Should You Have Print Copies Of Your Book Available?

yes that's me, and yes those are print versions of my books

Print is dead. Or so that’s what most indie author’s are being told right now. Embrace the eBook! E-readers are the future!

Well that’s true. Sort of.

Except print books ARE still selling. So why would you want to limit yourself to only one format?

A few months ago I decided to put my two self published books onto Createspace to make print copies of them. I have to say that I was pretty pleased with the results and apart from a few rookie errors in laying out print versions of my book (my bottom margins are a bit too high and close to the text) they don’t look half bad.

I decided to do it after everyone keeps giving statistics that ebooks are still only 30% of the market. Print books obviously being the other 70%. And while that gap is narrowing all the time it’s still clear that some people prefer to hold a physical copy of a book in their hands.

I think this is even more so with non-fiction books where people like to refer back to them every now and then or skip to the information they want quickly and easily.

Now providing print versions does take a bit more work but I think it’s worth it for a few reasons.

– It makes you look more legitimate when you have print versions available.

– It gives customers another place to find you – in the regular book section AS WELL as the kindle book section.

– You get access to the market that doesn’t have an e-reader yet.

So what does it take to get your book into print?

Depending on who you decided to print through, most POD (print on demand) publishers should have templates that you can download to use in Word format.  You can also use other templates like InDesign if you have it (I do but I have no idea how to use it – so I used Word).

You lay out your book fairly similar to your eBook but you can get to control the formatting and how it looks.  For a control freak like me – I LOVED this.

I made my chapter headings little images as well that made it look more professional.

You do need to know a few little quirks though:

– Always start your new chapters on the right side of the page (odd-numbered page), even if it means leaving one page blank.

– Don’t bother with headers and footers (apart from page numbering) unless you REALLY know what you are doing.  And don’t add page numbers to your cover page (duh!).

– If you have a non-fiction like I do then you’ll need to add an index page.  Word has an indexation feature which makes it super easy, but it does mean you’ll need to go through the book and find the words you want indexed.

– You’ll need to make sure all of your images are print ready (300 dpi) otherwise they’ll go blurry in your book.  * Some of my images were not 300 dpi but I was ok with that since they weren’t important ones, however my cover etc WAS 300 dpi).

– You upload your cover and the ‘insides’ separately as PDF files.  Make sure you include a back blurb on the back page of your cover (download the book templates to make your cover).

I think that’s about it.

It probably took me an extra three or so hours per book to set up the print files but I think it was totally worth it.

Because – I’m now currently selling quite a lot more print books than I thought I would.  Sure my e-books still outsell the print versions, but who cares – right now having print versions means more money in my pocket!

So what are you waiting for?

Do you have print versions of your books available yet?  If not you might be missing out on some money.

Tracey xx


  1. says

    Great stuff Tracey, and congratulations. They look really good to in the piccie.

    Thanks for the advice, it is certainly going to come in handy for future reference.

  2. Dan says

    As a non-fiction author that started in print and is now just getting into ebooks, I encourage you to learn InDesign – especially since you already own it. I started with Word, tried Apple Pages, then bit the bullet and taught myself InDesign. Once you learn it, you will love it! You have so much more control over layout, and once you set up a template it makes future books a snap. I hesitate to recommend InDesign to self-publishing authors because of the price, but if you already own it you owe it to yourself to use the best layout program available. Check out Instant InDesign: Designing templates for fast and efficient page layout by Gabriel Powell. That’s the reference book I used. I would never go back to using a word processor for layout. Good luck!

    • Tracey says

      It’s one of my goals to learn it this year! Thanks for the recommendation of Instant InDesign I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks Dan!

      Tracey :)

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