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    Publishing a Book? e-Book or Print?

    Thinking about publishing a book? Would it be better as an e-book, a print edition, or both?

    The Self-Publishing Review offers some illuminating statistics on the subject in a wonderful infographic by Catherine Tosko titled People With E-Readers and People Without E-Readers.

    Courtesy of Paul Waggener under Creative CommonsHere are a few things you’ll want to consider in making your decision:

    While e-books are growing in popularity, far more people read print books.

    In the course of a year

    • 17% of American adults read an e-book
    • 11% listened to an audio book
    • 72 % read a print book

    People who have an e-reader read more than those who don’t.

    • People without e-readers read 15 books in the past year
    • People with e-readers read 24 books in the past year

    People with e-readers read both e-books and print books.

    A survey of people with e-readers indicated that on any given day 49% are reading an e-book and 59% are reading a print book.

    Only 25% of people under 30 use an e-reader.

    60% of people 19-29 frequent libraries.

    The inference here seemed to be that people in this demographic were going to libraries for print books. That may be changing, however, as the American Library Association reports that 95% of academic, 82% of public and 44% of school libraries are offering e-books and the rest are considering it.

    81% of Americans think print books are better for reading with kids while only 9% prefer e-books.

    Consider your book’s genre.

    What the Self-Publishing Review report doesn’t consider, but you should, is the relative success of different categories of books as e-books. Genre fiction, especially romance, mystery, action-adventure, sci fi and fantasy, is responsible for the largest share of e-book sales. Illustrated books, literary fiction, and nonfiction have not had the same degree of success in the e-book market. [Our recent post Why Would You Want a Print Book? Lots of Reasons addressed this subject in detail.]

    The decision concerning your book’s form isn’t always an either/or choice. In many cases you are better off publishing your book in both print and e-book editions. The choice is not one size fits all. You need to give careful consideration to the demographics of your potential readers and the way they like to read.

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