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Hard copy vs digital books

by Vervante •

If a new book or info product is in your future plans, we bet that the following issue has come up: What's better? Hard copy or digital? It's an increasingly digital world out there, and the proliferation of smart phones, tablets and e-readers continually ignite a debate about which is better. For each person who reads this, the answer might be different. But these two issues are the same: What's best for my reader AND supports my business goals?

Here at Vervante we offer every format you can imagine: Hard cover, paperback, digital files on disc or flash drives, and more. We work with a wide variety of authors and entrepreneurs, each with different needs and goals, and help them find the best formats. Here's what we learned from them, and suggestions about what you need to consider when deciding which way is best for you:

ASK READERS WHAT THEY WANT

If you can, it’s best to reach out to a sampling of target readers and ask their opinion. Some will wax poetic about loving the feel of an old-fashioned book. Others may cite devotion to their Kindle or Nook.

Aside from ease of access, price points and attitudes about technology, it is also important to consider the type of information you are sharing in your book, how your target reader absorbs that info, and the value or benefit they receive overall. Multiple studies have shown that readers are able to absorb information better when reading physical books.* If your book is graphic-heavy, though, the opposite may be the case. Again, talk to your readers, see how they feel.

CONSIDER THE PROS & CONS

Hard Copy Book / Product advantages include:

  • Higher perception of quality and value
  • Greater profit margin for author
  • Longer lasting / library effect
  • Easy to share
  • Back of rooms sales
  • Book signings
  • Low tech pros = not having to deal with dying batteries or malfunctioning devices 

E-book / Digital File advantages include:

  • High tech = easier to access / instant gratification
  • Low production cost for author
  • Lower purchase cost for reader
  • Privacy / people can’t see what you’re reading
  • Can access anytime, anywhere 

Bottom line? It’s important to create the right book or product that best fits your goals as well as the needs of the reader. What is the preferred format for your target audience? How do they best absorb information? And which format fits your budget and revenue needs? Addressing these issues will help you find the right format that’s perfect for you!

ASK THE EXPERTS: If you have any questions about your next book or product and how we can help you - no matter what format you choose - please email us at customerservice@vervante.com and we'll help you get started.

* Sources: The Guardian, Medical Daily