A recent report from the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) shows a 200 percent increase for wholesale e-book sales from last January. Apple, Google, Sony and Barnes & Noble are also looking to get a piece of this e-licious pie, as sales are predicted to jump six percent this year alone. Taking advantage of this $350 million e-book dollar industry is Amazon.com, already selling over half of its books electronically as millions of readers switch from paperbacks to touch screens.
Aside from being environmentally friendly, e-books allow users to easily navigate through information; a reader can easily search for items in the text without excessively flipping through pages. Its interactive video and audio features give readers extended freedom to explore their text. Readers can also click on links leading them to more information on the stories they are reading. E-books also favor to those with disabilities. Fonts in e-books can be resized, making it easier for far-sighted readers.
Unfortunately, as e-book sales soar, so does the price of college tuition. According to recent studies by the College Board, tuition prices are predicted to rise, and have already increased twelve percent for U.S. public colleges in the past two years. So while students may be in need of cheaper books, they probably won’t be able to come up with the money to make it happen. More and more publishers are taking heed of the e-book takeoff and publishing more online materials than ever before. It won’t be long until every textbook is available online, and for students, it can’t come soon enough.
E-book readers can also subscribe to personalized newspaper and magazine subscriptions. With special downloaded applications, such as Apple’s iScroll, e-books can be downloaded as audio books, and some elementary school teachers have used this application to aid their students who are just learning to read. And with upcoming editing software such as McMillan’s DynamicBooks, the e-book industry is making it easier for teachers to communicate directly with students. This particular software is completely customizable so that professors will be soon be able to edit syllabi, videos, books and other course documents without having to get approval from publishers. Companies such as Smashwords make it easy for anyone to become a published ebook author.