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Published:March 8th, 2009 20:34 EST

E-Book or Book? That Is The Question.

By Ed Roberts

Once only a part of science fiction, e-books and e-book readers are quickly becoming more and more readily available to the public. Though readers like Kindle by Amazon and those produced by Sony currently lead the market, many other companies are set to enter some even with cell phones capable of reading e-book formats. This leaves both readers and publishers with new and exciting options and also some fairly tough decisions.


In the past, a book would be written by an author, screened by editors, sent to a publishing house, forwarded to a printer, and then, finally, made available to the public.


The rise in both printing cost and book distribution placed a great deal of pressure however on the publishing companies because for them to see a return on their initial investment a book would have to see a larger and larger number of sales. This placed more and more restrictions on what books and authors the publishers were willing to work with.


The e-book does offer the promise to eliminate at least part of the cycle. Since there are no printing costs and the books can be distributed electronically it would seem that the e-book would be a perfect solution to the problem. Of course until recently e-book readers were not readily available and those that were carried a rather high price tag. Another challenge as well is the market itself; there will always be people who simply prefer to have a solid book, printed on paper, that they can carry with them wherever they want to read.


As an author myself, I have decided not ignore the new promise that e-books offer. Sony has just listed my first three poetry collections on their site, A Poet`s Last Stand, I`m Still Standing, and Everything Must Have a Beginning, a Middle, and an End.  (These books are no longer available in print to the public, another very good option e-books offer BTW) Still my latest book Whispers, Tears, Prayers, and Hope is also available in print from


In the end I feel both the readers, authors, and publishers will determine the impact e-books will have on the book market and at what level they will be priced at as well.


Like most great stories, it is more enjoyable to follow the journey than to simply try and skip to the end. The e-book story promises to be a very exciting ride.


Ed Roberts


For more information on e-books and e-book readers see