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I recently finished a couple of books that were in genres that are filled with print in addition to Kindle versions. Both genres are filled with print versions is the reason I offered them in print.  Both are selling at a surprising rate. Nothing to write home about but they are selling enough to help the bottom line significantly.

The books were in non-fiction (memoir) and a children's book (5th and 6th graders). I usually write sci fi and don't offer a print version. I wondering if I should go back into my catalogue and offer print versions of previously released books or offer print versions from now on. 

My question is how many of you offer print versions of your fiction books? If so do you think genre is important in making your decision?

Do they sell well enough to cover the costs?

Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I put print up for sale at the same time I set the e-book up. The higher price of the paperback makes the e-book look like a bargain, encouraging its purchase right then. And even in my genre, there are still people who prefer the paperback. Since its all POD, it doesn't cost me anything up front and, though I may only sell a handful of physical copies per month per book, not having them available would be like leaving money on the table.
 

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Print sales are going to vary significantly by genre. For me, romance is the worst for print. I think it's 1% of total sales. On the fiction side I think YA fantasy is about 10% print. But on the non-fiction side I have titles that are 75% print sales.

I'd say anyone writing non-fiction or books for a YA or younger audience should definitely do print. Beyond that? It really depends on your ebook sales. Estimate maybe 5% of ebook sales for print and see if it makes sense. I do my own covers and formatting when I put out print books so it just costs me time. And for fiction I use Vellum for the print version which means almost no extra time spent on the formatting.
 

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I always do a print version. Some readers still prefer print, and it's good to give people options. Why lose a reader? Plus, people who liked one of my books and wanted to "gift" it to a friend, buy the paperback. (So they tell me)

Here is my quarter to date. I'm small potatoes, but I would have lost these sales without a print version:


However....if you have to pay someone to format and create your paperback? You'll have to consider the benefits more closely.
I'm lucky enough to be able to format my own print editions and turn my ebook covers into print wraparounds on my own.

Consider if your book is short, and the retail price is lower (4.99 to 6.99), the royalties will be very small (40 cents to $1?) but a regular length (75k) novel priced at 9.99 will net you the same royalty as a 2.99 ebook.
 

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I offer print versions of all my books because it's still what I prefer to read, personally.

If a book doesn't have a print version that I can order for myself - 9/10 - I won't buy it at all. I collect books, so it's just my preference to have the physical copy on my shelves.
 

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With Vellum offering print formatting it is sort of a no brainer now. Most cover designers offer print and ebook versions, sometimes @ no extra charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All good reasons to offer print versions from now on.

Any thoughts on going back into my back catalogue and offering print versions years after they were first published.

My gut says no but anybody have any thoughts?
 

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My launch usually follows a long preorder, with eBook, paperback, and audiobook released on the same day, and all three formats together on a single Amazon page to toggle back and forth from one format to the other.

The extra cost in producing a paperback is pretty much just in the cover. The 16th book in my series has earned $350 in print sales in December and the first book has earned nearly $4,000 in print sales in five years. So, yeah, it's worth the one-time cost. Note I said one-time cost. The book continues to earn money for years afterward.
 

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I finally finished getting my last two books into print as well as ebook just recently. I sell my pulp adventures for $2.99 ebook and $9.99 print and while I haven't made a lot of sales, paperbacks do account for about 10% of the total. Since I format them myself and use the same covers as the ebooks the paperbacks don't cost me any more than the ebooks so it's a net win for me.
 

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I can't imagine why an author WOULDN'T do this! After all, print sales still run far ahead of digital. That seldom holds true for self-published authors, who can sell their ebooks so cheaply. For December, my print sales are 33 percent of the total, Kindle sales 54 percent, other-store ebook sales 12 percent, and audiobooks 1 percent.

Happy 2020! -- NJ

My blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com

My guide to formatting ebooks and paperbacks: https://viewbook.at/notjohn
 

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Yes. I didn't initially expect much from it, but about 1/5 of my sales have been paperbacks since I started publishing on December 13. That said, the novels haven't sold any physical copies; all the print sales have come from anthologies only.
 

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My print sales have dropped to less than 1% over the past year. But I still offer it. I do my own covers and have Vellum, so it's basically just time (but I make the print cover at the same time as the ebook cover, and Vellum takes less than 5 minutes), and the cost of 2 ISBNs for Ingram Spark. I offer hardcover and paperback. People from my mailing list buy the hardbacks.

It's easy, and it would be silly not to do it.
 

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My best paperback made $3,700 this year. Leaving out the couple that didn't sell at all, my worst selling paperback (published in 2011, different genre) made $0.84 this year. The other 50 or so paperbacks in my catalog fell somewhere in the middle.

That's generally how it goes, in my experience. Genre, age, and visibility create a lot of variance in paperback sales but it's usually worth doing if you can do it free or cheap. All the little income streams add up, as long as you aren't investing so much time in them that it takes away from your main income (ebook sales). The only risk is overspending on a fancy back/spine or putting in too many hours of unnecessary fiddling.

I use Vellum to format my paperbacks with the push of a button and I design my own paperback covers. That makes it an easy decision. If I was paying a few hundred extra dollars to put out each paperback, though, I'd only do the ones I expected to be my best sellers. Even as it is, there are a few I choose not to put into print just because the sweet, sweet $0.84 per year doesn't outweigh the nuisance factor. (More seriously, though, just having multiple formats available on your Amazon page probably has a psychological effect that boosts the ebook sales).

Overall, if in doubt, try paperbacks - just keep costs low.
 

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If I have the time, I prepare paperback versions of my books. They don't sell as well as the ebooks by a vast margin, but I want a hard copy of the book.
 

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Hasbeen said:
I recently finished a couple of books that were in genres that are filled with print in addition to Kindle versions. Both genres are filled with print versions is the reason I offered them in print. Both are selling at a surprising rate. Nothing to write home about but they are selling enough to help the bottom line significantly.

The books were in non-fiction (memoir) and a children's book (5th and 6th graders). I usually write sci fi and don't offer a print version. I wondering if I should go back into my catalogue and offer print versions of previously released books or offer print versions from now on.

My question is how many of you offer print versions of your fiction books? If so do you think genre is important in making your decision?

Do they sell well enough to cover the costs?

Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
I first write on smash words and then publish to all places except Kindle and then upload to kindle seperately. Once the ebooks are done I used KDP publishing to make the print on demand to match the ebook. I offer the print on demands at cost value as its just my time to format to make them and they are free to list.
 

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I think the only reason not to publish a print version is cost or effort. If you have someone else format it, it can be costly. If you do it yourself, getting the dimensions right can be a b#$*!.

I hired someone to format my first book. Print version cost >$100. I did the second book myself. For my 2nd creative endeavor, the inner margin was originally so botched that I had to redo it. I initially went with the minimum recommended inner margin size on KDP. I don't recommend you do that (by the way, please, if you're gonna publish a paperback don't skimp on the inner margin to decrease page count and save cost. It's really annoying to have to push a book open in order to read it).

If you're just starting out on your first book and are using Kindle Unlimited, I think you can wait on a paperback. But if you have the means, do it.

I like the slash in the price when comparing print price. I like holding a final product in my hands. And there is an extra satisfaction when somebody is interested enough in your work to order and wait for your novel to come in the mail.
 
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