When I was in business school, I had this crazy marketing professor who claimed that Amazon's new Kindle would revolutionize the way we read books. He predicted that the introduction of e-readers to the marketplace would force many traditional bookstores to close and shake the publishing industry to its core as millions of people converted to the ereader format.
I thought the guy was crazy. Not just because he wore Hawaiian shirts to class everyday and had a handlebar mustache that often carried bits of his lunch in it, but because I simply could not fathom a world where people would willingly abandon the paperback book.
Fast forward to today.
Since getting my nook (I'm one of those rare creatures that has not succumbed to the Kindle's lure, perhaps just to prove to my professor that Amazon will not take over the world like he predicted) I've found that I read more than I ever did in my paperback/hardcover days. In fact, I think I've double my annual reading level because it's just so damn easy to read anywhere and everywhere, and every book is just a click away.
I'm a total e-reader convert.
I'm not saying ebooks are perfect - I miss being able to easily flip back and forth between the cover blurb and the story, or stare at the cover artwork to see if I agree with the main character's picture. But the fact that my nook fits snugly into my purse so I can carry it with me everywhere far outweighs any downsides (including the hit my wallet has taken since my book buying has doubled.)
I didn't think I could love ebooks any more - until I read about Authorgraph.
Now there's a way for authors to actually sign ebooks. How cool is that? This is especially good news for authors who only publish in e-form. Now when you give away books for contests or promos, you can include a personalized message to the winner. Or imagine a world where you can do live ebook signings? Now THAT would be freaking cool.
Even if you do get published in print format, having the option to autograph books in e-form is a boon to your marketing campaign. E-books are lower in cost, so you can promote for less when you use this format vs. traditional print.
I suppose I should acknowledge that Professor Food-in-the-Stache was right. E-books have revolutionized the publishing world, bookstores have closed, and Amazon, The Great Disruptor, is slowly climbing it's way to the number one retailer spot.
What's next? Flying cars?