- Dennis DeRobertis
Trials of a Picture Book eBook
Lilly's on her way to the school bus...and to read a Kindle eBook, it seems.
I have a confession to make.
I don't read eBooks.
I don't particularly like eBooks.
But I'm publishing one, anyway.
Let's find out why.
To eBook or not to eBook?
I'm not an eBook guy. At all. I like my books - fiction and non-fiction - and comic books to be of the dead wood variety. I just haven't had the desire to read books on a phone or tablet. That's not to say I don't consume things online. Quite the contrary. I am a voracious online reader, but it's mainly technical news and articles and things related to my various projects.
Pros and Cons of an eBook Picture Book
So, if I'm not an eBook fan, why am I publishing one, especially since I wrote a post a few months back concluding I wouldn't be offering eBook versions? Well, things have changed. Another factor? I'm curious. But first, let's revisit the pros and cons I listed from that initial post about doing picture book eBooks.
We'll use "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!" as our example.
Here are the cons I initially identified for eBooks along with a comment if it was really a factor when doing the eBook version of "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!"
"Bus Driver! Bus Driver"
Decided to only publish through Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon provides a free ASIN (you can also use your own ISBN, if desired).
Conversion (print to digital)
$99 to $139
Used the free conversion tools made available by Amazon, which are good and get the job done.
Book distribution charges vary, but $50 is a good average (ISBN required). Free on Kindle Direct Publishing.
Depends what your time is worth
It took a little time to get the files for the printed version into the new eBook format.
Conclusion? Since I decided to go down the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing only route, the costs were negligible. There was time spent researching and evaluating certain tools and strategies, but, in the end, it didn't cost me anything other than time. Now, if I wanted to do an eBook in ePub and mobi formats and target multiple platforms, costs and time would certainly add up.
Potential eBook Pros
I also identified several potential pros of doing a picture book eBook, including discoverability (can't hurt to have additional avenues of book discovery), marketability (more to offer and talk about), market trends (an all-digital future?), and additional revenue.
Since the eBook version of "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!" was just released, I don't have any data to support any of the potential pros of this format.
Here's the thing. Are children really reading their picture books on a tablet or phone? Are parents sitting little Johnny and Janey down to a Dr. Suess reading from the glow of a digital device?
Doesn't seem like that to me, at least not with the market data I've looked at (you can also simply look at Amazon Best Sellers for children's eBooks in the Kindle Store to get an idea how well eBook picture books sell). On the other hand, you do read stories of children's picture book creators extolling the benefits of having their books in eBook format.
At this point, eBooks aren't a big focus for our current crop of books. However, going exclusively with Kindle Direct Publishing, I can test the waters with minimal investment in time, money, and effort. I am curious to see the feedback and reach of this version and if there are any downstream benefits of offering it.
You can grab the Kindle version of "Bus Driver! Bus Driver!" now. The paperback edition will be available on October 21, 2022.
See you next time!