Sprinting to Paperback by Stacy Hoff


My latest print release, JOCKEYING FOR YOU, has me thinking about print sales again. Especially since JOCKEYING’s print debut comes right on the heels of the print debut of DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC. http://wp.me/prBca-4RP

If you’re published with a small press like I am, it’s likely that you have your books released first in e-format, followed by print format a few months later (if at all). It’s a truism that many small presses believe most people today are buying e-format books, and focus on e-sales accordingly.

There’s a lot of truth to the power of e-book sales, especially with younger readers. Not to mention the draw of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. Add to this the dwindling number of large brick-and-mortar bookstores; only the “big 5” publishers can afford to absorb the loss from retailers who ship back returned books. Accordingly, many small publishers back off print altogether, or make the print copies they do produce more about “author promo” than about sales.


But print has it’s advantages. For one thing, print format is needed to enter the romance industries biggest contest—the RITA, sponsored by Romance Writers’ of America (RWA), along with other, well-respected (albeit smaller) competitions for published authors. Print copies can also be sold to indie bookstores, which can not only generate sales that impact the New York Times best seller list, but may also have a kinder return policy for publishers.


For me, the question of print sales is personal—the biggest advantage of print is my holding a copy of my book in my hands. Thus, I made sure when I was looking at potential publishers I chose one that would be open to print publication. I knew I would not be happy with e-format only. From a sales, promo, and personal perspective, I am glad I went with a publisher willing to do both e-format and print.

My opinion is not universal. There are many authors and readers alike who believe that e-format is “where it’s at.” Please weigh in. I love gathering this data. My hope is to report back with a summary from all those who were kind enough to chime in.



Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorStacyHoff

Web: http://www.stacyhoff.com


JOCKEYING FOR YOU print version http://amzn.to/2eanq2o

JOCKEYING FOR YOU Kindle version  http://amzn.to/2c8Hi5t

DesireInTheArctic1800 iheartindiefinalist

DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC print version http://amzn.to/2cubwCf

DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC kindle version http://amzn.to/1KjfP9V


DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES print version http://amzn.to/2dXO1zV

DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES Kindle version http://amzn.to/1YEseie


LAWFULLY YOURS print version http://amzn.to/2e6Ug8k

LAWFULLY YOURS Kindle version http://amzn.to/1Ky5CZm

SOL cartoon Sol cover new

SEASON OF LOVE http://amzn.to/1NsByfu

This entry was posted in A writer's life, Business, Publications, publishing, Reading, romance, romance novels, romance reader, Stacy Hoff, What Are You Reading? and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Sprinting to Paperback by Stacy Hoff

  1. Claire Gem says:

    Stacy, I think the audiences for paperbacks and ebooks grow more distant, and distinct from each other, every day. In my experience, readers are either one or the other–not usually both. I believe as the platform of publishing continues to change, we will see this chasm widen.

    As an author, I’m with you: nothing better than holding that print copy in hand. I also love to do signings and meet readers in person, but again, it’s a totally different crowd than those who buy my ebooks. Still, I’d like to hope paper books never go out of style!

  2. My publisher, Sapphire Books (www.sapphirebooks.com), just did a readership survey and found that over 45% mostly read ebooks, but occasionally read a print book. Less than 10% indicated reading paperbacks only. Many indicated ease of traveling with ebooks over print books and older readers preferred the ability to magnify the type. Personally, I prefer print books both for my bottom line as an author and as an avid reader and book lover but I sometimes use both.

    • stacyhoff says:

      That info is majorly helpful, Lucy! I truly appreciate it, & I’m sure other readers of this comment will, too!!!

  3. PJ Sharon says:

    I am always amazed how many teenagers still prefer the physical book to e-books. I get why. Studies have shown that the three dimensional and tactile experience of reading an actual book improves retention and gives the reader a deeper connection to the characters and story.

    One of the advantages and draws for self-publishing is the ability to create print on demand books, These are great for book fairs, signings, and as you mentioned contest entry. I’m confident that as long as there are readers, print books will not go the way of the dinosaur.

  4. I’m in the process of exploring this very issue with a re-print of my first novel. I recently learned the publisher who held the rights (a press that bought my original publisher) decided to take the book out of print. It was never an ebook and I was never keen on the cover, so I thought, why not kill two birds and self-re-publish with a new cover and a digital version. After that decision was made, I reached out to a local book formatting service (which wanted $2000 to create files for digital and print, plus submission to retailers). Obviously I’ll be taking care of file formatting myself or with another service, but I had a great discussion with a rep from the local book service. He cautioned me against doing just an ebook because the market has somewhat settled into e-readers and paper readers. He told me what I already felt in my gut. So I agree with Claire. I have some SMP books (an entire trilogy) currently not available in print yet. Almost all of my friends and family who are interested in reading are not willing or able to do so until print arrives. So I’ve got my fingers crossed that the books will make it into print. 2017 should be interesting 🙂

    • stacyhoff says:

      Thank you for sharing your print journey, Christine! Let us know the results in 2017. I’m hope you have a ton of print sales!!!!

  5. Frankly, I think books need to be released immediately in print and not six months down the line. Print is hot, according to a Nielson speaker at the RWA Conference, print is as hot as ever. Even though Kindle/e-book have taken over a large share of the market, still print is the preferred read of a huge part of the market. You’re right on Stacy!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami

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