Posted on December 14, 2023 at 8:12 AM by Guest Author

If your work is only available in one format, you may be limiting yourself. Discover why you should consider publishing in different types of book formats.

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An Overview of the Main Types of Book Formats 

As an author, you face countless choices when presenting your literary creation to the world, including how you format it. Books have come a long way since being carved on clay tablets. Today, several types of book formats are available, and they all have value.

If you’re thinking about publishing in multiple formats, it’s worth getting a rundown on each.

Here are the three main types of book formats: 


In addition to being the oldest book format, print remains the most popular. According to a recent Statista survey, 70% of U.S. adults prefer reading printed books. Whether old or new, paperback or hardcover, there’s something about a physical copy that can’t be beaten.

Print books are especially popular among specific age groups and genres. In the U.S., Gen Z overwhelmingly prefers this format. And given that large text, colorful images, and pop-up features engage young readers, it’s no surprise children’s books do better in print. 

For authors, particularly those who self-publish, the drawback of this format has long been the cost.

Printing books can be expensive, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get a return on your investment.

However, there’s now an option to print on demand vs. using offset printing, which can be beneficial when you’re just starting out.  


The concept of ebooks dates back to the 1930s, but the first official ebook was created in 1971. Thanks to their convenience and affordability, they’ve become a popular option for reading. A Pew Research Center survey revealed that 30% of Americans now read ebooks

The same survey found that 42% of people aged 18-29 and 32% aged 30-49 enjoy this format. Roughly the same amount (30%) of men and women reported reading ebooks. As far as genres go, the ebooks that sell best, according to Amazon data, are the following:

  • Romance

  • Mystery, thriller & suspense

  • Science fiction & fantasy

  • Teen & young adult

Many new authors opt to self-publish their work in this format, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an easier and more cost-effective option than publishing in print. Plus, you get a bigger share of the royalties. But this also means the market is pretty crowded. In fact, roughly 7,500 new Kindle books are published every day!


Like the ebook, the origins of the audiobook date back to the 1930s. But it wasn’t until 1994 that audiobook became a common term. Now, it’s the fastest-growing book format in the industry!

Approximately 53% of U.S. adults have listened to an audiobook. And according to experts, the audiobook market is estimated to reach $35 billion by 2030.

Based on a survey by the Audio Publishers Association, 57% of audiobook listeners are between 18 and 44 years old. Although general fiction is the most popular genre, humor, nonfiction, and romance increased in sales in 2022. Plus, the children’s category has been on the rise.

Like the other types of book formats, audiobooks have pros and cons for authors. On one hand, they’re fairly easy to produce and yield a higher profit. On the other hand, they can be time-consuming to record and require a different approach to writing

5 Benefits of Leveraging Different Types of Book Formats

If you’re self-publishing your work, you’re probably tempted to choose just one format. And you’re not alone. Many authors are wary of spending more time and money to publish in multiple formats. However, this can be an incredibly worthwhile investment. 

Here are five benefits of leveraging different types of book formats:


Although print may be the most popular format, not everyone can easily read it. The last thing you want to do is prevent potential fans from being able to enjoy your work. That’s why going beyond print is strongly recommended. 

By publishing your book as an ebook and audiobook, you can make your book more accessible to those with visual impairments and learning disabilities. 


Along with improving accessibility, publishing in multiple types of book formats can help you appeal to different readers. As touched on above, everyone has a reading preference. Some love the tangibility of printed books, some appreciate the convenience of ebooks, and others enjoy getting swept up in the narration of audiobooks. 

By releasing your book in more than one format, you give your readers a choice. That way, you can expand your audience. More importantly, you can reduce the likelihood of your book going unpurchased because it’s not in the format someone likes best. 


If you only publish an ebook, an audiobook, or a print book, that’s it. The only sales you’ll make are from that one format. But by publishing in multiple formats, you can boost your earnings. 


  • You can sell your book in more places.

  • You can set different prices for different formats.

  • You can bundle multiple formats in one.  

Basically, using multiformat publishing allows you to transform one book into several products. 


Positioning yourself as a professional, credible author is essential to your success. It gives readers confidence in your work and improves your chances of getting attention from others in the industry. And one way to help build your credibility is by publishing in multiple formats. 

Going this route can demonstrate a lot about you as an author. It shows you understand your reader base and have put effort into making your book widely available. 


Last but not least, leveraging different types of book formats increases discoverability. You don’t have to rely on one listing in one place. Instead, you can list it on a broader range of platforms and categories, allowing more readers to come across it. 

This is important, as readers need to know your book exists in order to buy it. And that means your book needs to be as visible as possible. The more versions you have, the better. You can even link various formats and editions on Amazon so people can see every available format.


From expanding your audience and increasing discoverability to tapping into untapped markets, publishing in multiple types of book formats offers a wealth of opportunities. Of course, multiformat publishing does require more time and money. But when it comes down to it, it’s an investment that could transform your career. 

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Categories: Behind the scenes

Hi Dorothea! The Alliance of Independent Authors suggests a few other places to distribute your audiobook through in this guide:
Sadye at Fussy | 1/11/24 at 7:49 AM
I invested a great deal of time and money in preparing an audiobook of my first novel, 'The Balancing Game,' but was then informed by Audible that they could not accept me as I do not live in a country they represent. What is the solution?
Dorothea Shefer | 1/11/24 at 1:09 AM
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