Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Love of the Printed Book

As Senior Acquisitions Editor at Drake Valley Press, I receive a copy of each book that we publish, in both eBook and printed book format. And while I am an avid eBook reader, I have to admit that as a publisher I prefer the printed book.

eBooks have qualities that I enjoy as a reader, such as the ability to change fonts and font sizes. But that also means, as a publisher, I am constrained in what I can do to make the eBook more visually appealing.

In contrast, I can select various fonts for the printed book. I can have beautiful symbols underneath chapter headings or as section breaks. I can arrange a 1/3 or 1/2 page drop at the beginning of each chapter, drop caps to begin each chapter or section, and I can make the appearance an extension of the story itself.

But with an eBook, I am limited to a few fonts and symbols, page drops and drop caps will often appear funky on certain devices. I expect this to change as technology changes, which means at a later date we'll take the most popular books and bestselling books in our arsenal and redesign them to take advantage of the improved format opportunities.

However, eBooks allow us to release up-to-date versions more readily, and they also permit us to change the covers as the market changes, without the concern of an inventory that we must sell first.

Which do you prefer - the printed book or the eBook format, and why?

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