The Revolution Continues!

By Jon F. Merz

So some big news today in the world of ebooks and indie publishing. Specifically, the fine folks at Kobo have inked a deal with the American Booksellers Association to sell ebook readers AND ebooks through independent bookstores – potentially 2,000 of them. Why is this big news? Because it opens up a whole new market demographic to indie authors who have previously been unable to penetrate the indie bookstore scene. It also brings indie bookstores into the fold and makes the selling of ebooks and actual income stream for them. This is great for everyone involved – authors, booksellers, publishers, and Kobo itself (as well as Zola, another outfit doing the same thing in the above article)

This announcement is also one further indicator that the walls are crumbling in the traditional publishing world. Now is a fantastic time to be a creator. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book – about even the most niche topic – I think this is the time to do it. As more and more big name authors turn their backs on the traditional publishing world, those publishers will have no choice but to change their Draconian rates and outdated system of business or risk perishing amid the new indie revolution.

I’ve got a fantastic indie bookstore in my town and the thought that the owner might be able to sell ebooks now is wonderful. While many indie store owners have resisted the push toward ebooks, this gives them a huge opportunity to get involved, earn a profit without needing to give up shelf space or hold unpopular inventory, and embrace the future of change – something their customers might really love. Not everyone likes buying from Amazon and would rather support a local indie store, but they might also like the convenience of ebooks. Now they can get both in one place.

I really think this is a great thing for indie bookstores and I’ve been wondering who would be the first company to lead the charge into this incredibly opportune market. I’m glad this is here because things like this raise the tide for all of us indie authors. These are exciting times and as more and more indie bookstores see that ebooks can add to their bottom line, I expect a larger segment to embrace the idea that they can be both a printed bookstore and an ebook store.

Congrats to the fine folks at Kobo for spearheading this charge. Support the indies – authors and bookstores combined!

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