As the panel discussions circulate around how to navigate the digital book business, the showroom floor is buzzing with companies selling solutions to the problem. The Digital Book Zone is much bigger this year than it was last year. I heard that last year there were only about six eBook companies exhibiting and this year there are about sixty. No wonder everyone keeps talking about the “tipping point” of digital publishing.
Barnes & Noble’s Editorial Director Liz Scheier is at the show demonstrating B&N’s take on digital publishing. Their new PubIt technology, which will be out this summer, helps independent publishers and self-published authors distribute their work on BN.com, said Scheier. An author or publisher simply has to create an account on BN.com, share their bank account and credit card information (to get paid) and upload a digital file of the work (Word document, HTML, RTF, TXT) to PubIt. No EAN required.
Consumers can buy these books at BN.com and read them on various devices including B&N’s Nook, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, laptop, etc. This makes self-publishing incredibly easy, but may lead to the future that Garrison Keillor is so worried about.