All writers have faced the question some point in their career, what is the better path to follow? Should I publish my work digitally or in print? This question is still relevant, if not more so now than ever due to the way the media is shifting to be more digitally focused in every way. It may be foolish to consider why there should be a comparison due to digital publishing being more easier to send to the masses and have your work shared online for the internet to read at their own convenience rather than waiting and physically having to grab the copy them self. These are a few points to consider when choosing between both.
It is true, a digital publishing will always be more convenient for the audience due to its placement upon the internet. This allows the reader to read the piece wherever and whenever they want with no worry of misplacing the physical copy. Being on the web means that it can be edited by the editor at any moment, whereas a physical copy cannot be edited once it has been distributed, only recollected and even then it runs the risk of the incomplete work already being in the hands of the audience. This means that a physical publish must always be in premium condition before it is submitted because it does not have the luxury that a digital publishing does in being able to correct work.
Digital books can also be purchased wherever the buyer is where as physical publishings must be purchased from the corresponding store. However physical books will always be better in regards to layout as they look more appealing and can be used as the reader wishes whereas e-books follow the format that they are submitted and can at times look unappealing.
E-books and physical books range in costs depending on many factors. It is generally agreed that print copies cost more for the buyer with books ranging between $10-$30 AUD or more depending upon the book or quality etc paperback and hardcover, whereas e-books are normally sold at lower costs due to there being no printing costs associated with the published copy. However, e-books also have to pay for editors, format costs etc but the overall copy is generally cheaper to purchase. It is up to the buyer whether they’d wish to pay more for a physical copy or would be happy have an e-book copy instead.
Although e-books may be cheaper to purchase, physical copies of books are able to be touched and placed, unlike e-books digital version. This also allows books to be lent to other readers, to be held in libraries and also placed around homes. Digital copies are also easier to be pirated, a warning that every publisher should acknowledge. Due to being physical
Due to being physical, a print copy will generally be received better due to all the production values that follow such a release. However, this is not to say that a digital copy will not be received as well, it just means that a physical copy will have the benefit of being “touchable” that a digital copy does not.
Although both have very different natures, a publisher should acknowledge the positives and negatives of both options as both are good in their own ways. A purchaser should also ask themselves what would be more suitable for their lifestyle and ultimately, what type of individual are they? A person who prefers a book in their hand or would rather the book be more conveniently placed within their smartphone?