E-Books have democratized the book world. With self-publishing tools, eBook writers are able to establish meaningful bonds with their readers. Quality judgments have been taken away from elite and distant publishing companies, and quality assessments, being a subjective matter, is instead left to consumers.
The End of Paper Books?
Online eBook self-publishing tools are the new printing presses. Centuries ago, paper books made reading more democratic. Now the playing field is leveled again by eBooks. Today, self-publishing tools are easier to use, thanks to widely available technology, and paper books are symbols of the guild system of elitist MFA programs, snobby publishers, and readers who will buy any book with this or that publishing house attached to it. When readers discover new favorite authors, they will no longer need to be shepherded by publishing houses.
No Need for Editors and Publishing Companies
These days, people are educated enough to decide for themselves whether or not a book is worth reading. They are less reliant on editors and publishers to tell them what to read and what not to. Imagine if Galileo had a self-publishing tool—the world would have learned that he believed the Earth revolved around the Sun when he made the discovery. Editors and publishing companies distance readers from writers, but online publishing allows for more direct contact and a closer relationship, not only with the authors but within communities of readers, as well.
Impact on Bookstores and Libraries
The eBook self-publishing industry has had a transformative impact on bookstores and libraries. According to a Pew Research Center survey, twelve percent of people who read eBooks borrowed one from the library last year. That number will only continue to rise as the sales of eReaders do the same. eBook users read more books than print book users, producing an increase in sales for bookstores. Libraries are increasingly used for Internet access and not book access as it was in previous years. People are reading online, as well as on phones and other electronic devices, and it is plain to see that computer terminals take up more and more space in library branches and shelves of books are reducing.
The Quality of Work Being Published
As humans scramble, once again, to catch up to new technologies, we devise appropriate quality controls to monitor the massive influx of self-published eBooks. eBook self-publishing tools that take the temperature of a work’s quality include reviewing services. Reviewing services give books a professional review to help mediate biased opinions or opinions that authors have bought from friends and family. For instance, the author’s mother will probably give the book a five-star review. A professional review may balance that out. eBook quality is no better or worse than the quality of books that actually make it to print.
Self-publishing eBooks has at once broadened the reach of literacy and tightened the bonds that hold the writing world together. The book world is entering a more democratic age where readers make decisions about what they want to read and give less power to publishers and editors. This gives more power to writers, who can now engage with their audience through social media and Internet forums while producing work that people actually want to read.