There are several reasons for putting your content into a proprietary software solution, they include:
• “SO YOU CAN OVER CHARGE CUSTOMERS!” – The first one many people reply with but not terribly true.
• “Because people steal!” – The second one many people reply with and your milage may vary, but it is certainly a concern that is valid in general even if it doesn’t prove out to occur in one’s particular case.
• “So you can control the user experience” – More true than one realizes, at least in the intent, PDF only does so much, ePUB – as an example – offers drastically more options, so when choosing a platform one evaluates the feature set and says, “Hey look at all the cool[er] things we can offer!”, whether those happen ends up being a separate decision point down the road.
We’ve looked a lot at publishing our titles digitally and come to two conclusions: 1) Because of the integrated experience we’d want to offer, we can’t just dump them to a PDF and post them online, 2) Because of the work required to accomplish that integration, it would cost more to develop a digital version than the current print version. This hasn’t convinced us not to do it, rather it has caused us not to take it lightly.