Self-Publication – ePub and Print on Demand

Hey everyone!

I recently announced the exciting news that I intend to self-publish my first novel, The Sword of Dragons!  Okay so that’s not news to long-time followers, but tonight, I’m debating about which mediums to publish through.

My initial thought was to only go for ePublication, and regardless I intend to pursue that route.  The beauty of ePublication is that it is free up-front, it’ll cost me nothing to publish through Amazon, Nook, and Kobo, which I’ve discovered are the three big-hitters in ePublication.

However, I thought that a printed product was out of the question.  For starters, seeking professional publication was proving fruitless.  In fact that was what prompted this, I had become frustrated with my attempts to find an agent or editor, and decided to take my career’s future into my own hands.

Another avenue I considered was a type of service that was a hybrid between self-publishing and traditional.  In such services, I would pay up-front the costs for a print run, and the company I paid would also assist with distribution to book stores and marketing.  However, for a quality product and a comprehensive distribution, I was looking at many thousands of dollars that I don’t have laying around…

But recently, many people have begun pointing me to Print-on-Demand.  I had of course heard of it, but I thought it was prohibitively expensive.  I didn’t realize until tonight just how affordable it had become.

Granted, if I went PoD, a printed book would cost more than a traditionally-published paperback or hardcover, but…not by much.  Initial research shows I’m looking at about $8/book production cost through

I still have much research to do, but I will say this: the idea is tantalizing.  Why?  Because I really, REALLY want to have a physical book to hold in my hands.  That is a dream I would love to make come true.

There are other considerations as well.  Specifically marketing opportunities.  I can get booths at conventions and pay for several printed copies that I can then sell at the conventions.  Plus it allows me to sign books, which I personally love getting books signed by writers, and am much more likely to buy a book if I can get an autograph.

Plus, there is the consideration of audience.  If I only go ePub, I am automatically losing a significant audience of folks who don’t have, don’t want, or can’t afford to view eReaders and don’t want to read books on their laptops or PCs.  I don’t want to hurt my chances at becoming a full-time writer by excluding a specific set of readers.

So, what do you all think?  As readers, what do you want?  Would you all prefer a hard-copy or and ePublished novel?  Why?

Thanks for reading!  :)
-Jon Wasik

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