There are a number of book formats to choose from. In a nutshell, they include audio, digital, and print. Some formats work well for any type of writing. For example, how-to books might do very well in all three formats. However, other book types may do better with one single format. Read on to learn about the different formats, what they’re best for, and how to decide which one is right for your book.
Digital Books or E-Books
Digital books are great for books that contain clickable links. This means that topics that include additional or supplemental materials can be easily accessed by clicking on embedded links. You cannot do the same thing with an audio or a print book. Yes, you can include links in the material but they won’t be clickable so you won’t get the same follow-through or response rate.
Digital books are also great if your audience is one that uses e-readers. Or if you have an optic that your reader may want to keep to themselves.
That said, since this is one of the easiest formats to publish your book, I recommend making this one of the formats you use for all your books.
Print is good for books that people want to access often. For example, cookbooks can be useful in print because they may be referenced and used often. Additionally, books with a lot of images may be better in print. Images can be difficult to manage in some digital formats.
Text books, reference books, and books that may contain worksheets and areas for people to take notes may do better if they’re in print. Finally, your audience may prefer print. The young adult and the older audience tends to prefer print but there are other demographics that may as well. Know your audience and choose the best format for your book topic and your readers.
That said, again because it is not that challenging to make your book available in print — at least on Amazon — I recommend doing just that. The only reason you wouldn’t want a print version is if the book is too short to warrant it.
Audiobooks are often part of a busy professionalís commute. If your typical audience persona is a commuter or doesn’t have time to read but does have time to listen, then create your book in audio format. Additionally, you may find that books that have clearly defined sections may also do well with audio.
There are some challenges with translating your book into audio, but they can be overcome with a little patience, tenacity, and the help of an audio engineer. I discussed my first steps into audiobook authorhood over on my writer blog.
Making the Choice of Best Book Format for You
When deciding what format to choose for your book, first consider how your readers will prefer to access the information. As you can see, it’s essential to know your readers well. They are the people you’re writing your book for and they should determine the format. Also, understand how the information you provide will best be used.
Finally, keep in mind that you don’t have to choose just one format. You can publish your digital book as a print book and also as an audio book. However, when you market your book you may want to focus on one format. Pay close attention to the format that sells best and focus on that for future books and marketing endeavors.
Keep your target audience in mind when you launch your book, as well. Usually, the best strategy is to launch with the e-book first, but if your ideal readers would prefer another format, you might consider launching with that one first.