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Screen vs. Print – what form should your book take?

Our self-publishing Canadian authors often grapple with this question. On the one hand, an eBook is an option that might cost less to produce, i.e., self-publishers do not have the expense of printing. However, when you are selling books for lower retail (as you would set your book price lower for electronic books versus print books) and maybe selling fewer if your audience prefers another form of book; then you may not be any further ahead in regard to potential proceeds from book sales.

Our AuthorHub Team took on the task of researching what is being said about Screen vs. Print. There are definite advantages to print and it definitely has a strong place, even in today’s digital world! Here are just some of the interesting articles that were discovered:

“Compared to the digital alternatives of ebooks and audiobooks, print is overwhelmingly the most preferred format in Ontario, even with younger readers. And it looks like print will be even more popular next year.” Duncan Stewart/Toronto Star

“There are different processes and behaviors that go into reading on screens as opposed to print, and these processes could have some significant implications for reading comprehension.” More here: Is Print Reading Better Then Digital Reading? by Cory Rosenberg – particularly the sections on “Charting a course through a story” and “Why we read differently on paper vs. a screen”

“The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens – E-readers and tablets are becoming more popular as such technologies improve, but research suggests that reading on paper still boasts unique advantages.” From Ferris Jabr, Scientific American/Neuroscience

“We have all seen the newspaper headlines: screens make us read slower, learn less deeply, remember less and sleep worse. Is this why students prefer to print out their electronic textbooks? We suspected it was habit and attitude rather than measurable cognitive effort during reading that made people prefer print texts, but we needed evidence.” Read more here: Myrberg, Caroline, and Ninna Wiberg. 2015. “Screen Vs. Paper: What Is the Difference for Reading and Learning?”. Insights 28 (2): 49–54. DOI

“More evidence is in: Reading from screens harms comprehension. According to a new meta-analysis of nearly three dozen research studies published over the past decade, reading from paper has a small, statistically significant benefit on reading performance.”

If you are interested in professional assistance to help get your print book ready for publication – editing, design, layout, production files – contact us to discuss your book publishing project.


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