Yesterday Jim brought me to Best Buy to look at iPads. I say he brought me because he's the one interested in tech and who has been looking into various e-readers, mobiles, etc. for months. The trip to Best Buy felt alot like visting the pet store with my sister to play with the puppies--provoking the same urge to wash my hands and recurrent longing to go back and buy what I'd played with. It will be a while before I buy an iPad (or a puppy, for that matter), but I liked the iPad more than I expected. I'd pictured it just a little too large to be handy. In reality it was lighter and smaller than I'd imagined; the display was crisp; navigation quick and easy. I might be in love.
I'm excited, too, about the expanding market for e-readers and the subsequent opportunities that are arising for new writers like myself. Until recently, I hadn't considered self-publishing as an option. But there is quite a buzz about how e-readers are changing the publishing industry and the possibility for independent writers to make money outside traditional publishing channels.
A couple days ago Joe Konrath posted an interesting blog entry that mentioned his success self-publishing on Kindle (A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Publishers + Ebooks = Epic Fail). Konrath's post led to insightful discussion as well as questions about how writers, both published and as-yet unpublished, can benefit from the expansion of e-publishing. I'll be watching this discussion over the next few months as I continue polishing my manuscripts.
Experts are predicting multi-function devices such as the iPad will increase the market for e-books even more as those unwilling to buy dedicated e-readers purchase iPads and buy e-books as an afterthought (IPad May Be ‘Black Ship’ That Shakes Up Japan’s Book Industry and How the iPad Could Make Books Go Viral). At a recent e-book conference in Australia, Dr. Richard Seymour of the University of Sydney stated that a third of books will be read on e-readers within the next five years (Third of books to be read on e-readers within 5 years). I sense that when my work is ready, I'll have options for reaching readers.