Amazon’s ebook sales are continuing to grow, and it’s easy to see the appeal of ebooks versus printed books. You can carry multiple books with you on one device, you can access classics for free on Project Gutenberg, and ebooks are sometimes cheaper than traditional books. But is that enough?
When comparing books vs ebooks, it can be easy to get caught up in modernity. There’s a sense of instantaneous gratification with ebooks, but traditional books come with their own huge benefits too.
Think about holding books in your hands. Think of the smell of the paper and the feel of the spine below your fingertips. There’s something wonderful about that, it’s almost a ritualistic experience.
If you’re looking at publishing your book, you may be tempted to go down the exclusively electronic route. But we aren’t convinced that this is the best way to go.
Let’s take a look at paper books vs ebooks and see why old-fashioned books endure. Ready to get informed and make your book legendary? Then read on!
Nothing Beats Holding a Physical Book
Think back to your childhood. Do you remember the joy of opening up a new book from a bookstore or library? Remember the sensory delight of the crisp smell of new paper, the roughness of the pages under your fingers, and the slight creak as the spine bent for the first time.
In the battle of books vs ebooks, it’s easy to get lost in the idea that a book is a book. This isn’t the case. Forsaking the physical experience of traditional books for a little more variety and instantaneous delivery negates a huge part of the literary experience.
Think of how proud you’ll be if you print a hardcover book. Holding a weighty tome of your own creation in your hands. It’s better than just looking at words on a screen where your text may as well still be in a word processor.
When weighing up ebooks vs books, consider eyestrain. When you look at a screen for a long time, you strain your eyes. Maybe you’ve experienced eyestrain at work or after a long Netflix binge.
It’s not comfortable. It’s especially bad if you’re looking at a bright screen in a dark environment.
Unfortunately, such a dark environment is common for readers, such as when lying in bed. If you print traditional books, there is no eye strain. There’s no bright backlit display to hurt your eyes: just you and the words on the page.
While this isn’t a top priority for most people, it’s something to factor in. If you want the most comfortable experience for your readers, paper comes out on top.
A Wider Market
While the literacy rate in the United States is nearly 100 percent, not everyone owns an ebook reader. If you want your book to be a success, this is something to consider when looking at books vs ebooks.
If you print exclusively electronically, you are massively confining your audience. Only people who have spent $100+ on an e-reader will ever be able to read your work. Print a paperback book and you’ll be offering a low-cost version of your book that is accessible to everybody.
It’s hard out there for new authors. Most writers can’t support themselves on their books alone. There is no reason to make it harder for yourself by restricting your market.
You don’t have to look very far on the Kindle store to find books that would never be published by traditional means. This includes lurid adult novels, irredeemably badly-written short stories, and cliched horror novels.
There is still a certain cachet in printing a paper book vs ebooks. Getting a paper book published still feels like far more of an achievement: there is still a barrier to entry.
While self-publishing doesn’t rely on the overtures and whims of an agent, it is still prestigious. As we mentioned before, holding a paper copy of your work fills you with a sense of pride like nothing else.
Having a physical book that you can put on your bookshelf at home, with your name on the spine, is wonderful. It’s your hard work. Choose the prestigious option.
Paper Books Are Shareable
Almost every ebook store out there includes some level of DRM on their books. This is software designed to stop books from being shared. Stop and think for a minute about how often you lend books to your friends: it’s a lot, right?
Lending books is a cornerstone of a literary society. When you seal off your book in a little walled garden, you ensure only the buyer reads it.
Many people, myself included, have become fans of a writer because they borrowed one of their books. Don’t impede the spread of your reputation. Build a fandom and let others borrow your books.
You’ll Be Supporting Bookshops and Libraries
If you’re a fan of reading, we bet that you’ve got a favorite bookshop or library. Somewhere you can always go back to and fall in love with reading, all over again.
If reading moves exclusively to e-readers, these books will not exist. Instead, we’ll be stuck buying our books from megacorporations like Amazon.
Support small businesses and libraries in your area. Give back to your communities. Of all the compelling reasons to choose paper books vs ebooks, this is perhaps the most selfless: be kind to your local readers.
Books vs Ebooks – Final Thoughts
While we firmly believe that the battle between books vs ebooks is won by paper books, we aren’t wholly against ebooks. While you may want to consider publishing your work electronically, make your first edition a printed edition.
We can help to make your dreams a reality. We offer a diverse range of services for different types of books. Whichever you pick, you’ll receive the best possible service and end result.
If you’ve got any questions about printing with us, please get in touch!
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