As news comes in that e-book sales are in decline, major publishers such as Random House, Harper Collins & Macmillan are lowering prices worldwide to become more competitive in the digital media market.
This decline in sales does not mean that the consumer appetite has shrunk, but with e-books now readily available across a wide range of platforms (and of course, the sheer scale of authors publishing in digital format), there is more choice for users. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to get an initial book launch right, for all formats, not just digital!
If you’re launching an e-book, it’s important to bear in mind that your audience want to be able to read the story on a number of devices, whether that be a Kindle, a Nook, iPad or Kobo. All of these use different operating systems, so to ensure usability on a wide scale, releasing the e-book in a format available to all is the best idea, such as a PDF. If you’re distributing the book to journalists then you can’t risk them not being able to read it easily, so making it available as a PDF negates the problem.
You need to consider how you will distribute your file(s). In days gone by, CDs and DVDs were used primarily for digital distribution, but this is no longer the case. Cloud sharing is the new CD of the digital world, and if you want to give out something physical, a USB card also works well (these can be branded with an author photo or the cover image of the book).
If you are sending your book out into the world as a digital file, make sure you protect it from being edited by others. Again, saving it as a PDF goes a long way towards doing this (although we’re the last people to say PDF files can’t be edited). A PDF by its very nature provides document protection and as above, is a portable format (hence the acronym, PDF – Portable Document Format).
Sending a Sample
If you don’t want to give away the whole book, then you can also just include a sample or 2 as a PDF on a file and distribute that, instead. This may also be a good way of enticing new readers on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.