When good books go bad

In today’s hyper-fast, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it world, printed books become dated very quickly. The average production time of a book can be 6 months to a year after the author has finished writing it and the editor has finished the last correction. That’s a lot of time for a nonfiction book to age and have some of its information become obsolete. I no longer keep books on internet marketing past a year old. In fact I do most of my research online using blogs and news sources. Often, I buy ebooks on topics where I want the most current information.

Ebooks have a relatively short production cycle. You write the book, edit it, design a cover for it, and convert it to pdf. If you’re aiming for wider distribution, you can also do Kindle and epub versions so your ebook can also be read on iPhones, the Nook, and Sony’s reader. It’s also pretty easy to get your ebook listed on ebook sites.

Many authors have a bias against ebooks because they’re not “real” books. They want to hold that printed book in their hands. I can understand that. But there’s a growing segment of the population that prefers to read books on an e-reader or their smart phone. You don’t want to miss that market.

Here’s some possibilities for publication you can consider:

  • Print a short run – 500 to 1000 copies of your book for the print book lovers and the bookstores and other retail outlets.
  • Produce epub, Kindle, and pdf versons of your book to distribute on ebook stores, Amazon, and on your own web site.
  • Plan on updating the ebook version more often if the basic information continues to be relevant and you want your book to maintain it’s relevance. Or publish the updates in a sequel to the original book.
  • Reprint the printed book combined with those updates – another 500 to 1000 copies – when you need to.