Book Formats Available to Self-Publishers

Writers have never had more options available to them. It’s a golden age for authors, and the opportunities for publishing can seem overwhelming. Whether you publish traditionally or you choose to self-publish, there are a handful of different publication options or formats. Let’s take a look at each of them and explore the pros and cons.


Print is the original book format and while many self-publishers choose to focus on digital publishing and e-books, print is a very viable and potentially profitable option. The reason that self-publishers choose to use digital as their primary form of publication is because it’s easy. It used to be a little tricky to get a print book published.

That’s not true anymore. Today it’s really easy to create a professional quality print book. With tools like Amazon’s CreateSpace, you can upload and format your interior pages, add back cover copy, and upload a professionally created book cover. And if you’re not inclined to make your own book cover, you can hire someone to create it for you for a truly affordable price.

Additionally, many book printing and distribution services also offer formatting and design services. This gives you every opportunity to create and sell a professional-looking book. It’s also important to know your audience. Some audiences prefer print books, which means that you can target a larger audience with print.


Digital printing is fantastic. You can upload your book and start selling it within just a few short hours. You can also make changes to the book quickly and easily. There’s no down time. For example, if you notice a typo or want to update the information, you can change your document, upload it and begin selling that new version right away.

The only downside to digital publishing is that the books tend to sell for less than print books. This means that you make less money per book. However, the promise of instant gratification often means that they’re easier to sell. You may sell more digital books than print. And the market is growing as more people acclimate to digital and start preferring eBooks over print.

Audio Books

Audio books are another option to consider. And while many authors neglect this format, you can reach a much wider audience with audio books. And like CreateSpace for Amazon, ACX or Audio Creation Exchange is an Amazon company that helps self-published authors create audio books to market and sell. You can narrate your book, which can be a lot of fun, or you can hire a narrator to read your book for your readers.

As a self-published author, you have the ability to create and sell a wide variety of formats. It’s a tremendous time for aspiring authors, and embracing all of your publishing options can help you not only sell more books but also build a career.