Paperless publishing – the future of the book

The impending release of the Apple iPad and the restructuring of the pricing system for e-books will change the game, and publishers, authors and consumers will have to adapt to the new world of paperless publishing.

Impact of the iPad
When the iPad lands in consumers’ hands in spring 2010, the publishing market will change overnight. By all accounts, the full-color iPad will be an upgrade over the black-and-white Amazon Kindle, its closest competitor, as well as the Sony eReader and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Apple’s iPad, essentially a larger version of the iPod Touch, will retail for just $499, and its iBook application will put customers just a click away from a virtual bookstore. Additionally, Apple has already pushed for new e-book pricing, a move welcomed by publishers, who have complained about the $9.99 e-book price on Amazon for some time.

Publishers come on board
The long-term attractiveness of paperless publishing is beyond question. Publishers who are not planning dual courses in print and electronic publishing will be left behind by those who do. The new price agreements with Apple, which make e-books slightly more expensive for consumers and therefore more profitable for publishers, should make it much easier for publishers to decide to enter e-publishing. And the benefits for publishers are very real. E-books eliminate expensive printing and storage costs, and delivery problems (eg, out-of-print books) simply don’t exist.

The Changing Role of Authors
In the past, the path to success for authors usually led through a publishing house. However, authors who turn to digital publishing will largely be able to navigate their own path. Authors now have the opportunity to turn to electronic self-publishing. And that’s not a bad thing. Because authors enjoy the same cost-saving benefits of e-publishing as publishers, authors can write electronically and self-publish at low cost. Authors will be able to control their work and their profits in a way that wasn’t available until recently.

Where are the consumers?
Ultimately, the consumer will be the big winner in the coming world of digital publishing. True, the cost of an e-reader is pretty high right now, creating a very real barrier between publishers and their customers. However, it is very likely that e-reader prices will start falling due to intense competition. The iPad’s $499 price tag, which many thought was significantly higher, is a good indication that prices should come down to attract more buyers. Once customers have an e-reader, they have instant access to a full range of titles at a low cost, even with the eventual price change from the current Kindle standard of $9.99.

what it all means
Ultimately, consumers will determine the impact of paperless publishing and how publishers respond to it. When people want to read e-books, they vote by spending their dollars. Publishers will be forced to respond to demand if they want to stay in business.

Thanks to Martin Alan | #Paperless #publishing #future #book

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