I do have a print book soon to be out (honest), with an indie publisher. I really like the publisher – we e-mail back and forth regularly, and I really like our contract terms. Still, I've been exploring other publishing avenues than the traditional, even the increasingly popular, such as Lulu, Amazon's CreateSpace, and others.
One site that's growing in popularity is Smashwords, and their site has a presentation on the growing emergence of e-books. Some of its pertinent points, some of which you may want to take exception to, particularly if you have a distinct love for the print book:
- Traditional publishing practices have ossified (no kidding! If you're a writer, just thumb through your rejection letters and try to find a succinct reason for the rejections)
- While e-books cost significantly less than print books, the author's percentage on e-books is as little as 30% of the book retail price, as much as 80%. (You'd be lucky to get 15% in a trad contract for a print book.)
- Authors (even well-established trad ones) are in large numbers flocking to self-publishing in order to get books out there quickly. (Time to gain an agent and have him/her begin marketing: 1-3 years. Time to have a book out once it's accepted by a publisher: 1-2 years. So you're looking at 2 to 5 years to see the book in print, once you've completed the manuscript.)
- Between 2009 and 2010, e-books jumped from 3% to 8% of the total books published yearly. (This speaks to the emergence of e-book readers as well as to the growing popularity of e-books – driven, I think, by the lower e-book prices as much as anything else.)
- e-book publishers such as Amazon's DTP (Digital Text Platform) and Smashwords have the ability to help get your books on numerous book sale sites.
- Backlists, i.e., older books you've published become more important with e-books (they draw attention to your ability to be more than a one-hit-wonder)
You have to compete for readers' attention in ever-new ways with e-books, but you'd have to do that with a trad pub contract. E-books do seem the wave of the future – the only challenge is marketing them, but that's a whole other subject.