There was a well-known proverb that supported the internet throughout its early stages of development:
“Information wants to be free.”
The internet, while by no means outdated, is standing, solid, and sprinting forward with two powerful legs that demand access to information:
“Information wants to be on the internet!”
This declaration initially caused other information-related industries, such as publishing and print media, to tremble or even backpedal.
Fortunately, newspapers rapidly collected themselves and ventured online, first as supplements to their printed forms and eventually as their main distribution channel.
They quickly realized the implications of the internet.
Conversely, books emerged gradually at first, albeit slowly, but they seem to have taken off overnight, much like the internet.
Books are being digitalized, or turned into eBooks, in ever-growing quantities.
While industry statistics differ, some sources currently estimate that eBook sales account for 35% of all annual book sales.
Similarly, book reviewers are progressively turning their critical eyes from conventional hardcover and softcover books to eBooks, which either exist only in digital format or serve as substitutes for their physical counterparts.
Furthermore, not only do eBook reviewers now frequently offer highly influential thumbs up or down votes for particular eBooks, but entire websites are accessible for the purpose of reviewing, cataloging, and other information-gathering on eBooks across an ever-expanding range of subjects.
The breadth of reading content included in an eBook’s pages actually goes beyond traditional self-help eBooks, which are currently very popular and profitable.
It even includes the canon of literature, which was previously limited to books that were leather-bound and gold-leafed and contained works by authors like Homer and Shakespeare.
Huge search engines are years into creating systems that will digitize the printed word, with GoogleTM leading the way (with Yahoo!, Microsoft’s MSN, and the bookstore Amazon.com in tow).
Even though traditional book publishers have been hurling copyright infringement lawsuits like spears, efforts have been made to digitize a number of sizable libraries whose materials are currently in the public domain and hence not protected by copyright law.
For example, Microsoft is now digitizing 100,000 books from the British Library.
Furthermore, Random House started digitizing parts of its collection recently, becoming the first of the big traditional publishing houses to recognize that selling eBooks would be necessary for their survival.
At last, Amazon.com is implementing a less expensive substitute, a “pay-per-view” model that is akin to borrowing books from a library for a small charge.
Many experts believe that in the future, anything we read will only be available online.
Currently, less trustworthy internet information will be replaced by digital versions of trusted offline information.
Even more, information access will be sold separately to meet individual wants and preferences.
Some examples are a recipe from a chef without the full cookbook, a passage from the Bible without both testaments, a single chapter pertinent to a student’s research, and the ability to visit a foreign place without having to carry about a country’s entire guidebook.
The digitization of information is still in its early stages, but what’s great for the regular Joe and Jane, Smith or Jones, is that there are plenty of opportunities for them to become the main players, leading the way and (thus) benefiting from this revolution.
The time has come to digitize your existing knowledge and information repositories.
Unaware of what I mean?
See, hundreds of others achieved the same goal by reading the plethora of information that is constantly being added to eBook review websites.
These individuals took what they were good at or what piqued their interest and turned it into an eBook that is now sold to and shared with other like-minded individuals who wish to learn from the experience of another (and possibly former!) Joe, Jane, Smith, or Jones.
If not, are you uninterested in being an entrepreneur?
Not an issue.
Websites that evaluate eBooks are still a great place to start your research.
There are connections to authors’ eBooks as well as to eBook exchanges and vendors advertising libraries of eBooks in an incredible array of different genres.
In any case, you’ll be up and running with the understanding that information “wants to be online” in addition to “wanting to be free.”