William wants to know why anyone would want an eBook. “E-Books will take a ton of paper, ink, time to download, not to mention a good printer.”
William, let me address your concerns point-by-point here. You are absolutely correct in saying that it would take a ton of paper and ink to print out an eBook. That’s because eBooks aren’t meant to be printed. They are designed to be read on your PC, tablet or smartphone and remain completely paperless.
In fact, it’s darn near impossible to print some eBook formats such as a Kindle book, while others like PDFs are easier to print, but I still wouldn’t suggest that.
You may ask why people offer books in a digital format instead of a hard copy. There are many reason. The first is ease of distribution. eBooks are available with just a click or two and immediately sent to the reader.
It’s also considerably less expensive to format an eBook. Unless you’re already a publishing company with people in house that specialize in formatting hard copies of books for publications, you’d have to hire a formatter to get your print proofs ready to go. Printing is also very expensive, especially for longer instructional books with lots of pictures.
Unless your book has been picked up by a major publisher, you’re looking at a huge expense to print off copies. That’s one of the reasons college textbooks often cost hundreds of dollars. They’re a limited run and that costs a fortune.
Also, you have to pay to print off the copies and hope that you can sell all of them. With a digital format, you’re never stuck with hundreds of extra copies that you’ve paid for and can’t sell.
The advantage of eBooks is that they are cost-effective to distribute, you have an unlimited quantity of them to distribute without having to worry about getting stuck with extras. It’s also more convenient for the user. You don’t have to remember to take a heavy book with you and you can access it any time you want from multiple devices.
eBooks often cost less than hard copies of books (though this isn’t always the case with best-sellers.)
The other concern I wanted to address is the amount of time it takes to download an eBook. Even a large eBook with hundreds of color images (like our Windows 10 Guide) only takes a few seconds to download. It’s not a large file, really. Just about the size of two high-resolution photographs.