This past weekend I attended the “Gathering Of Authors” convention sponsored by INFINITY PUBLISHING at the Raddison Hotel and Convention Center in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. I was set back on my heels by two speakers in particular–Dan Poynter (that  estimable  guru of Self-Publishing from Santa Barbara, California) and Marc Schulman, consultant and President of MultiEducator, New Rochelle, N.Y.

Let me list, paraphrased in outline form, what they said that so jolted me:

1. ebook publishing and sales is on a rocket-ride upward, while conventional trade publishing has visibly begun to take a back seat.

2. If you drew a graph of book sales, ebooks would be rising straight up, Barnes and Noble sales would still show a moderate increase, and the smaller  independent books stores would describe a line falling into the cellar. (Some people say even Borders might be teetering on the edge…)

3. Consider that you can download many ebooks of classics set up for viewing on Amazon’s Kindle ebook reading device for NO COST. (You can download MY book, 3 ACES, should you so choose,  for a modest 99 cents from my Amazon Kindle Page. Then enjoy it, any time of your choice, on your Kindle reader.) True enough, the prices of many other ebooks reach into the area of $4.95 to $9.95, but that’s a long way from the $25 to $35 hard cover prices one has been used to. These days, PRICE has become a HUGE consideration for the beleagured reader.

4. CONVENIENCE is the next biggie: consider that you can carry a whole library of ebooks on a single reader–be it a Kindle, Apple iPad, or a Barnes & Noble Nook eReader. This eliminates bookshelving in your home! If you move,  just take your eReader, Kindle, or iPad along with you in the car. The books are there–at your touch!–any time you choose to call them into sight.

5. How about the equipping of schools with ebook readers, either student by student, or by on-screen projection for entire class viewing. What does this do to the market for $130 school textbooks which students can no longer comfortably afford? What might this do to promulgate greater learning among the underprivileged? Here we have price destruction (beneficial to students) combined with ease of access. You might ask how those school texts ever got to prices in excess of $100 in the first place! It seems a bit of price destruction is well in order in the realm of education.

Well, that short list  is  just a starter–to get your head spinning. I’ll have more to say on  this sprightly new path the publishing world is taking.

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