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Providence in New England, US, has two universities, so one would expect to find many bookshops in the town. But when I visited Providence in May, I was told that there were no major bookstores because the bulk of book selling has gone electronic.
According to the SA Booksellers Association (www.sabooksellers.com), there are more than 500 bookshops in South Africa, but it’s easy to see why e-books are winning readers over. Thousands of books can be stored on e-readers.
One click and a book is on your device. One can get a sample of the book before buying it and there are plenty of free books to be had when copyright has expired or authors have made them available free.
There are many e-readers to choose from such as Amazon.com’s Kindle, the Nook and the South African brand, Gobii (operated by Kalahari.net).
E-publishing has created many new opportunities for budding authors. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform (kdp.amazon.com) allows writers to self-publish and make books available on Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Mac, and PC.
Sarah Bullen who runs online and classroom writing courses (www.thewritingroom.co.za), says she has assisted many students with publishing their books on the Kindle self-publishing platform.
– Robyn Cohen