Back at the turn of the century (the 1900s to the 2000s) I often said, “If they get the cost of the readers down, e-books are going to take off.”
I don’t know if anyone listened to me. Others, obviously, had the same thought. The readers didn’t really get cheaper, not down to the level I thought would be necessary, but inventive minds took the idea and came up with microchips that would store lots of memory (which is increasing day by day) and readers that could do more than simply duplicate a word file.
Everyone knows the explosion of e-readers has pushed book publishing in a new direction. It’s been as dramatic as the invention of the Gutenberg printing press. With the invention of the press, the masses had access to books. With e-books, the masses (us) can now publish books.
This ability to bypass traditional publishing houses that nowadays choose and reject manuscripts based more on their perceived financial value than their literary quality has been fantastic for those writers who have wonderful books that may not be best sellers. The negative, of course, is ANONE can publish a book. There is no gatekeeper.
Wait a minute. Maybe there is a gatekeeper.
We, the readers, will now be the ones who praise or reject a story. (I always like to read those first few chapters before I actually push the “buy” button.) We’re the ones who will vote with our wallets.
There have always been writers who have self-published. Now, at least, they don’t have to pay huge amounts of money to say they have a published book.
The real winners, I think, are all of us who had books published in the past that went out of print. My romances were on the store shelves for 6-weeks or less. After that, it’s been the used book stores that have profited from the sale of my books. Anyone looking for a copy of a book published ten or twenty years ago had to search for a used copy, possibly pay more than the original, and hope pages weren’t missing.
Thank goodness I was given the rights back to most of my romances. I only have a few out as e-books, but they continue to sell and are making ME a lot more money than if they were in a used book store. Now I need to get busy and get more of my previously published romances out as e-books. (My first two mysteries are already in that form, and publishing companies finally realized they could make money by utilizing the e-rights, so my future mysteries will also be out as e-books.)
Will e-books live forever?
Can there be an infinite number of e-books?
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