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The Changing Face of Publishing: Digital Formats

by Megan Leiter, Event Coordinator

A digital boom is reverberating within the literary world with the rise of eBooks, eReaders, eBookstores and apps. Some establishments are trading in the traditional form of books altogether in exchange for a digital replacement. For example, the Oxford English Dictionary is considering never publishing another print edition. In addition, some colleges are requiring students to purchase eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad to download their textbooks instead of purchasing printed textbooks. Such is true at Long Island University where they’ve launched the “IPAD PROJECT,” a program that sells Apple iPads to students for half price and allows them to connect with faculty, classmates and advisors, get the latest campus news and apps, download digital textbooks, take notes in class, and even organize and store their assignments and presentations.

The publishing and book industry is moving to digital formats fast, so what does that mean for authors? What are the advantages?

  • For authors, this gives you the chance to meet a whole new demographic other than the traditional in-store book buyer
  • Digital and multimedia formats offer readers a new way of reading books with photos, interactive links, games, animation, music, voiceovers and more like never before
  • Children’s authors gain the capacity to engage their readers more effectively than ever
  • Environmentally friendly digital formats offer cheaper per-purchase prices for eBooks and entice readers to make a satisfying purchase (doing good for the environment, and saving money compared to printed books)

As a consumer who has an expansive collection of printed books in addition to an e-reader myself, I strongly believe that traditional, paper books will always remain in the market but digital formats will continue to grow and give readers more options than ever before.

I encourage you to talk to your publisher about offering your book in a digital format, whether it’s an eBook or digital app, to reach a quickly growing segment of the book market.

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