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Readers can sometimes be very picky of the type of cover they want to purchase. It is very common to get board books for children because they are printed on thick paperboard which is more durable, but what is the preferred cover for adults?

Many readers have been surveyed across the world offering their feedback in favor and against both styles. Whether you’re interested in something more affordable or more sturdy, this can determine how you make your purchase.

Goodreads conducted a poll in which thousands of people weighed in on the conversation about whether a paperback or hardcover was more suitable for their personal taste. Out of about 20,000 votes, roughly 57% preferred paperback over hardcover.

There was another poll done by SKMB in which 37 people voted. Of the 37 people, 70.3% preferred hardcover.

Check out the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles. Visit your local Barnes and Noble.

This last poll was taken on my Facebook page. Of the 22 people who responded so far, 16 preferred a hardcover.

All three polls give valuable insight into what readers are looking for. Personally, I prefer paperbacks because they are more affordable and easier to carry in your purse, but below are a few of the pros and cons to consider.

PAPERBACK -
Pros
1. More affordable
2. Easier to carry

Cons
1. Easily destroyed
2. Cover gets bent

HARDCOVER-
Pros
1. More durable
2. Easier to display
3. Longer shelf life

Cons
1. More expensive
2. Heavier
3. Book sleeve

The next time you decide to purchase a book, try to find out your primary needs – do you want the book to look nice on your shelf or are you interested in a quick read? And then, go from there.

RELATED ARTICLE

Paperback or ebook?

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Print on demand options for self-publishers

Lightning Source International, IngramSpark, and CreateSpace are all print on demand (POD) printers as well as distributors. Not only are they able to print your book, but they can distribute it to wholesalers such as Ingram. Ingram, just like Baker and Taylor, is one of the largest book wholesalers in the world and is responsible for making your book available to retailers. Both Lightning Source International (LSI) and IngramSpark (IS) are owned by Ingram whereas CreateSpace (CS) is owned by Amazon.

RELATED ARTICLE:
Reasons Why Publishers Should Use Lightning Source

Bookstores usually won’t order books through CS because they aren’t returnable. So what makes them so popular? Well, CS is primarily used by self-publishing authors because they are cheaper and easier to use. CS will issue you one of their own ISBN numbers so that you can publish the book under your own name making it more affordable and less time-consuming for the author. The only downside is that CS will list their name as the publisher which will automatically deter bookstores from carrying the book because it sends a message that you are a self-publisher and bookstores don’t like to work with self-publishers.

Note: LSI and IS are probably better routes to take due to their higher print quality, the option for returns, and their wide distribution channels since CS only distributes to Amazon (unless you sign up for their expanded distribution channel) and LSI distributes to Amazon, BN.COM, Books-A-Million, and many others.

Now, if you’ve narrowed it down to LSI and IS, keep in mind that LSI doesn’t accept self-publishing authors and therefore directs them to IS. If you like the benefits of LSI, but are not willing to start your own publishing company (LLC, purchasing ISBN’s, dba, etc), then go with IS. I’ve worked with LSI and IS and their interface is similar although IS is slightly easier and cheaper. Another major difference is their distribution for print versus digital. LSI has a better distribution channel for paperbacks and hardcovers, but IS is better for eBooks. Also, LSI have more print and binding options than IS.

RELATED ARTICLE:
Lightning Source or IngramSpark?

One of the drawbacks with LSI is that Amazon occasionally lists their books as ‘temporarily out of stock’ which is bad for business. Some authors have chosen CS just to avoid stocking issues.

A FEW MORE THINGS TO CONSIDER
Going with LSI doesn’t guarantee that your book will be carried by bookstores. It only increases your chances especially if you offer a 40% or higher discount. You would still need to call every bookstore one by one and encourage them to purchase your book. Also, you must have a strong author presence online and in your community, regardless of the route you take.

RELATED ARTICLE:
Ways to Publish Your Book


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About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Are book awards worth it?

You’ve published your book and now it’s time to enter into a writing contest.

But wait!

Before making a definite decision, you should weigh the pros and cons and determine whether winning a book award has any bearing on your writing career.

I’ve entered into tons of contests and actually have won a few, so therefore I have firsthand knowledge on how tedious, but yet rewarding some of them can be. Each contest is different and comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some contests tailor to children’s books and others are designed for self-publishers. Some contests have affordable entry fees whereas some others are extremely expensive.

Take your time and research which contest will offer you the most for your money!

PROS OF WRITING CONTESTS
1. Prestige – Your name is now attached to this well-known literary prize so therefore you can begin to market yourself as an Award-Winning Author.

2. Award Ceremony – You and a guest will be invited to an award ceremony which is usually held in conjunction with some sort of book event or festival. At the event, you will be able to network with other authors, publishers, and librarians.

3. Publication – Many contests are connected with magazines and online newsletters and therefore will publish your award-winning status in their upcoming edition.

4. Prizes – You have the ability to win a medal, certificate, trophy, and sometimes a cash prize.

CONS OF WRITING CONTESTS
1. Entry Fee – Most writing contests charge between $69 to $89 per category per book. If you want to submit your book for two categories (since it appeals to multiple age groups or genres) then you would need to send in two entry fees. Unfortunately, if you do not win, the money is not returned to you.

2. Minimal Prizes – Although a few contests offer medals or trophies, and sometimes even a cash prize – many just send you a certificate plus offer to charge you an additional fee for book seals.

3. Lack of Prestige – Some of the smaller contests don’t offer any publicity for your book. It’s great that you’ve won the award, but it doesn’t always open up the doors to the big retailers.

4. Competitive – There are tons of people in desperate need of validation for their book and therefore apply for these sort of contests every year. Unless your book is unique and well written, it’s a small chance that your book will get the recognition that you’re looking for.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS
1. Research the upcoming contests and look for those with affordable entry fees.
2. Go with a larger contest that offers some sort of publication or acknowledgment in their newsletter or website.
3. Pick the contest that offers a tangible prize – cash, medal, trophy, or at the least, a certificate.
4. Sign up for the early bird special – you normally save about $30 if you register way in advance.

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


paperback or ebook blog post at taneekabdasilva.com

Paperback vs. ebook is a popular topic that seems to have many audience members divided.  Some like the touch and feel of crisp pages whereas others like the convenience of downloading their favorite book wherever and whenever they like.

Check out the following articles and weigh in on the pros and cons.

1. Paperback vs. ebook: the staging ground…

2. Paperback vs. ebook: War of Words

3. E-books vs. Paperbacks: Why digital wins, period

As a self-publisher, I think it’s a great idea to try both.  Consider starting off with an ebook version first and as customers demand for it, began phasing in a paperback version.  I have found that the costs of producing an ebook are a lot cheaper.  The fees to upload the file to a POD printer is significantly less, plus you eliminate extra costs such as ordering a proof which can run around $30 or so.  Regardless of the format you chose, make sure that you do your search and more importantly, don’t become so overwhelmed with your decision-making that you forget to actually publish your book!

Which do you prefer?  Paperback or ebook?  Please share your thoughts!

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About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


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