eBooks: What’s the Big Deal?

by Jessica Mifsud

Published at 2012-10-15

Ladies and gentlemen, today The Editing Company is launching their brand new eBook Conversion Services. This means that TEC will now not only edit your book, but we’ll convert it into ePub format for you, too!


In recognition of this event, I have one simple statement to make: Print books are awesome.


Now, don’t get me wrong. I support technological advances as much as every other non-Ludite. I’ve been exploring the internet since I was old enough to be better at using a computer than my parents. I can’t go anywhere without my iPod, and creating eBooks from a hunk of raw text may or may not be one of my more useful skills.


I’m going to be in love with print books forever. But eBooks have quickly become a very big, very important deal, and I want to explain why even a print enthusiast can be excited about them. 


Why We Should All Be Excited

The fence between loving print books and cheering on eBooks is very hard to sit on. With technology improving so quickly and people stuffing their laptops and tablets and smartphones into their backpacks and briefcases and pockets to take wherever they go, it’s clear that if eBooks aren’t the future (hello cassette tapes), they’re definitely a huge stepping stone on the way there.


Aside from being easier to purchase, eBooks are infinitely more portable, available in a wide variety of in-print, out-of-print, and extremely-rare-and-hard-to-find styles, and are encouraging a lot more people to start reading. Maybe it used to be really uncool to be sporting a mammoth-sized 1000-page book, or a fluffy romance novel, on the subway. But now that weight of all that paper and the stigma of people seeing that steamy cover illustration has been negated by the eReader, why not read a chapter or two on the commute to work?


eBooks are even making it easier for people to get published. Got a brilliant manuscript collecting (figurative) dust on your hard drive that you know the whole world would love if only they could see it? ePublishing may well be the answer! Turn that manuscript into an eBook, and no matter where your readers are, or what kind of technology they prefer to use — be it a computer, smartphone, or eReader — they can read that sucker anywhere. In the park! On the plane! In the middle of the night (most eReaders are backlit)! In the shower! Well, okay, maybe not there, but the possibilities are otherwise endless.


If even half the people who ever thought about writing a book use the sheer accessibility of producing their own eBook as a reason to start writing, and half the non-readers who ever thought they might want to read if only the bookstore wasn’t so far away buys an eBook, then the eBook just might be making the world a better and, importantly, more literate place. So even though eBooks won’t be replacing the feel or smell of a print book until scratch-and-sniff technology takes a great leap forward, that’s the big deal.