Print Book? Ebook?

My book will be out next year. I am excited, nervous and anxious. It is my first novel out with a small publisher, granted it’s not with the big guys like Tor or Baen. I have completed the first-round edits. Yes, my novel is finally taking shape – trim, fit and ready to face the world.

Yet, I find myself wrestling with the print book versus ebook issue. Ebooks seem to be at the receiving end of criticism, especially by those who see themselves as “gatekeepers”. Granted we need gatekeepers, but I want to put forward the argument that publishing itself is changing. Evolving with the digital revolution. Yes, there will be people who will still buy physical print books. But there are readers who also read ebooks.

Perhaps, why I am writing this short post, is that I have concerns and vested interests when it comes to the print versus electronic issue. I have an ebook coming out. I am not even sure how it will be received. Of course, I would like it to be accepted by the general SF/F community. But what I have observed is that the SF/F community is still strongly print-book.

Forgive me if I am wrong. I am just tired, perhaps, of the flake ebook authors have been getting. We are writers. We are authors. Damn it, we write. Our mode of communication is still via words. Be it print or electronic, our words speak. Don’t get me started with Singaporean SFF writers trying to get a smidgen of recognition (We do exist, thank you very much). I hesitate to call us a “fledgling/nascent SF/F group” (A lot of us have been writing SF/F, only that we are not that public or recognized)… but ebooks are a good way for authors to get a head start.

You might disagree with me here and I welcome it.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stinginthetail
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 13:33:53

    i think ebooks are a valid way of getting your work out – let’s face it, just one reader feels so good, i think most of us would look at any way of getting someone to read us.

    Congrats on your book, and i hope you do well 🙂


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  3. tumblenc
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 16:37:43

    haha to be honest, I personally don’t really mind if you publish a print book or an ebook; just as long as I get to READ IT xD

    on a more serious note, is it more cost-efficient to publish an ebook compared to a print book? Plus you don’t have to worry about having to convince bookstores to carry your book/ genre labeling/ pigeonholing in local bookstores. And it’s easier to distribute internationally- no shipping costs.


    • jolantru
      Jul 14, 2010 @ 22:25:26

      I think it’s more cost-efficient to publish an ebook, because you don’t have to worry about warehousing and inventory costs.


      But oddly enough, I do want local bookstores to carry my book…


  4. isobael
    Jul 15, 2010 @ 14:22:27

    I went with e-book first because I am a new author and had no creds to my name. I figured if i could get my name out there, I’d have a step up to the bigger names.


    • jolantru
      Jul 15, 2010 @ 14:29:06

      I think I started with short stories (even trying self-publishing). When I got the contract, I thought that it was at least a small step towards something.


  5. Ivan Chew
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 14:24:01

    Hey Joyce, an eBook is better than no book! I think economics will be a key determinant. Publishing an eBook is less definitely less risky, so if that’s what it takes to get published first, I say go for it.


    • jolantru
      Dec 03, 2010 @ 01:00:34

      I guess I am just experiencing some degree of anxiety when it comes to publishing an ebook. It is hard for ebook authors to get recognized as legitimate authors.


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