I would like to know the effects of releasing the ebook and hardcover versions at the same time versus releasing an ebook version and then several months later releasing the hardcover. Does this effect sales or reviews in anyway?


I ask this question from a self-publishing perspective. I'm trying to keep costs low while developing the reputation of my book. My theory is to first get reviews of my ebook, then use those reviews to generate publicity of an eventual hardcover release. In other words, I want to test the waters before committing to the costs of a hardcover publication.

  • Why do you ask? The general principle seems to be that you release the highest price version first as a way to segment the market (i.e. get the rich to pay more than the poor). – user16226 Mar 10 '17 at 15:10
  • @MarkBaker See Edit 1 – Eric Brotto Mar 10 '17 at 15:51
  • I don't have any hard facts on this but mere speculation.... hardcovers are in the decline... look at barnes n noble and borders. Stores are closing constantly. The ebook market is definitely growing. People can access it from their phones and tablets easily. Plus the profit margin I would suspect be better because you aren't paying for the printing costs. But either way, your book needs publicity or else no one will know it's on the shelf or in the online store. Marketing would play a bigger factor than which medium you choose first IMO. – ggiaquin16 Mar 10 '17 at 15:57
  • Writer CE Murphy has done this with her last two or three self-published novels; you can ask her. She's on twitter at @ce_murphy. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Mar 10 '17 at 16:52
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    Can you be more specific about the costs involved in doing a print-on-demand self-published hard cover? Or is that a naïve question -- maybe print-on-demand is only for paperbacks? – aparente001 Mar 11 '17 at 1:20

If you do an ebook first, you may get some reviews that may give you an idea as to whether its worthwhile to do a print version. It can save you a lot of money and heartache. You don't have to epublish the whole book, just a few key chapters to get feedback.

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