The new and much more economical publishing model being anticipated and envisioned is to publish the manuscript as an eBook first and publish individual downloadable eBooks when a sale is made. The publisher can also produce a limited press run of hard copies if it is anticipated that a certain number might sell out. Sustainable pricing in the eBook field would be key here to make this model come to full fruition.
The following post from the Shatzkin Files addresses this exact point head-on and I have included here for your further consideration:
‘Is the eBook and POD combo a viable publishing strategy yet?’
Posted by Mike Shatzkin on September 12, 2009 at 6:57 am
‘There’s a new publishing model afoot, which is to lead with the ebook and just print what you need. That might be POD, and it might be press runs, if you can sell out whole press runs. If the ebook becomes a substantial chunk of sales and if ebooks maintain their prices, this looks like it could be a new way to do much lower-risk publishing.
Some very smart publishing people are moving in this direction. It had been the plan of the meteoric Quartet, which has already flamed out. It is part of the plan of Richard Nash, an experienced publisher (Four Walls Eight Windows) and a budding entrepeneur. It is the model for a young and aspiring Irish publisher named Eion Purcell. And last week, tor.com announced that it would be publishing books (this is distinct from its “parent”, St. Martin’s sci-fi imprint Tor) with an ebook first and POD methodology.
Can no pressrun publishing work? That’s a subject for discussion at Digital Book World in January, but, based on an interesting post by Kassia Kroszer, one of the four principals in Quartet, I have real doubts.
Kassia’s post makes it clear that direct sales at “full margin” (meaning no cut to anybody else in the supply chain) were an important part of Quartet’s budget and plan. They figured that by sticking to niches, and the first one was going to be romance, they’d be able to build up a direct audience and avoid sharing revenues with retailers and wholesalers. Kassia points out that savvy ebook readers (who hate DRM, high prices, lack of interoperability, etc.) are willing to support their “local” publisher, knowing that more money gets to the author that way…’ Read more at http://www.idealog.com/blog/