Unlike eBooks or white papers or other digital information products, designing, publishing and promoting printed books can be a “stuffy” and time-consuming process. Thanks to centuries of publishing practice and establish standards, printed books have a set, defined structure, which you’ll need to follow, if you want to be taken seriously as an author and a publisher.
Yes, preparing your information for the print world can be a real pain, at times. It takes days, even weeks, longer than cranking out digital products, and you may not make as much money on the finished product, thanks to competitive pricing that sets the cost of a print book dramatically lower than what is really cost-effective. In a way, the publishing industry maintains its monopoly based on unfair and unrealistic pricing structures, and it traditionally excludes authors and independent publishers who cannot afford to offer deep discounts for their works.
To some infopreneurs, the hassle and the lower profit margins may not seem worth it. But if you want your ideas to reach a wider audience, and you want your ideas to be taken seriously by the book readers of the world, all that effort is necessary, and it can really pay off. Indeed, how well you follow the conventions of print book publishing can mean the difference between being taken seriously by reviewers, interviewers, and your reading public, and being dismissed as just another want to-be writer who got their hands on some advanced technology and a credit card. Well-structured sections in the front and back (called “front matter” and “back matter”, respectively) like title pages, copyright statements, a table of contents, introductions… bibliographies, endnotes, and about-the-author information, can go a long way towards establishing a visual authenticity with readers, that you just can’t get in eBook format.
Print publishing opens a whole new market for your ideas — the millions of individuals who love to read books, and who prefer them to digital media. Not everyone has a laptop computer they can take with them everywhere, and not everyone likes to read 8-1/2 x 11 printouts. When your ideas are in print, they become instantly accessible to readers the world over, regardless of their technical skill or the availability of a computer. There are no batteries or power cords required, and when someone opens a book, they don’t need to wait for it to start up, before they can begin reading.
Now, to many infopreneurs who are adept at creating eBooks and white papers, print book publishing may be something of a mystery. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re a fiercely independent person, and you prefer to do things yourself, rather than turn them over to others who may (or may not) be competent and as detail-oriented as you, learning how to publish a print book could be just the thing to take your writing and publishing efforts to the next level. You can extend the reach of your information product line, you can approach mainstream traditional media outlets for publicity, you can do live book readings at real-live bookstores, and you can take your book with you wherever you go, to show the world what you’ve got.
Writing and publishing isn’t just about selling product. Yes, having a printed book opens you up to a whole new audience, but commercial profit isn’t the only point of publishing. For you as an independent thinker — a thought leader — publishing is really about getting your ideas out there and making your mark. With the proper tools, an eye for detail, and the right information, you, too, can turn your digital information products into high-quality printed books that widen the reach of your ideas and speak to a larger audience in a whole new way.