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Since there are ebook sites all over the Internet, what is the best way to publish a book today, traditional publishing where there are hard copies of the book or ebooks that can be downloaded? I am sure there are favorable opinions on each side of this fence.

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This is a question many writers ask themselves I would imagine, first there are the differences in publishing that would need to be looked at, self publishing means needing an avenue to sell the ebook. There are also ebook websites to sell the ebook for a percentage or listing cost and the author will need to self promote the ebook in both cases.

Traditional publishing means finding a publishing house that will accept the manuscript and this can be a daunting task for a new author and then there will also be the percentage that the publishing house will take.
This in some cases can be a double edged sword, because to self publish means not only promoting the ebook, but having some technical knowledge to get the manuscript into an ebook format and placed online. On the other side finding a publishing house that will accept new authors can be extremely difficult.

Another question might be what type of readers is the manuscript targeted for, this might answer whether publishing the book would be a better idea, than to publish it in an ebook format.
What kind of formats do people use for ebooks? I know some are PDF's and I have also seen ebooks that are .exe files, does anyone know which of these are best and why they are?
Hi S.L., nice to meet you! :) I think it's different strokes for different folks. Personally I like nothing more than curling up with a good book on the sofa. You can't do that with an ebook. I much prefer to read the printed page than a screen when it comes to books. Others would sooner go with a downloaded version. There's room in the world for each kind and it comes down to personal preference.

That said, creating and publishing your own ebook is far less expensive than going the traditional publishing route. Of course it's always possible to offer both to readers for maximum impact on the marketplace.

Amazon for example often offers ebook versions for Kindle. Have a look next time you visit there to search for a book. Under the main image of the book cover it will say "Start reading [insert book title here] on your Kindle in under a minute" when that's available.
I like hardbacks. I'm just old fashioned I guess. When I'm reading an ebook, I don't feel like I'm reading a book. Thinking like mine doesn't change anything though! Eventually I believe e-books will dominate the market over physical books purely for reasons of frugality and convenience. I doubt hard copies will ever disappear entirely.

Sandra makes a good point. Think on who you're targeting and take that into account when choosing the format.
Thanks, for all the input on this subject and I have learned from researching the ebook side of this that readers prefer the ebook to be in a PDF format. The .exe while some people that download are not concerned with them others fear viruses.

It makes sense that formatting an ebook then might have less sales appeal when it is in an .exe file, so this might be important for anyone that is thinking about self publishing.

Thanks for all the answers to my questions.

This thread was helpful. I was considering the e-book format for some older booklets that I have written as a way to self promote during my seminars. Thanks.

Personally, I prefer hard copies! I mean, I kind of need a Kindle, and it would be SO helpful (especially considering I've officially run out of room on my shelves), and if I got one, I would use it, but to me, there is no feeling in the world greater than holding a real book, turning a real page, and reading the words in real ink!

Like I said, a Kindle would be useful, but I prefer hard copies!

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