Posted by: anitanolan | February 1, 2011

Bob Stein Wants to Change How People Think About the Book

Wow, there’s a lot about e-books in the news right now. Amazon, in case you hadn’t noticed, says that sales of e-books surpassed sales of hardcover books last year.

I find this believable. We have a Kindle (for our son) now, something I didn’t think we’d get. Our friends, one of whom is a voracious reader, both got them. The voracious reader travels a lot, and told me he probably bought 70 fewer paperbacks, which he often reads on flights, this year, and downloaded them instead.

If our son and our friend are any indication, e-books are helping people read more, which is a good thing.

Here’s another interesting article about e-books from the LA Times:

Reporting from New York —

Back in 1992, virtual eons before the Kindle and the iPad, Bob Stein created software that let a reader flip through an electronic book on a laptop computer.

To demonstrate the program at conferences, Stein would lie down on stage as if reading in bed.

“Publishers would see this and they would think it was cute, but they didn’t think it had anything to do with them,” he recalled.

Now that the revolution is here, Stein says publishers should embrace what he sees as the inevitable result: the evolution of reading from a solitary pursuit into a communal, electronically networked activity — something he calls social reading and writing.

Read the rest here.


  1. so how exactly to you go about publishing and making money from an e-book?

    • I think that it is a pretty tough go for those who have not been published and don’t have a platform or name recognition. There have been a few people who started by self-publishing as an e-book and was successful and then got a traditional publishing contract. I posted a link to someone that that happened to a month or two ago. If I can find the link I’ll be back and post it.

      Found it: This is about a woman who self-published through Amazon, but her book went up as an e-book first. Not exactly the same, but similar.

      But, I do think that’s the rare event and most people who either self-publish or e-publish don’t sell much.

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