Reasons why authors should do print
By JJ Marsh
Firstly, hand-selling. We all sell print books via local bookshops and cafés, at launch parties, to bookclubs, to language schools, festivals, workhsops, not to mention online.
Many book reviewers and bloggers prefer a paper copy to an eBook.
If you offer a Goodreads giveaway, they only accept print. It gains you a lot of attention and you can choose where you’re prepared to send it. We always add a Triskele bookmark in ours.
Bookcrossing and Books on the Underground/Books on the Subway ( @BooksSubway ) are a great way to send your physical creation on an adventure.
Paperbacks are a whole lot easier if people want a signed copy. Signing e-readers is possible, but not pretty.
Many countries are not yet whole-hearted adopters of the e-reader.
Print books, unlike eBooks, are not considered a 'service' by EU VAT.
All of us at Triskele opted for paperbacks as well as eBooks, and chose the POD model (Print-On-Demand). There are a variety of different companies who provide this service (eg; Amazon’s CreateSpace, Lulu and Lightning Source/Ingram Spark).
We all opted for cream paper over white as a better look, plus a matt cover. These proved to be excellent decisions. The tactile nature of our covers has attracted as much praise as the content.
Jane Dixon Smith: As a reader printed books are one of the most tactile and timeless possessions a person will ever have. Since I was a small child all I ever wanted was a library of my own with a little ladder to reach the higher shelves. As a passionate reader of ebooks, I still want that library and that ladder.
As an author, printed books allow you to gift a real object, to sign a physical item, and to ensure that your work lives on in the libraries of readers around the world.
Liza Perrat: Print books provide a more sensory reading experience– the touch, smell and sight of a print book is far more pleasant than a cold, robotic e-book. I love looking at my bookshelves from time to time, running a hand over the spines and remembering this book, and that book, if I enjoyed it, or gave up at page 4. I also often recall what I was doing in my life, when I read a certain book. This I can't do with an e-book. And lastly, there's the bath, where I can't read my e-books.
JJ Marsh: Wherever I’ve lived, it isn’t home unless I have my books. I’ve dragged my library all the way round the world. I recently found my childhood stash of Ladybird books in the attic, provoking a rush of emotion and memory like no other. Bookshelves are the first thing I check out when I go to someone’s home and same with bookshops when I visit a new city. I like my e-reader but I love my paperbacks. They’re the most beautiful thing in my house.
I’ve always imagined I’d be one of those old ladies who would be found in a house crammed with books, with just a narrow walkway left between the teetering stacks. I’m well on the way to achieving that goal. My shelves are full and ever-growing piles of books surround my bed and my workspace.
I love my ereader – if nothing else it may postpone the day when I am finally buried alive by my love of reading. But there is something about the tactile memory of print. If I want to reread a book, it is because I stumble upon it among the stacks and it says hello, like an old friend. The books that have survived from my teens are tatty paperbacks whose bindings are falling apart because they have been read so many times, but nothing would induce me to throw them out.
When I brought out my own books, I couldn’t contemplate not having a print edition. The wonderful art work on the covers, the choice of typeface – they are all part of the personalities of the books that I want to share with readers. And anyway, without that tangible evidence on my shelves, I am not sure I’d believe I’d really written them.
The bookshelves pictured in this post belong to the individual members of Triskele Books. But which one is whose? If you guess all correctly, you get to choose a print copy of a Triskele Book.