As a self-published author, you have a choice of the ways you make your book available to readers. The main three options are Hardcover, Paperback and eBook. In my experience in children's book creation and publishing, there are pros and cons to all three. Before I get into that, I will say that I am absolutely an advocate for all three. You want your work available and attractive to the widest available audience. So, here we go:
I am new to the hardcover world. I just completed a project where I got all 8 of my children's books set up and available in hardcover. I am very pleased with how they turned out and wished I had done this out of the gate. In the first week of availability, and without advertising, my hardcovers sold more copies than my last year of paperbacks and eBooks combined.
Hardcover Pros: Durability, Attractiveness to Retailers/Libraries, Look and Feel
Hardcover Cons: Pricing is more advantageous to Retailers than Consumers (List Price for consumers vs discounted wholesale price for Retailers limits royalties), more expensive to keep stock on hand
Hardcover Platform of Choice: IngramSpark
I published my first book 5 years ago, and up until recently, paperback was all I knew. The advantage here is really about price control, as I have a little more room to establish good pricing options.
Paperback Pros: Easier to keep stock on hand, Easier to manage for children, Price Control
Paperback Cons: Durability (especially with children), May not be as attractive to Retailers/Libraries due to durability
Paperback Platform of Choice: Kindle Direct Publishing
I am not sold on eBook as a viable option for children's books. My sales are extremely limited. I have to ask myself how many kids are actually reading or being read a children's book on a tablet, kindle or phone. There's a certain something that's lost when it's not in physical form.
eBook Pros: Least expensive option, Increasingly Digital World, Different ways of earning income (book sales and book pages read)
eBook Cons: Limited audience (for children's books), Mastering .PDF, .MOBI and .EPUB file creation to align universally with eBook readers
eBook Platform of Choice: Kindle Direct Publishing and Draft 2 Digital
I also firmly believe that the right exposure for your book will spike sales in all three. After all, as a self-published author, we are all fighting for our big break. Continue to believe in your work. Make your big break happen!
MY FIRST HARDCOVER BOOK!