Just some of my thoughts...... Please feel free to share your own.
Already the publishing industry has seen changed due to e-readers such as the Nook, Kindle and iPad. A lot of people incorrectly assume that this has been bad for the publishing companies, but I have to disagree. As an aspiring author that has extensively researched book publishing; as well as someone who regularly reviews books for publishing companies, I can attest to the fact that they have changed with the times in many ways. Just because a book is published in an electronic capacity does not mean that it was not attached to a publishing company. Publishing companies also have a hand in many e-books, and aide in processes such as editing. Most major authors are publishing in multiple formats, hardback, paperback, audio and e-books. The biggest take-away from publishing companies is the ease in self-publishing that has been brought about. However, having read and reviewed books from many independent authors, I have found a lot lacking in many books that are not professionally produced. The editing is atrocious and takes away from the story. This results in a book being released that is in more of a draft format than a polished copy feel that readers want to see. Self-publishing also does not provide for assistance in advertisement and the author must to their own marketing, which utilizes many social networking sites. Self-publishing can be successful and profitable if done correctly. There are also many ways to “print on demand” that allows an independent author to have physical copies of books made up without a publishing company. In order for a publishing company to truly be affected it takes a knowledgeable driven author that has reliable editing and promotion help, otherwise the published books are a better read.
Copyright issues will always be a problem as long as it is easy to copy the information and share it. Many e-books are available at free at one time or another. I personally only “purchase” amazon kindle books during “free” sales. I am legally obtaining the books, and never having to pay. Books, as with music sell based on reviews and word of mouth. I have received many books for free in the past few months because the author or publishing company is giving them away for a free review. Ripping off a story is illegal and should be punished, but sharing a story for the review and word of mouth it will generate is still in the best interest of the author, and can help obtain future fans and sales.
When it comes to the reading of physical or e-books, I still will choose a physical book every time. There is just something about being able to hold a book in my hands that makes me feel even more connected to the story. I also love being able to put the book on my bookshelf. One of my dreams in life has been to have a multiple story library in my house. I think it was inspired by the Beauty and the Beast library, which was based off of a real castle in Germany. E-readers are better for travel and for quick reading as they stay on the page that you last left off when you turn it back on. It the best to have both for certain books that are only published in digital format.