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Ebooks the Media for Today and the Future

by David DeFord

Automobile features
Automobiles have come a long way. You’ve seen pictures of the old Model T’s with their hand-crank starters. Many people received serious injuries, some fatal, when those cranks recoiled. In 1911, Cadillac invented the electric starter.

Advances have been introduced every year since—improved tires, fuel injection, all-wheel drive, disc brakes, and cup holders. I know of no one who wants to go back to those hand cranks.

Television sets
The first television sets had four-inch, black and white screens. Those screens grew and grew, turned into color, and their reception greatly improved. Now we have large-screen televisions with home theatre systems featuring surround-sound.

No one wants to go back to the four-inch screens.

Since Edison invented the phonograph, with the wax cylinders, the quality and fidelity has grown. Vinyl, 78rpm, 45’s, LPs, 8-track tapes, cassettes, CD’s, DVDs, and MP3s have marked the tremendous improvement. Who knows what’s next?

Book Production
The production of books has also come a long way. Handwritten scrolls, Guttenberg’s press, fixed type, movable type all came along over several hundred years.

As a kid, I remember visiting my hometown newspaper office, where my brother worked, and watched the marvelous work of the linotype machine. The operator typed on a keyboard, and the movable type was arranged mechanically into the layout for the next weekly issue.

Computer composition for printed books has replaced those two-ton monsters. No one wants to go back to the linotypes.

Now, e-books are rising in popularity. Their expanded usefulness has greatly revolutionized literature. They represent a tremendous advancement to both the author and to the consumer.

Advantages to the author
E-books are easy and inexpensive to create. Many tools are available, the most popular is Adobe Acrobat. The author composes his book in Microsoft Word, and then uses Adobe Acrobat to generate his book in pdf format.

Once the book has been generated, it can hit the market on the Internet immediately. Print versions take months to get to the end-consumer. Because of the simplicity of marketing on the web, most e-book authors become their own publishers. That way, authors are able to keep much more of the proceeds of their work.

Advantages to the consumer
The most impressive advantages can be realized by the consumer. When they choose to purchase the book on the web, they simply complete the payment information and can download the product immediately. The consumer need not drive to a “bricks and mortar” bookstore, nor need he order the book from an online bookstore and wait days or weeks for the product.

E-books provide many features to the consumer that printed books cannot. Hyperlinks provide an interactive table of contents and links to Internet websites providing additional information or related resources to the reader. Also, sound and video can enhance the reader’s experience.

Unlike radio or television, e-books can be read any time the reader chooses, and he can print the entire book or specific pages as desired. This feature is greatly enhanced when the e-book is converted by the reader to be loaded onto their personal digital assistants. This morning, I read from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich as I pedaled my recumbent stationary bike.

On the web, you can find thousands and thousands of titles available in e-book form. Many best-selling print books have been converted to e-books because of their tremendous convenience. Other books have been written specifically and solely as e-books.

E-books represent a wonderful advancement in information distribution. Of course, printed books are not in danger of extinction. But e-books will continue to make great gains, and will continue to delight those who make the jump to this advanced technology.

Once you buy an e-book or two, you will prefer to give up electronic starters and go back crank-starter automobiles rather than stop reading e-books.

Selected Quotes

"Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins." Jim Rohn

"Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune." Jim Rohn

"Success means accomplishments as the result of our own efforts and abilities. Proper preparation is the key to our success. Our acts can be no wiser than our thoughts. Our thinking can be no wiser than our understanding." George Clason

"No matter where we begin, if we pursue knowledge diligently and honestly our quest will inevitably lead us from the things of earth to the things of heaven." Hugh Nibley

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