eBooks: No longer the future

They’re the PRESENT!

Yeah, Mashable has a story about how Kindle books are outselling hardcovers on Amazon and the L. A. Times has a long article on how ebooks are transforming the reading experience. Even most authors are prepared for the need to push the various electronic editions, but we’re still figuring out the best ways to do that — how do you promote without a physical object? That intangibility gives a lot of people discomfort.

I was supposed to be interviewed on the topic today, but the video interview became a telephone interview because of “breaking news” (I was relieved: haven’t had a haircut since leaving for England) and now it seems to have been put off at least until tomorrow if not indefinitely. So I’ll share my idea for a good quote:  I’m sure when Gutenberg printed his first bibles, there were doubtless people who said, “Well that’s interesting, but I’m never going to give up my vellum.  It’s painstakingly created by monks over months and sometimes year, with great attention to detail. Each one is individually written in the hand of the scribe and decorated with charming marginalia.”

True enough, Gutenberg probably said. However, you can have this one right away. All of you. And for much less money.

Sure, there will continue to be printed books for a very long time. There will even continue to be handmade books for a long time. The digital revolution, though, has already happened. Jump on the wave to ride it or let it wash over you for now. But the wave is here. Like digital downloads of music, kids already born will consider it the norm. That’s change.

UPDATE: I talked to the reporter today, although the story had already been recorded (which aired today; it’s the second video that cycles up).  We chatted for a bit and she was intrigued by a number of things I brought up about my experiences teaching New Media and having both print and ebooks to promote. My BitchBuzz column this week is an expansion of this topic.