Digital publication still requires distribution. Digital publication does cost less than traditional print publication, no matter what you're publishing. Take a look at spi-global. There are many reasons for this, but a big one is that it doesn't require the same materials or processes. Whether something is self-published or professionally published depends on who pays for the service, not the way the material eventually reaches the audience.
While digital publishing is an inexpensive and easy alternative for self-publishers, it isn't only used in that way. Print runs cost money for the printing process. You can also find digital versions of books by best-selling authors, famous comic books, and daily newspapers with national circulation. Check out Supplier Relationship Management. The switch to including digitally published works, in addition to or instead of, traditionally published works has several reasons.
This also makes distribution easier. Digitally published materials have no printing costs: a big part of any publishing budget. They also don't cost anything to distribute, unlike printed matter which must be packaged and shipped. You won't have to worry about unsold copies taking up shelf space in a store, prompting returns, or filling up warehouses. Smaller prices can spur customers to purchase material they would otherwise have passed up, as the investment isn't as big.
Digital copies are also easier to distribute. You can make the material available for download from content suppliers or distribute it yourself via a website or email. Embedded links can also take users to related information, stores that sell the product, or other material they may find useful.
Digital publication also results in a product that is easy to use. Your customers or readers can quickly and efficiently find the exact reference or entry they were looking for with the search function on their e-reader, tablet, or computer. This makes it more likely that they will be able to find what they need in your work, which can translate to sales or citations.
While there are many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to digital publishing that you should consider. For example, digitally published works need to be viewed with a piece of technology that not everyone has. That is, you need a piece of equipment to read a digital file, whereas a printed book requires only the book itself. Visit spi-global.com for more info. This means that any household without a computer, e-reader, or tablet will not be able to access your material. A less tangible, but still important, disadvantage is that the customer will not have a physical copy of your material, which for some can feel less like ownership. Publishing your material both in print and digitally can help you reach the widest audience.