J.K. Rowling's books will finally be available in eBook form this year. Now that the entire series has been released in print, she's deciding to go digital not only with eBooks, but with an enhanced experience as well. According to the press release, she partnered with her publisher Bloomsbury to produce the eBooks, which was lucky for her publisher. They've made billions on print books and will probably make billions more on eBooks and enhanced books. Before the eBooks revolution celebrates a victory, we might all wonder if authors like Rowling will keep the traditional model alive with moves like this. Because of contractual obligations, the publishers can make billions off of eBooks. What if Steven King is next? His publisher could create an enhanced version of Cujo and keep the traditional model alive. Authors who are already making billions have no interest in creating their own eBooks because they would probably rather do something else. Also, an enhanced ebook isn't easy. If you watch J.K. Rowling's video, there are some pretty cool special effects. I can't do that. Will us self-pubbers be once again left in the dirt by fancy enhanced books? Maybe.
We might also wonder if authors are going to be selling directly from their site, will this one day end eBook distributors like Kindle. The article at Wired.co.uk said that J.K. Rowling has to have to have a distribution deal with Amazon and Apple in order to make her work available on every platform. This isn't true. The material just has to be in the correct format, no deal necessary. Smashwords is one example. They don't have a deal with Amazon, but books can be downloaded into a Kindle from the Smashwords site.
Either way, it's an exciting time and it looks like authors and readers will be the winners in the digital revolution.