After several failed attempts to find a publisher or an agent for her book series called the Tigers Curse, author Colleen Houck did what so many other writers are doing these days and decided to take a chance self-publishing them on Amazon's Kindle service. Her three books (The Tigers Curse, Tigers Quest and Tigers Voyage) were a major success and were picked up by a publishing house and just recently have had the motion picture rights acquired by Paramount Pictures.
I looked up the first book in her series on Amazon and it has over 205 five star reviews. That is just amazing. I love hearing stories about writers like Colleen who take a chance on self-publishing and manage to reach dizzying heights of success that leave other writers scratching their heads and wondering "How does she do it?"
Are e-books the future of publishing? It's possible. Look at the closure of major bookstore chains like Borders and Angus and Robertson in Australia. People don't want to spend over $60 on a hardback book in a brick and mortar store when they can buy the ebook version for much, much less online. More and more people are buying devices like iPads and Kindles that enable them to read ebooks and are being drawn towards online ebook stores like Kobo that sell downloadable books for as low as 99cents. Can you blame them?
There are still alot of writers who think that self-publishing is a bad idea and that ebooks are full of errors and very poor quality. In these people's eyes you cannot call yourself an author or that you are published unless your book is available in a proper, old fashioned bookstore.
I think these people are clinging to the past a little too much. Sadly, I do not see bookstores being a common thing in the future. I think there will still be some around but they will not a common sight anymore. After the introduction of online music store iTunes there has been a massive decline in music shops around where I live. There used to be least one in every major shopping center. Now they are a rare sight unless they sell multiple things like books and dvds and food. Those ones have managed to cling on.
I think the publishing world is changing and some people need to catch up to it.