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E-books, the iPad, and a new era for self-publishing

Writers used to query literary agents and send books to traditional publishers in the hopes of making a name for themselves in the literary world. Today, this trend sometimes seems like it’s inching towards extinction, with the advent of e-books and the deluge of self-publishing opportunities that give writers the chance they need to become, at the very least, “published.”

The traditional publishing establishment has always sneered at “vanity press” titles, but this hierarchal division may be coming to an end, as reported by  The Wall Street Journal. Amazon, for instance, offers several self-publishing tools to authors and even provides opportunities for publication in print and online for promising writers who have sold particularly well.

With products like Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle, the popularity of e-books is on the rise, creating a powerful niche in book publishing that threatens the authority of traditional book publishing power houses.

Take Karen McQuestion’s debut novel,  A Scattered Life, which sold 36,000 e-book copies through Amazon’s Kindle bookstore and now has a film option with a Hollywood producer. In McQuestion’s own words, “All of this time I have been trying to get traditionally published, I was sending my manuscript to the wrong coast.”

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