Electronic Publishing: Pros and Cons

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Electronic publishing, or e-publishing, has been emerging as a great new way to go for both authors and readers today. Though relatively young, e-publishing has definitely paved the way for communication and information technology, and there is no doubt that its continuing advance is a positive and welcome evolution.


In an age where everything is a click away, e-publishing fits right into the equation. Countless devices are available in the market for those who want their libraries in their pockets, and numerous services such as convert pdf to epub are available on the internet to ensure platform-to-platform compatibility. In this article, we will discuss some benefits and drawbacks, which affect the different key players in the publishing world in one way or another.


Opens doors for authors and aspiring authors


The writer of today need not be plagued by the woes of a traditional author. For one, if one had to go through the rigorous processes of publishers before the rise of e-publishing, an author may now opt to publish his own work electronically.


Pros of Electronic Publishing


  • Get out there quick and easy.


Manuscripts for print publication could take months to produce, but e-publishing can have a book out weeks after approval. The circulation of one’s work will also prove to be a cinch with the help of internet marketing, online selling, and even epub conversion services to guarantee compatibility with other platforms.


  • Compete and stay low-cost.


With much lower overheads, e-publishing allows authors to earn bigger royalties. Spend less, set aside larger profit!


  • Retain control.


Why succumb to the publishing food chain when a self-published author may as well be his own boss and his own editor? For authors who just want to get out there, there is freedom to allow users to download copies of their works, alter them with epub conversion services, and store them in different reading devices.


Cons for Electronic Publishing


  • Not yet on equal footing.


Though the reputation of e-publishing may be looking up, e-publishers have not earned the same credibility that traditional publishers carry.


  • Open to illegal copying.


Vulnerable to tweaking and hacking, electronic books may be copied and shared in seconds. There are various options, such as epub conversion services, by which readers can modify files to suit different platforms and applications, and create multiple copies in no time.


  • Not on display.


E-pub Authors cannot rely on constant exposure on shelves. Readers must dive into the vast sea of content available online to find an electronically published book.


Taking on the game on a different field


Another key player in the publishing world is the publisher who has traditionally been responsible for the issuing and publicizing of texts. Some publishers have chosen to adapt to the electronic innovation; however, the playing field is fairly different from that of traditional publication.


Pros for Electronic Publishing


  • Very easy access.


The publication of electronic books no longer requires distribution through a geographical space. Without the logistical nightmares of having to transport and care for paper products, publishers can make their books electronically available to readers, who can then download the texts to their devices in as fast as 60 seconds. Epub conversion services and other formatting services are available for readers to make necessary alterations to meet platform requirements.


  • Less production cost, more proceeds.


With the absence of printing and logistical costs, publishers are allowed a bigger margin for profit.


  • Niche audiences


Publishers now have the opportunity to cater to niche audiences without having to calculate all the risks.


Cons for Electronic Publishing


  • Pirates.


Having entire books in a single digital file opens up the possibility of duplication and illegal distribution. Many users are on the lookout for free content, and e-books are easy to alter and save in different forms with epub conversion services, as well as upload conveniently on file sharing websites.


  • Tactile readers.


Majority of readers still believe that reading is also a tactile experience, and purchasing something intangible is illogical.


  • Authors turned competitors.


Given how easy it is to be your own publisher, a good number of authors wouldn’t hesitate to migrate to self-publishing. If all goes well for them, the role of publishers may diminish.


The challenge of adaptation


After ages of being the established institution responsible for housing all sorts of recorded knowledge, the rise of e-publishing will definitely impact the existence and roles of libraries in immeasurable ways. This is not to say, however, that adaptation is not in order, as there are just as many opportunities as challenges to the task.


Pros for Electronic Publishing


  • Speedy acquisition.


The process of purchasing and acquiring new texts will definitely become a less laborious process. On top of this, obtaining recent releases will be more feasible.


  • Easy cataloguing.


Without the challenges of maintaining physical volumes and classifying them all systematically, organizing electronic files may prove to be a less troublesome task.


  • Remote access and search ability.


The use of resources will no longer be confined to library premises. Libraries may allow students and scholars to acquire their own copies of certain texts at a cost, and readers may use those resources at their own convenience. With the widespread utilization of online resources, growing acceptance of e-books, and surfacing functions like epub conversion services, it is very recognizable that flexibility is key.


Cons for Electronic Publishing


  • Essential upgrades.


Libraries must invest considerable resources to meet the demands of the digital age.


  • Overhauling.


Traditional skills of cataloguing, classification, indexing, etc., will need to be updated to accommodate the complexity of navigating through electronically published information. Search and retrieval tools must adapt.


