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E-Books - Transition to Modern Day Libraries

Aug 18, 2007
Electronic books, or "ebooks", have become big business on the internet and their creation and distribution has already begun to compete with traditional off-line, hard copy, paper and ink books. If you are unfamiliar with the term "ebook", or unclear about what exactly it means, it can be rather confusing since on a computer screen or other digital reader, everything that displays text might appear to be an ebook; but that's not the case.

While all the text displayed on a computer screen or other device might be digitally formed, an ebook is distinct in that it is created with, and relies upon, specific proprietary software and technology; and it is not merely text. An ebook is quite specifically the computer equivalent of an off-line book and, contrary to many things on the internet, has a linear format and will often be designed with recognizable pages, running headers, page numbers and the trappings of a paper book.

Due to the expansion of ebooks across the traditional publishing areas, in terms of topics, they now replicate much of the output of the off-line publishers. You can find many works of fiction and non fiction in an ebook format in addition to poetry, manuals and guides; and more recently, even the traditional offline publishers are beginning to create and "publish" ebook versions of their best sellers. But the recognized gold standard of ebook publishing is the information ebook, or info product; it is an entirely new form of book which the internet has made its own.

It has long been established that one of the main uses to which the Internet, as a whole, is put to is the search for information. People all over the world connect to the internet and search for information. This may be information about pop stars or celebrities, it might be news or sports results, it may be for cooking recipes or diets, travel destinations or the new aging cure.

In every respect it is information which is searched for and the website that makes that information available in the easiest way to the most people is the site that will be visited over and over again. The internet is like a massive reference library. A product of this scenario is the ebook or info product.

Where a website can deliver information with great ease and efficiency, an ebook can deliver specialized information with authority and improved flexibility. When someone searches the internet on Google for something like "dog training" they will be presented with millions of results. They will visit some of these sites and begin to realize that each site has information but they need to go from one to another to put together the "pieces".

Perhaps they will find a site entirely about the sort of dog training they wish to read about but they still have to read each article individually, they will have to discover which articles are relevant and they will have to click from page to page and may even have to come back to the website at a later time to continue reading. Of course, they could print out the web pages they need, but often websites aren't formatted adequately for printers, and there are many unnecessary adverts and images which have nothing to do with the article. Finally, many articles on websites are not credited and the expertise of the writer isn't clear.

Why would someone pay for an ebook when there are websites with plenty of information or else a bookshop with excellent, authority books? Because an ebook delivers in the mid area between these two extremes and adds some additional qualities which neither of the other options have.

First and foremost, the ebook is compiled, relevant, information. The job of searching websites or individual articles and web pages is done for you. The price of an ebook can be seen as the price of research on a topic. Second, and almost as important, the ebook contains facts, information, straightforward, no nonsense, abc and 123 and you get it now! An ebook might be five pages or fifty but what it gives you is the information you need in a compact form. Finally, and most importantly in some minds, is that an ebook can target the smallest of niches. The production cost of an ebook is the cost of time writing it; the software for compiling and formatting it can be found free.

One of the many marvels of the internet is in the vanquishing of the concept of rarity when it comes to information. Prior to the internet, specialist interests required work, travel, and industry to pursue. Off-line book publishers can publish books on general subjects or, if there are many people interested in a topic, they can publish a book on that topic because they expect their costs to be recovered due to the topic's popularity. But what they cannot do is publish books on small niche topics. There may be thousands of people interested but these people will be widely dispersed and distribution costs money, in addition to printing. Minority interests, specialist hobbies and activities cannot be served by conventional publishers. The internet solves this issue. One website can serve all of those widely dispersed people. One ebook can also.

The two first points together are really the midpoint between off-line publishing and websites. You can get compiled and relevant information in a printed book, but you have to go into town and search the bookshelves, an ebook solves that problem. You can get instant information from a web page, but you have to find it and you have to compile which parts are relevant. And ebook solves this problem.

Finally, the added qualities of an ebook come from its ability to target widely dispersed and specialist or minority interests, compile the facts and deliver instantly. Ebooks may be an evolution of the book in form, but in function they are entirely new.
About the Author
Joshua Watson is the author of How To Buy Baby Clothes Guides , Make Money with Ebooks and Life Settlements . If you like this article, please take a look at the other sites and share your feedback.
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