Many assume that just because Amazon and other companies are selling a ton of e-books, the industry is a finished business. In reality, it is still growing fast. Just like TV and radio evolved into bigger and better things, there is no reason to assume something similar won’t happen to e-books. Enhanced e-books are the future. The good news is the rise of e-books has given many the chance to get involved in this business without having a big publishing team behind them.
Science fiction author David Gerrold seems to agree that e-books may not be finished products at this point:
… Ebooks represent a shift from a culture of scarcity to a culture of abundance. In the past, publishing required a great deal of time and energy and resources for production. Books and magazines and newspapers needed a whole industry of typesetters, editors, designers, and ultimately publishers who would decide if a book was worthy of that effort. But ebooks can be published by anyone who can figure out how to use a computer. Today, with the growing phenomenon of self-publishing, especially in ebook form, anyone can walk into that same library and shove his book onto the shelf between Sartre and Shakespeare, between Dickens and Disch, between Heinlein and Hugo, and claim the credibility of publication…
I have a suspicion that future e-books will offer a very different experience than what we have on the market today. People do still read books these days (sorry Steve Jobs), but they also rely on video, audio, and interactive content to educate themselves. At the end of the day, the e-book reader you hold in your hands won’t matter. The future of e-books is not about whether Kindle is better than the iPad. It is about social, interactive, enhanced content and more of it too.