Good to be a member of the group. I hope to be able to add something, and get assistance with many writing projects. For those who like FREE stuff, and who doesn't? here's a sampling of my recently published book, The Sky Behind Me, a Memoir of Flying and Life. It's aviation memoir at its finest, and a good read. Enjoy the sample, and suggestions always welcome. Thanks.
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Mel, I just joined and say your question so thought I would add my two cents, as an author of non-fiction books and indepublisher.
Obviously, people are different and how people use books is different. My books are available in print form only because they are "workbooks" or reference books. I find people want the printed form when they are using the book personally.
When the book is to be used for instructional purpose, in a classroom format, there would be a preference for the digital format.
You are going to have to exam who your buyers are to be and how the books will be used before you can determine the formats you want to offer in your store.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for some very valuable comments. I totally agree that one should work from the market-back, hence my original posting.
Interesting that you say that those downloading electronic files come back to buy the paper-based book. My thoughts have been to offer a mix of both, to suit a wide range of potential clients.
The publications in question are Business books by authors who are also successful businesspeople. I see an opportunity to offer something to those looking for something different/special, rather than going head-to-head with the likes of Amazon, et al.
Much of the motivation for doing so is that I often get requests from participants in my business skills workshops for 'more information/further reading'. Having publications available would allow me to add value to my usual offerings.
You're right about the speed of technology changing, which is why I don't want to lock my authors and myself into one that might be a dead end.
Forgive me for not knowing how to reply directly to your comment.
Before you offer your content in multiple formats, ask yourself a couple of questions:
Who are my readers?
How do they consume their reading material?
What is their preferred delivery method - E-readers, smart phones, PC, Mac, traditional print - paperback or hardcover, etc.
When I first published in 2006 I made my book available in print and e-download. Not many in my audience had E-Readers such as kindles, Nooks, IPAD et al. Some purchase the electronic version and read it on their computers. Some return to purchase a hard copy, others just didn't bother finishing reading.
All this to say, how you deliver your content should depend more on your audience's needs. Technology moves faster than our ability to adapt to it.
It's interesting that there've been no posts within this group so far so I thought I'd be the brave one and ask a question:
I'm about to launch a bookstore on my corporate site and want to allow for downloads. That part is pretty straight forward, as far as pdfs, but I'm wondering whether to offer the option of reader and smartphone compatible files as well, e.g. ePub files, or access to freeware to allow the buyer to DIY?
Having readable files across platforms is going to be a major issue for those of us who either self-publish or offer other's material (or in my case, both!).
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.