ony believes that by 2015, more eBooks will be sold than print books. Sony's prognostications may be a bit off; the market for digital books may have already overtaken the print market. As of 2012, Amazon was selling 114 eBooks for every print book sold. By 2013, Barnes & Noble offered more than 3 million titles for sale in eReader format, and approximately 1 million eBooks were free. More eBooks are being added to these sellers every day. This is very good news for independent authors.

Printing Paper Books is Expensive

Big publishing houses print books that fall into a wide range of popular genres. Small publishing houses focus on just a few genres and usually accept works out of the mainstream. Both are always conscious of the bottom line and are therefore adverse to taking risks. If a book doesn't sell, they lose money and have to throw away a lot of books. If a book does sell, but doesn't sell well, it quickly goes "out of print" because another print run is not cost-effective. This makes it difficult for new authors or authors with a book outside of the mainstream to find a publisher.

Digital Printing Offers Independent Authors More Options

The ability to upload books directly to an eBook distributor now means independent authors can bypass publishing houses and the high cost of self-publishing. Rather than having boxes of books stacked in your garage, consider creating your books in digital format. A digital file can be kept on a computer indefinitely (keep a disc backup). Whether you sell a book every day or there is a lapse of months or years between sales, a digital book never goes "out of print" (although it may be necessary to update the file as technology changes).

Do You Still Need an Editor?

YES! Even books by John McPhee go through an editor. Editors correct bad grammar and "creative" spelling. They can tighten a story that wanders and clarify ideas that are nebulous. Because of reduced attention spans, modern books have just a few minutes to grab a reader. An editor can tell you where your book has problems and help you to correct the flaws. Find a good freelance editor that specializes in your genre.

Kinds of Digital Formats

Digital books are sold in two basic formats: a file created specifically for reading on an eReader or laptop and a PDF file. To learn more about which format will work the best for you, visit the eReader Formats and PDF Formats pages.

I have worked with Sheryl for more than 10 years and find her to be very diligent, honest, and creative, as well as quite humorous to work with. Sheryl's knowledge of composing and design results in beautiful books of the highest quality. When she's done, you'll have a professional product worthy of display.

Diane Serafin,
Before the Book