Cloud Computing + Books = ?
Sometimes change happens so quickly and so naturally that we miss something profound. Something obvious.
If you have Netflix and a device to stream it through your TV, you know exactly what I'm talking about. For 8 bucks a month, Netflix gives us thousands of movies and TV shows on demand, often in high-def. In a matter of months, Netflix has all but made video stores and those movie rental boxes obsolete. It's also made buying individual DVDs seem old-fashioned and pointless.
Now think about books. We know eBooks will be the dominant platform moving forward, and we know that eReaders (or, more likely, tablet computers that read eBooks) will be as common as cell phones in a few years.
Now put these facts together.
Is it possible that, in the near future, selling individual books to individual consumers will be the exception, not the rule? Is it possible that readers will join a Netflix-like "all you can eat" cloud-based service and have unlimited access to thousands of books at any given time?
For authors, revenue can be earned in a number of ways: one time rights acquisition by the service; a per-use payment; shared advertising revenue…or something entirely new. Freed from the task of launching and marketing their books, authors can focus on writing and building their tribes of readers.
Amazon has invested heavily in cloud computing and seems the perfect candidate to launch such a service. Or perhaps there's a new visionary out there ready to make it happen. Either way, keep your eyes peeled.
And look to the clouds.