eBooks for Smartphones, Tablets The Top Priority for Readers and Authors

On Monday, the publishing world observed yet another clear example of how authors and publishing houses are choosing electronic publishing over traditional physical book publication.

Publishing start-up Entertainment Concepts Press announced over the weekend an exclusive eBook launch for an eagerly anticipated new book about actress Anne Hathaway and the “hatred” her popularity has supposedly engendered.

The book, however, won’t be released in print. As of Monday, it was available on Amazon, with subsequent releases planned for Barnes & Noble and Apple’s iBookstore.

“We’re now seeing the transition we’ve been expecting,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said of ebooks in late December. “After five years, ebooks is a multi-billion dollar category for us and growing fast — up approximately 70 percent last year. In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a book seller, up just 5 percent.”

This week, with all the attention surrounding “Anne Hathaway: Why They Hate Her” driving readers toward their smartphones, tablets, and PCs, it has become painfully clear that traditional publishing may never recover from the digital revolution in publishing.

“I’m surprised by the response so far,” book author Shawn Jackman tells MMW. “People have very strong views about Anne Hathaway, so the book’s interest and initial success aren’t a shock in terms of the content. What is surprising is that no one is disappointed that the book will only be available in electronic format. I’ve never seen anything like it as a published author.”

Jackman, the author of seven books, says his first digital exclusive hasn’t elicited any backlash from traditional print book fans.

“Even the opponents of eBooks are starting to capitulate,” he says.

Jackman’s controversial and unauthorized new eBook “Anne Hathaway: Why They Hate Her” is available now from Amazon for $2.99.