Apr 12, 2012

Digital Reissue vs Reprint

With the rise of e-reading and ebooks sales skyrocketing, many would tell you that digital reissues are where the money's at. But what about the good 'ol reprint?

We started thinking about this topic after reading an article about how Frank Giovinazzi published a digital version of an out-of-print self-help book (How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne) because he couldn't find a reasonably priced copy of it.

In the article, Giovinazzi states, "I contacted his widow, Pamela Browne, along with her representative and asked them if they held the publishing rights and if they would allow me to issue the book in digital format. They were delighted to have the book issued in this format and we signed a contract – and if sales of this book support it, we are going to go ahead and publish other Harry Browne titles as well."

And while we think this is great, did anyone consider a reprint? In 2011, we reprinted two of Bill Watkins' books A Celtic Childhood and Scotland Is Not for the Squeamish. In addition to that, we also released both works as ebooks. And do you know what we found? Bill's books sell better in print than their ebook counterparts.

The biggest reason behind this: Bill. If you've had the pleasure of meeting Bill Watkins this totally makes sense. He is such an interesting character that all of his events are a huge success. Everyone wants to talk with him, ask him about his kilt, and buy his books. Bill makes a great impression in person, but like many authors, he couldn't care less about his online presence.

This doesn't mean it was a silly idea to convert his work into ebooks, there are still plenty of people to buy those as well. We've just come to realize that when you're debating between a digital reissue and a reprint - or in the case of Bill's books, a short print run - go for whatever matches your author. It'll make the whole process a lot smoother. And hey, if you can afford to do both, go for it! After all, isn't our goal to reach as many people as possible?

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