Ebooks vs Printed Books: Which Is Better?

If you’ve ever wanted to publish a book, you should at least know where to begin. One of the most important aspects you should decide on, is what form are you going to publish it in? The most common publishing forms are the more traditional printed form and the eBook.

Both publishing options are quite popular and they offer you opportunities to publish your book. However, before you decide on the eBook vs printed books debate, you should at least know what they have to offer.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of eBooks versus printed books:


1. Printed Books

Printed books are the traditionalist’s choice. It has been used for centuries now and is still going strong. So if you are going to choose the printed book format, you should know what you are getting into. To help you with your choice, here are the advantages and disadvantages of printed books.


Advantages:

  • Versatile printing options


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There are many variations of printed books. There’s the larger hardcover, which is usually leather-bound and very durable. There is also the softcover and paperback. 

The softcover is technically the same size as the hardcover, however, its cover is made up of softer materials and is significantly lighter than the softcover. 

Overall, if you are going to use the printed book option, your book will have the potential to take a lot of forms.


  • Established Market

Aside from its versatility, yet another advantage is that physical books already have established markets. When people say the word book, the first image that usually comes to mind is printed books. 

So if you are going to publish your book in printed form, you will be able to offer your work in a format that most people are already aware of.

According to the Pew Research Center on book consumption and book formats, physical books are still the most popular reading format. The research surveys state that around 37% of Americans read only print books. In the same survey, 28% admit to reading in both physical and eBook formats. 

On the other hand, only 7% admit that they read only e-Books. Another source states that there has been a 13.2% increase in printed sale books from the period of 2020 to 2021.

Aside from its versatility, printed books already have established markets. When people say the word book, the first image that usually comes to mind is printed books. 

So if you are going to publish your book in printed form, you will be able to offer your work in a format that most people are already aware of.


  • Easier to read

Compared to eBooks, printed books are a lot easier to read. Remember that not everyone knows how to use electronic devices. They might find it difficult to even just turn the page or bookmark where they left off. 

On the contrary, printed books can offer a more fulfilling reading experience where they can hold it, feel the paper and turn the pages. This simplicity makes reading effortless. 

According to some sources, 66% of young adults consider printed books easier to read and offer a different reading experience.


  • An attractive gift option

There is a certain beauty when it comes to printed books. This is especially true for leather-bound books because their coverings are almost like a work of art. Their dust covers have beautiful art on them, and their leather bindings make them very attractive for bookshelves.


  • Could become a collectible

Aside from printed books being attractive, some of them could even become collectibles in the long run. Some first edition books have become very valuable and could cost thousands of dollars. The older and more famous the book, the more valuable it will be.


Disadvantages:

  • Cumbersome to carry around

One of the disadvantages of printed books is that they could be difficult to carry around. This is especially true for leather-bound books that have a lot of pages in them.


  • Could be expensive to publish en masse

If you are going to publish your work in the format of the printed book you should remember that it could get expensive in the long run. Not only will you have to pay for the materials, but you will also have to hire a printing press. So you should have a set budget before you start the publishing process.


  • Uses vast quantities of paper

As charming and easy to use printed books may be, there is still the fact that they are made of paper. So if you are going to publish in the printed form, you should know that you will be using a lot of paper. Mountains of it, in fact, and this is hardly good for the environment.


2. eBook

eBooks are relatively new compared to printed books, however, they are still gaining a great deal of popularity. So if you are going to choose the eBook option, you should know what it entails. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of eBooks.


Advantages:

  • Fairly inexpensive to publish

One of the best things about publishing in eBook form is that it is not that expensive to publish. All you need to do is write down your work, and then publish it in the eBook format of your choice. 

There is no longer the need to hire a printing press and spend a fortune on physical copies. One of the best things about publishing in eBook form is that it is not that expensive to publish. 

All you need to do is write down your work, and then publish it in the eBook format of your choice. There is no longer the need to hire a printing press and spend a fortune on physical copies.


  • Easier to organize and distribute

Unlike printed books, eBooks no longer need to be stored. They do not have physical forms that could be damaged or lost. This makes them so much easier to organize and distribute.


  • They are relatively cheaper

According to some sources, 86% of readers find eBooks cheaper, compared to printed ones. There are also many free eBooks being distributed online, which helps spread the use of eBooks further.


  • Portability

One of the setbacks of printed copies is the fact that they are cumbersome. The thicker the book, the more difficult it will be to carry around. 

With an eBook, all you need to bring with you is a device such as a kindle or a tablet, and you will be able to read a book anywhere. There is also the fact that you will be able to store thousands of books into just one device.


  • Can be linked to a dictionary

There will be times where readers might get stymied by a particular word. Usually, readers will have to do some research about the word. If the reader is using a printed book, he or she will have to get a dictionary to find out its meaning. 

With an eBook, you can link your device to a dictionary site, and find out the definition in seconds. There will be times where readers might get stymied by a particular word. 

If the reader is using a printed book, he or she will have to get a dictionary to find out its meaning. With an eBook, you can link your device to a dictionary site, and find out the definition in seconds.


Disadvantages:

  • Readers will need a device to read it

One of the main setbacks of eBooks is the fact that they are reliant on specific devices to read them. If you are not in possession of a phone, a tablet or kindle then you won’t be able to read an eBook.


  • Prolonged use could cause eyestrain

If you look into a bright screen for long periods of time, there is a chance you’ll get eyestrain. So if you are going to read a book in the eBook format, you will have to take breaks throughout your reading time.


  • You’ll need to be careful while reading

Printed books could be cumbersome, however, they are also very tough and could take a good deal of damage before their binding or cover is destroyed. 

eBooks on the other hand are reliant on very fragile devices such as phones or kindles, and if you drop them or get them wet, then there is a chance that you won’t be able to read your eBook anymore. 

Publishing a book could be quite a challenge, so before you start the publishing process, you should make sure that you choose the best publishing options for you. 

By knowing their pros and cons, you’ll decide on the eBook vs printed book debate, and be able to publish your work in the most efficient way possible.


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