The publishers know that the writing is on the wall, the authors, their agents and editors are coming to realise it too. Readers with iPads surely know which way the wind of change is blowing for they are in the driving seat of moving from paper based books to the electronic book, or eBook. Soon the general reading public will acknowledge that ebooks are the way forward too. When the books become available cheaper and easier in the iPad bookstore online and in other electronic books stores, the traditional books stores days will be numbered.
The older generations will still have that thing about wanting to feel the paper and experience the smell of the ink as they turn the pages. Being of that generation, I can understand that, and appreciate the joy of reading in that way. There will come a time when the reading public will first look for ebooks and use the paper based books only as a novelty. Already school kids, and their parents are looking forward to the day when text books can all fit on one device and no longer have to break the kids backs, with the carrying to and from school and between classes. Not only are the ebooks going to be lighter and practical in that way, but they will provide a richer learning experience. A complete learning system can be held within the ebook with quizzes, flash cards, video, zoomable pictures, audio explanations and a way to put in annotations and synchronise notes with an overall study kit.
For the reader of novels that you will get from the various iPad bookstores online you can still have the experience of flicking from page to page. It doesn’t have to be a soulless electronic experience. Metaphors for page turing and the look and feel of the book can easily be included within the software to make reading ebooks enjoyable. Online bookstores such as the Kindle bookstore allow you you lend a book or to borrow a book for a couple of weeks. It is not necessarily going to be that they will squeeze extra money from the reading public. Deals are being done so that libraries can lend electronic books too.
Authors and writers will still write books and many more will take the self publishing route seeing as the combination of the change to ebooks and the financial collapse of late are sending more publishing houses to the wall. If publishers are not going out of business altogether, then they are expecting those writers that do get book deals to do more and more of the promotion of their books themselves. There will be smaller runs of paper based books and if the books are ebooks, then why not self publish to put in the iPad bookstore online and other electronic bookstores to make a bigger percentage of the sale of each book. Blogging and using social media to generate a following of a writers works is not going to be beyond the abilities of the modern writer. All you need is a copy of Scrivener to allow you to write the book and output as a ebook.