Saturday, November 7, 2015

What Came First, the Paperback or the eBook?

No, I do not mean in terms of the technologies.  I mean, in terms of efficiencies, if you are going to write and publish.

When I wrote my first book, I never gave it much thought.  I was hooked on eBooks.  Having travel a lot for work, I could not imagine going with paper.  I could carry a dozen books with me, all on a pound or less eReader or tablet.  About the only argument for paper at the time was that for the 15 minutes during take-off and the corresponding time in landing, “anything with an off-on switch must be in the off position” (yes, I still hear that phrase in my dreams/nightmares).  But even this limitation has changed, or is changing, or is waffling back and forth.  Some airlines seem OK with a tablet being on during take-off, others, not so much.  They will all decide some day and let us poor, paying customers know.

In any case, I could not make an argument for paper.  My two, local indie author/publisher role models (two neighbors) had both done eBooks as well.  And frankly, I did not know there was such a thing as free, on-demand, self-published paperbacks.

Enter CreateSpace.  What a great idea, and now that I have used it, what a great service.  Maybe two weeks after I thought of trying it, I have a published paperback (check my “Books” tab).  All it took was some tinkering with the page layout (page size and margins).  Then, I called in my artist daughter, who adjusted the cover to become a front cover, spine, and back cover…and I was done.  I cannot really speak for the difficulty of the cover adjustments, but since she did it in a couple of evenings, it must not have been too hard.

As I finished up, I noticed one remaining step:  turn your paperback into an eBook.  CreateSpace claimed they could take your paperback documents and adjust them for a Kindle eBook.  How cool is that?  What I do not know, however, is just how far they go in these adjustments.  Is the expanded cover art cut down to just an eBook cover?  Is the page layout returned to eBook settings?  I wonder.
So, for book 2, I am considering putting the paperback before the eBook.  If I do, I will let you know how it goes.  On the other hand, if any reader has tried this sequence, and found it to be a pain, let me know.  I like tinkering, but I do not have to learn everything from the school of hard knocks.

Happy Writing,

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