the rest of my favorites, especially the Thaumatology and Aneka Jensen series. I always buy in paper format when my favorite authors latest release comes out.
    Price is a consideration. I wouldn’t necessarily pay more than normal retail for a PoD book. It also has to be easy to by … from my recliner with one click. I wouldn’t want to have to hunt all over for the PoD option.

  19. I buy almost exclusively ebooks now, so no, no real interest in paperback versions.

  20. Okay, so my takeaway from this is that I shouldn’t put excessive effort into producing paper versions of my books. I may still try out the service to see how it comes out, but I won’t be rushing into it.

    Just for the record… I pretty much only read ebooks these days. I find paperbacks rather clumsy and certainly inconvenient. I buy books with graphics in them in paper format, because a Kindle is not designed for graphics, at all. I am currently reading a paperback, but that’s because I found I had it (and I probably got it free at a convention), and it was on my reading list at Goodreads, and I wanted something to read. I am currently having to come up with reasons why this was a good idea.

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