Is There New Life in E-Book Publishing? And Should You Join the E-Crowd?

According to a recent article in the New York Times, while traditional publishers are struggling to turn a profit, e-book publishing is undergoing a boom. Not unlike (in my opinion!) the initial shot heard round the Internet when the first e-books hit the scene a decade or so ago.As an author, entrepreneur or small business owner, should you turn to e-book publishing as a solid tool in your marketing repertoire? I say “yes!”First, the Bad RapFrom day one, the bad rap about e-books was that nobody wanted to sit at a computer and read a book. Further, the thought of how much ink it would take to print a 50, 80 or 120 page book was daunting.Early adopters [note: these are people who are typically on the front lines of any new idea or new product] jumped on e-books, inherently understanding their potential.And while early adopters (including savvy Internet marketers) stayed on the e-book band wagon, others fell off – certain that no one wanted to read at a computer, print an e-book, or worse – – what if one person bought the book and illegally copied it and sent it to 50 of their pals? After all, who in their right mind wants to spend time putting together a product, only to see it given away to the masses?And did I mention selling an e-book meant putting up a site, setting up a payment vendor, and then figuring out stuff like auto responders, secure downloads, FTP and the whole techie lot? For mainline authors, this is the stuff that nightmares are made of.And, like any idea who time has come and gone, e-books as a popular delivery model gave way to podcasts, videos, and subscription services.But wait – that’s not the end of the tale.New Life for the Digital PublisherAs online marketing evolved, podcasts, videos and subscription services remained popular, but ta-da! e-books (like that famous Phoenix in Harry Potter) rose from the ashes. Did the same problems remain, i.e. lack of security, reading at the computer, etc.? Yes, but what caused the revival – in my opinion – was the ease of delivery.Today, authors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners can easily publish digitally without knowing anything about technology. How? By using services that publish digital media – like Lulu.com or Amazon’s Kindle. Yes, you have to convert your digital media to the correct format – an easy service to track down, or as a DIY project for the adventurous souls – but you can get your product out in front of millions of eyes without a lot of time or money invested.Does this mean your e-book will make you a gazillionaire? Sadly, I don’t own that particular crystal ball! However, I do believe that with the right material, a solid marketing plan, and the willingness to succeed, you will do as well as you choose.And if the New York Times is correct, there’s no time like right now to jump into e-books; there’s very little overhead, you’ll make more than if you were traditionally published, and you’ll have the creative control traditional publishing steals away from authors and entrepreneurs.Watch the news, and I guarantee you’ll start seeing the major publishing houses lay off editors, while online publishers gear up for more and more work. Now that prediction IS in my crystal ball!Take the Leap – Jump on the Front End of this TrendAs a four-time traditionally published author, I’m living proof that the benefits of e-publishing are many, not the least the financial side.I earned more money in one week from just one of my e-books than I earned in royalties from my four traditionally published books combined. Now that’s saying something.And the something it’s saying is: Get E-Published!