by Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh: President, Word Branch Media
Not all that long ago, I would have scoffed at e-publishing as being an outlet for writers who couldn’t get published traditionally. This year I’m publishing my own writings electronically.
With the rise in popularity of e-readers, especially Amazon’s Kindle, e-publishing became a viable and even respectable way to publish. In 2010, e-books sales edged ahead of traditional book, and the industry is changing because of it.
Although there are a number of e-readers and publishers, I only have personal experience with Amazon. I became a fan of Kindle when my husband gave me one for my birthday last year, and I fell in love with the look of e-ink and e-paper. The near instant gratification is a plus too. I was once sitting at a window in my house watching the snow fall. I had a sudden yearning to read Walt Whitman poetry and within seconds I was reading a free copy of “Leaves of Grass.” Pretty cool.
Publishing on Amazon is nearly as easy as downloading a book. It’s a matter of filling out some formatting and copyright blanks and uploading. There are some glitchy issues with the formatting, but it’s a pretty mild learning curve.
All of this is something of a game changer to the traditional publishing industry. The big guys are not exactly afraid of a handful of self-publishers, but they are taking note of the winds of change blowing in the e-publishing world. I do work for a major textbook company, and they are beginning to understand the necessity for distributing e-books as well as traditional books. As an educator, I think my students would appreciate carrying around a ten ounce Kindle rather than many pounds of books—I know I would.
There’s also a revolutionary attitude surrounding e-publishing. Yes, I have seen some pretty bad self e-published books, but there are a lot of good things out there—new and different writing that perhaps would have been overlooked by traditional publishers. It’s exciting to see the beginnings of a revolution in the publishing world, and it’s even more exciting to be a part of that revolution.
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