Few are as much in need of a shakedown as the traditional publishing model.
The end user, AKA the customer, is so far from the producer that he is paying far more than need be. Look at the retail price of a paperback these days!
And I don't mean those poor abandoned orphans on tales outside the shops- the full price material on the shelves.
Where it is staying.
Then along comes the ebook and Print On Demand.
No more waste or risk with advance printing.
Ebooks can be produced dirt cheap. Mark Coker of Smashwords talks about the model of the four dollar book. Customers will be more inclined to try a new book or author when the price is low- way below even the discount books.
Smashwords pays authors up to 85% of the net proceeds from the sale of their works. Net proceeds to author = (sales price minus PayPal payment processing fees)*.85.
Also, the author gets to set the price and can control discounting through coupon codes. I have just had a 100% discount for the Christmas period. Being a newbie, I need to get my name out there!
Now a lot of folks are traditionalists and prefer to read paper books. I have to admit to being one of them. But there is a new breed of reader coming up- one who is more used to reading from the screen than the printed page.
They will change the face of book retailing.
Folks who live in small city apartments can keep huge libraries in digital form. No more packing crates of books- just grab the Kindle and a handful of USB sticks.
Students won't need to bust themselves carrying 30kg of textbooks around!
And best of all- those who love there card & paper can have their favorites printed out and bound as hard copy via POD!
Books will never go out of print and I won't have to hunt through second-hand book shops for long-lost old friends (although I probably still will,because I like doing so!)