Thursday, 9 September 2010

Electronic Books Hitting Their Niche

While doing some research for a magazine article I was surfing the web and found myself coming across quite a few references to both the Kindle and Kobo eReaders. Both units allow a person to read electronic books in a similar fashion to the age-old way us ancient old folk used to do it back in the twenty-first century with physical books. Although eBooks have been around for more than a decade, the thought of reading a book on a small electronic device, even a unit like a Palm PDA, was more of a novelty than a norm.

However, with time comes progress, with progress comes change, and with change comes acceptance. eReaders are now better than ever and many folks who would have balked at the idea of taking one hundred novels in a little electronic book-like device with a screen to the beach or the park, now actually purchase electronic versions of books (whether versions of print books or ebook versions only) than ever had before. On average, electronic books cost less than physical books and are quick and simple to acquire (usually through download or via email.)

On the downside, that has been the bane of ebooks all along, is that anyone and their dead grandma can write and publish an electronic book. Take me for example. My self-published book, "The Complete Guide to Canada's General Mobile Radio Service" is available as both a physical book and an ebook. The ebook version is cheaper and arrives via email. But I am the author, editor, and publisher all in one. Does this mean that the book is of less quality than an ebook put out by a large respected publisher? I personally don't think so as I do have other books published by those houses.

Ebooks should be viewed the same as physical books. Some that are published by the big houses are nothing but crap, and some self-published books are better than what has gone through the typical publishing process, and vise-versa. What is clear from all this is that ebooks are now becoming an accepted version of the physical book. They will probably never replace the physical version, but like hardcovers and paperbacks are just another type of book to be enjoyed.