I find it odd how in the recent Lulu forum drama about the company's boo-boo, only one person mentioned putting out her works as ebooks. Won't it make sense to do so, when the general complain about Lulu is its ridiculous international delivery charges?
I'm not just talking about Kindle. I'm selfish, since I'm Malaysian and I can't use Kindle, I don't want ebooks to available exclusively in Kindle format only. Is it so hard to set up a Paypal account or something and sell those ebooks along with the dead tree versions? These authors had done all the work formatting the book in PDF for Lulu, Xlibris, and what not, so why not sell the PDFs as well? If that's too much work, there are plenty of third-party resellers from Scribd to RPG Drivethrough to Smashwords to do all that selling for the author.
Ebook market may be small, but given that the sales number of a bestselling ebook from Ellora's Cave can easily beat the sales number of a typical POD dead tree book, that means there is an audience for ebooks out there, one that can allow a self-published author to make a modest but surely adequate profit. Most of the self-published books I read are bought in ebook form. Rare the ones I bought in dead tree form - I only do that when I have money to spare in my book budget, which isn't often. Trade paperbacks are too expensive for me, and I only buy those written by authors I'm familiar with. When it comes to POD trade paperbacks, it is very likely I'd give it a miss with a heavy heart despite having read a good or intriguing review of it at POD People or PODRAM, because my budget doesn't allow impulse purchases of trade paperbacks.
Given that most self-published authors seem to be focusing a big part of their publicity efforts online,and they already have a PDF format of their book, and among online users, PDF formats can be very affordable impulse buys (especially short stories and novellas), I'm really puzzled as to why so many authors are recalcitrant to go the ebook route. Lack of awareness about ebooks, perhaps? Or an exaggerated fear of online piracy? Whatever the reason is, they seem to be missing out on a golden opportunity to make some sales here.