What is digital self-publishing?
Digital means a conversion of the words and pictures into electronic data based on digital 1 and 0 bits. It does not just sound easy – it is a very easy process for anyone who has mastered the electronic conversion. It is not free, but it is much cheaper in comparison to traditional publishing.
Self-publishing is not new in the traditional publishing industry but digital self-publishing certainly is. New means not yet established. It is still in the process of developing and evolving along with its ups and downs. What one must always remember is that new means exciting, and also means opportunity opener.
Digital self-publishing took everyone by surprise and gained popularity with forceful speed. Many who understood the commercial benefit of digital self- publishing went into the new industry and never looked back. The biggest beneficiaries from digital self-publishing are the actual authors who previously never had an opportunity to present their book to the public with the long established traditional publishing industry. Why not?
Well there are a few reasons, and they are not necessarily evil like many try to paint it. For a traditional publisher there is the serious cost of publishing any book involved. The amount of money they have to commit is enormous and the result is not necessarily guaranteed. It is based on the risk taken from the first moment when the author presents his/hers book to the publisher. The biggest risk for the publisher is to not achieve the sales necessary of the published book to create a profit. The traditional publisher has considerable capital at risk; capital that he must pay up front for printing, marketing, distribution etc, before actual sales can take place.
More often than you can imagine, traditional publishers lose money on many books that they ‘thought ’ would sell well. The reason is simple: readers didn’t find the published books interesting enough to spend their money on. Guess what! If books are not sold within a particular time period, the publisher has to take them back and the resultant losses are often quite spectacular.
So, how do the traditional publishing houses survive and make their profit? Again, the answer is quite simple. One of the many books they publish will become a bestseller and the profits from that one bestseller will cover all of the accumulated losses and will even create an overall profit.
That is why when an author takes his book to the publisher, the painstaking process of choosing what to publish takes place in every traditional publishing house. It doesn’t matter if the publishing house is big or small- the process is the same. The risk is the same and only the outcome or result can be different for a publisher and for an author. Who is in charge of the actual outcome? The readers off course, who else?
In digital publishing, the actual capital that has to be risked is considerably smaller thereby benefiting many small companies who wish to become publishers. That means the opportunity to start your own small publishing company is increasing. The benefit for the authors is quite big. They can finally be published and the percentage of their royalty is higher.
In digital self- publishing the benefits are potentially increasing because the cost of self digital publishing is decreasing. Needless to say, the outcome of that opportunity is benefiting the readers too. Now readers can choose from a bigger range of books available online, and pay much less than for a traditional hard copy. Truly, digital self-publishing has revolutionized the way we look for books, buy books, and read books.
Instead of having to physically go to the book store, you can now find an eBook (digital book) online from the comfort of your home. You can pay for it in seconds and you can download an eBook in minutes; and you can store it without having bookshelves. You can store your new book on your computer or on a Reader device, and you can read it any time you want to, or refer to any page of it you need to, in just a matter of seconds.
Digital self-publishing is enabling everyone to have more choice to publish faster and cheaper; to sell faster and cheaper; and to store faster and cheaper. It is not a surprise to all of us anymore that since last year, digital books are now outselling traditional books on line. It is no surprise that readers are finding their own new favourite authors on line; authors that had little chance of being published through the old traditional print publishing. It is no surprise anymore that big publishing houses are starting to invest their capital into the new way of publishing – digital. It is no surprise anymore for many of us that competition within digital publishing is become as big as the Internet itself.
Is this new way of publishing good or bad? I believe it is good. Consider all the benefits I presented to you above and add to it the biggest one –digital publishing is helping to save our environment. No trees will be cut down for a digital book. Not one gallon of precious water will be used in digital book production. No trucks will pollute our air to distribute digital books to customers. No overstocked digital books will be destroyed because nobody bought them. The bottom line benefit of “no environmental destruction” can be added to every time a reader makes a decision to find and buy a digital book online instead of buying a traditional hard copy in a book store
My warmest regards,
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