Kindle, iPad, ebooks and your self-publishing future

Much discussion surrounds the future of ebook readers in the digital publishing world with the Kindle, iPad, and the upcoming release of the Google Book Store. Will e-books replace libraries and bound copies of books? Who’s to say? According to the Wall Street Journal, ebooks will account for 8.5% of all book sales this year.

But that’s really not the question; as authors, let’s step outside the box.

Think of e-books as an opportunity to tease. With a lower purchase price and more immediate gratification, many readers are inclined to give an e-book a try when they might pass on a traditional paperback, especially in the non-fiction and how-to genres. Instantly accessible information has its place, even though it is far from “everyplace”. And doubtful it ever will be. If readers like your e-book, chances are good they’ll end up purchasing the hardcopy book, anyway.

You can create an ebook on your own, but most full-service self-publishing firms will include that step for you. Many will for free.

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Kindle versus iPad. Or, not really at all…

At the recent Self-publishing Book Expo in New York City, Amazon’s Jason Kuykendall admitted to owning both a Kindle and an iPad.

(Don’t tell Jeff Bezos!) He already knows, and should because this is a good thing for Amazon, and for self-publishing authors. As Jason pointed out, the Kindle is more than a device among the various available – it is a distribution channel. As a reader, you may have a preference, or as can be the case with Apple an open prejudice. We’ll let Bezos and Jobs worry about those manufacturing and marketing details.

As an author, these devices are much more than readers, they are distribution channels from the Espresso Book Machine all the way up to Ingram. Instead of being readers, the Kindle and iPad are for authors important distribution channels.

Be sure to check with your publisher about options distributing through as many as possible.

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