There is an undeniable appeal to holding your first book in your hands. Seeing the artwork on the cover, thumbing through the pages, and feeling the weight of your book in your hands is fantastic. Digital publishing, while newer, can also provide an amazing feeling of accomplishment, particularly when you check out online retailers and discover how many copies have been downloaded. Which form or publishing is suitable for your book, and what are the advantages or disadvantages of each? Let’s explore digital publishing vs. print publishing to see.

Print Book Publishing

For many writers, successful book publishing means seeing their book on the shelves of traditional bookstores. There’s an undeniable appeal to walking into a bookstore and seeing your name on the cover of books or watching other people carrying your book tucked under their arm. It feels real. Many readers prefer holding an actual book in their hands, particularly readers over a certain age. 

However,  print book publishing generally has a relatively short run, with lots of books printed over several months, then nothing after that unless there is high demand. That means your book isn’t going to be featured prominently at booksellers for long unless it stays on top of a bestseller list. Sales are often high right after the print run, and then they will dip and plateau.

Print books are more challenging to access by anyone searching for you online. Literary agents, new readers, and the press may find your author page, but if you haven’t published your book digitally, they will have to order it and wait or find it in a brick-and-mortar store. Some readers will move on rather than wait – society is increasingly impatient about waiting for a good thing. Going exclusively the print publishing route may seem out of touch, especially to younger readers. 

Digital Book Publishing

Digital book publishing is the trend for the future. It’s easy to download a book immediately, which feeds into many people’s desire for instant gratification. Readers also appreciate the ease of downloading multiple titles and having them available any time they have their tablet with them. It’s easy to shop for online titles and get them immediately no matter where you live, with no need to order and wait for delivery or drive to a store. 

Digital books won’t make it into some libraries, however, where some readers still check out hardback or paperback books. These people appreciate the feel, scent, and concreteness of having a book in their hands rather than an electronic device. Many people also don’t think of electronic or digital publishing as “real publishing.” While this isn’t accurate, it’s a bias that those outside the publishing industry often hold.

Finding the Right Mix

The solution for most writers is to publish both print and digital versions of their book. You can give your grandmother a printed edition of your book, letting her admire the cover art, but you won’t be neglecting digital readers who want to get their hands on your book with a simple click. Most hybrid publishers now handle both print and digital publishing, offering you the benefits of both. Combining print publishing and digital publishing will also increase your profits and establish you as an experienced writer in more circles.

Dudley Court Press

Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors. Contact us to discuss our assisted self-publishing option today.

For more information, including about DCP’s latest programs, please get in touch at +1-520-329-2729 or We’ve recently launched our latest program, Memoir Writing for Non-Writers. This comprehensive, 10-week course helps you turn your memories into a compelling memoir!