One of the lessons I learned while working on my first book was the idea of selling it as an ebook. To be perfectly honest, I have never read an ebook. I guess you could say that I’m old-fashioned because I really enjoy reading from an actual book. I love the way they smell, and there is something about the physical act of holding a book and turning the pages that feels good to me. Plus, I like how they look on my bookshelf. Because I wasn’t that familiar with ebooks, I didn’t think that Tattle Tales: Tattoo Stories and Portraits would be appropriate as an ebook. For one thing, Tattle Tales is predominately photography, and I always felt that people would prefer to view photographs in an actual book instead of on a tablet or smart phone. Since the release of my book, I have reevaluated my position on ebooks for photography books and here’s why:
Benefits of Publishing Your Ebook on Kindle:
1.) Expand your exposure to other potential readers through Amazon Advertising: Since Amazon Advantage no longer accepts new members, I had to join Fulfillment by Amazon. FBA doesn’t allow book ads, so I had to look for other ways to advertise and market Tattle Tales. I learned that through publishing an ebook version on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), I could advertise on Amazon. While the ad will take the customer to the Kindle version of my book, the customer will see that the book is available in other formats.
2.) Some people prefer ebooks: There are a lot of reasons why someone may prefer an ebook over a paperback. Therefore, even if the majority of my sales come from selling paperbacks, there’s no reason to eliminate people’s option of purchasing an ebook. I was initially concerned that my book wouldn’t look good on a tablet and that it would take a lot of work to convert it to an electronic format. It turns out that my fears were unfounded. Since I had a PDF version of my book, I was able to hire someone to convert it into a Mobi file. The page spreads look great, and I think the images look just as good on a monitor.
3.) Ebooks allow for price experimentation: At least on Kindle’s platform, you can change the price of your ebook. I signed up for the Kindle Select Program, and I chose the 35% commission rate because my Mobi file is over 30MB. If I chose the 70% commission, I would be responsible for a download charge. With the 35% rate, I can’t sell my book for less than $2.99, but I can initially charge a lower price to try to attract more readers. Since I’m a new author, this option gives people a chance to read my book without paying the full cost of a paperback. The ability to change the price is especially helpful if you’re considering running a special.
There’s no reason why a photography book can’t be offered as an ebook. However, before you commit to publishing your book on KDP, I highly recommend that you check out other options. There are many other platforms out there, and every author needs to research which option will work best for them.