Electronic Publishing-Following the Growth of the 'Modern Pied Piper' of the Publishing Industry
The arrival of eBooks into the ever-changing flux of the consumer marketplace has taken the realm of publishing with a surprise like never before. Electronic publishing has changed the publishing turf for the better. The word signifies digital format of books, magazines, reports, journals etc. hoarded in digital or electronic form and it comes with incredible conveniences that its counterpart only can dream of. The incredible growth of e-publishing can be attributed to the myriad of indisputable benefits brought for the users; smaller investments, low inventory storage expenses, low production cost and the grand opportunities made available to stretch out to a bigger audience across the world in the most lucrative of ways.
The growth has been rightly articulated by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg of the Wall Street Journal. He said that the publishing playground is on the verge of dynamic change as more people are opting to buy books online. And, that eBooks are becoming a force to be reckoned contributing about 8-10% of the total revenue of some of the major publishers.
While the debate of electronic publishing vs. the traditional print version has been raging, the popularity of ePublishing has only started to climb higher and only higher—and, rightfully so. For the older generation that held a physical book in their hand and turned pages, the whole eBook affair is something that is not easily digestible. However, the corporate and newer generation has wholeheartedly welcomed it with open hands and all their excitements.
The not-so-unexpected growth of the encouraging market
Of all the timely technological advances that took place in the last decade, it is the outbreak of personal computers and smartphones that contributed heavily to the very growth of ePublishing. At the same time, the availability of various eBook readers and portable devices that model the experience of reading a real book cannot be overlooked, either. Added convenience, better internet connectivity, ever-changing lifestyles and emergence of eTeaching have all positively driven the growth of the sector.
The major issue of piracy and copyrights
One of the major issues that thwarted the otherwise smooth growth of ePublishing—albeit slightly—is its susceptibility to piracy and copyright infringements. As a result, before ePublishing can become the force it aims to be in the industry, such issues must be addressed, sooner rather than later. There are issues like plagiarism, unauthorized access or unauthorized content sharing that are serious issues that must be taken care of. Though many players have come up with solutions where users cannot download a copy of the content, IP-based access and login-based access permission etc. have been adapted. However, we can only hope that better and permanent solutions can arrive at market continues to grow.
The role of authors
Though authors have welcomed the development in ePublishing, they have always seen it as a second fiddle to the paper version of their books. This is largely due to that fact that, they are very much wary about the piracy and copyright issues—something that is almost zero with its print counterparts—that come with ePublishing. Though authors have the benefit of expanding to a larger audience, unless the issues of copyrighting can be confidently addressed, the larger community of authors may not outsource eBook conversions and stay away from wholeheartedly accepting ePublishing.
Publishers and their acceptance of ePublishing
One of the chief advantages publishers see is that this can be used as perfect means to test the market and based on the same they can plan their future marketing as well. If the eBook file format cannot elicit the response they were hoping, they could accordingly adapt their marketing efforts saving lots of money and potential loss of revenue. On the other hand, if the eBook is able to get a better response, then the publishers can publish eBooks for those who prefer it and publish printed books for those who prefer them. There are several companies offering epublishing services upon which authors can rely.
Reading habits of people
With the advent of the internet, the audience is presented with a wide plethora of options to read from and the reading habits of people have changed immensely, as well. Along with the internet come a wide variety of choices that can be presented to the audience in the likes of eJournals and eZines. One other area, where eBook conversion have gained a lot of traction is the education sector. With several digital schooling platforms and online educational content being published every day, electronic publishing is sure to shape the reading habits of people to a larger extent.
Major players in the mix of ePublishing
There already are players that make a considerable impact in the ePublishing industry and there are reports that eStores—like Amazon—are already selling more eBooks than printed copies. The popularity also brought in many branded eBooks as well to the mix such as Kindle, Apple iSlate, Sony's Reader, Nook and most smartphones supporting eBooks as well. The presence of stores such as Sony, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble that provide eContent—with incredibly incorporated rich media—befitting the tastes and preferences of a large audience has helped accelerate the growth of the same as well. Most popular digital ebook formats are in fact supported by these major players.
The impending future of eBook readers: only getting better
Everyone knows that something as game-changing and convenient as ePublishing is only going to get better as time passes. With more and more people and publishers come forward to take advantage of the same, the ePublishing industry would be an excellent vehicle that can carry the entire publication industry on its own shoulder. If the trends and markets analyses are to be believed, it has already begun. With advances being made to blend more rich-content and features into eBooks, the time is not far away from where ePublishing becomes synonymous with publication. Features of enhanced eBooks are sure to be captivating and convincing for all categories of audience.
While there are numerous ways in which the untapped potential of ePublishing can be utilized, the same needs a collective endeavor of people from different verticals of the industry such as authors, publishers, readers and others who can contribute technically to the growth of the same.