  • Archiving and survival.


At the end of the day, everyone would want the knowledge and information to remain intact. The question is how the survival of electronically published texts can be guaranteed. Given that it is primarily the role of libraries to ensure that knowledge will keep recorded knowledge intact, the digitization of publications poses a challenge to libraries.


Moving forward


The leap from traditional publication to e-publishing may be a rather big leap, but various factors show that the migration has opened up a fair number of opportunities, not just for readers and authors, but for key players like publishers and library systems as well. Some suggest that there is no urgent need to choose one over the other at this point, because both may very well co-exist and serve specific purposes. Be that as it may, e-publishing is definitely worth the consideration.



About jamaica sanchez

Jamaica Sanchez is a professional writer and web developer with solid experience. She is a big advocate of converting pdf to epub. She also has a passion for dancing, cooking and playing golf. Follow her on Twitter or Google+.


  1. I have just started writing what I hope will be my first ebook and I found the information in this article very useful. Thank you for sharing.
    Dawn Frazier recently posted..A trip to the dentist

  2. Great read. I work for a large education institution and we are about to roll out a Bachelor’s Degree in ‘Digital Publishing’ — Needless to say this is a big deal and it’s not going away. But personally, I think there is something to be said for the traditional method.
    Joe recently posted..Financing vs Paying Cash

  3. jamaica sanchez says:

    Thanks Dawn! I wish you success on your first ebook!

    Best Regards,

  4. Hey Jamaica,
    I have just started with my blog and most of the points you have mentioned here is easily i can relate. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful information.

    Jasmine recently posted..SBI Recruitment 2013: SBI General Insurance Recruitment 2013

  5. I agree, digital publishing has made it easier for people to copy content, it’s a sad truth. Great post Jamaica! Love your website!

  6. No doubt the electronic publishing has some disadvantages but its advantages have higher weight-age and recommended. Coming age is of electronic publishing.

  7. For me this really comes down to the question of whose perspective you’re looking at the issue from. If you’re a publisher, E-books offer higher profit margin but cater to a smaller market, which is why most publishers will release an E-book version in addition to a print version. If you’re a consumer, E-books offer cheaper prices but less ownership rights–you can’t, for example, lend your book to your friend without giving them your E-reading device. If you’re an author, taking your book directly to E-book without a publisher offers higher profit margins but no advance and no publicity help, two things you would be likely to get from a traditional publisher in a book deal.

  8. I’ve been thinking about publishing a Kindle book for a while. The pros & cons here are very helpful. Personally I think eReading is clearly the way of the future, though you’re right, we’re not there yet!

    The simple fact that I can easily get published digitally, however, makes it the clear choice for newer writers.

    Thanks for the post!

    Michael Levanduski recently posted..Types of Content Writing Jobs

  9. this is really nice and important thing that you have provided and shared with us .
    the points that you have covered here are very hard to find some were else. so thanks for the knowledge that you have shared with us and all the best for your online publishing
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  10. electronic publishing is one of the best way of to share some this with other in no time. the main that you have share here is really nice points. keep it up and share more such great posts with us .
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  11. Thanks for this post.

  12. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it,
    you could be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and
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  13. Hey Jamaica, nice comparisons. If you read up on SEO, most people will tell you to publish an e-book for various reasons. It is good to read something like this to get an understanding of both sides of e-publishing.

  14. No doubt, it is age of computers, but still people like reading books more than reading online. I agree with you that e-publisher does not get same credibility that other publishers get. I also like reading books instead of reading online.
    Reusable Grocery Bags recently posted..Custom021 – $0.00

  15. Thank you Jamaica for an excellent article. I would love to have a technical book published but I am concerned about all the hoops that I would have to jump through to satisfy a would be publisher. E books appeal to me as this negates this problem however as you point out it generates so many more! I would be concerned by the lack of visibility by my book not being on a physical book shelf. Copyright theft is an all too real possibility if not an inevitability. I am also acutely aware that I prefer to use a physical copy of a manual rather than a digital copy. Bring on the hoops!

  16. Great post and definitely which I recognize.That is such a simple truth.I definitely give away alot more information than I do trying to sell to my audience though.It should be able to communicate its core ideas clearly to the broadest audience possible as well.

  17. Great read. I work for a large education institution and we are about to roll out a Bachelor’s Degree in ‘Digital Publishing’ — Needless to say this is a big deal and it’s not going away. But personally, I think there is something to be said for the traditional method.

  18. although many favorable parts of the publication through online media, but many are aggrieved that makes the authors headache. there should be a thing that can balance these things, so that every article that terpublish safe from pirates.

    nice articles, thanks

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