A little earlier, there would be no question on if we were going to have a hard copy version of the book or not, especially for children.
But now is different.
Now there are all sorts of fun devices (iPad, Kindle, Nook, iPhone, etc) that allow you to experience a book and reading without flipping pages in the traditional sense, at least! The digital experience can often offer more in terms of its interactivity and allows one to delve deeper, beyond the content of the book alone. Plus, we are saving some trees. 🙂
Kyra and I also recognize and are very romantic about the intangible experience of a child physically holding a book in their hands. It’s not obsolete yet and there are many who still prefer this experience.
Hopefully, you can understand our dilemma – do we run head on into the digital future without respecting the wonders that occur when you join little hands with little books?
In an effort to attain the best of both, we have decided to attempt to do a limited print run, try and secure a print-on-demand option, and create the e-book. That decision wasn’t too hard except for how we are going to do it in a way that is financially viable!
We are still figuring it out but thought we would share our struggles and insights thus far:
- Board Books (the smaller kids books you see made of a thicker material) are HARD to get printed in a cost effective way especially in an amount under 1000 books.
- All roads are pointing to printing in China. Now we know why everything is made in China. It is significantly cheaper in cost. We are exhausting all of our options but it a pretty stark contrast in price. And then if we do choose to print in China, identifying the right printer is a topic that deserves its own post…
- Print-on-demand is a great option in the digital world these days but the choices become much more limited when you want to do a hardcover children’s book. Board book? Uh yeah, even fewer. And then you also have to think about fulfillment (fulfilling the orders) and storage of these books when someone orders online. Maybe it’s okay if only one car fits in the garage?
- But don’t little hands need little books? Well if my toddler is anything like most toddlers, it would be a matter of minutes before the book had enough “boo-boos” to render it unreadable.
- Are there any paper stocks that are more robust, a cheaper but still acceptable option? We are starting to look into this.
This has been one of our toughest challenges so far. But it is almost equally exciting and educational in trying to figure out.
We welcome your ideas and suggestions in figuring it out.
And we will definitely keep you posted! Even if you really don’t care. 🙂