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The World of Blocker Publishing

Storming the Walls

The revolution is all around us. It is storming the walls of the way we have traditionally exchanged information, ideas and knowledge. This revolution is fueled by the invention and development of electronic publishing, a movement begun in the early seventies by a man named Alan Kay who conceived the Dynabook concept, the basis for laptop and notebook computers and the e-book.

It was Alan Kay who coined the expression,

"the best way to predict the future is to invent it."

Since the concept of Dynabook, electronic publishing has taken the world by storm. Now e-books threaten to undermine sales of the old-fashioned kind. Amazon claims they now sell 20-percent more e-books than traditional hardcover. In the U.S. market, e-book sales increased 176 percent between 2008 and 2009, averaging 71-percent annually over the last seven years. If this average continues over the next seven years, e-books will bring in about $13 billion a year. To read these books, consumers have purchased some eighty million digital tablets, smart phones and other devices. It is true that there are still many readers who would rather read the old fashioned way. They enjoy the tactile experience of holding the book, listening to the whisper of pages turning.

A Better Mousetrap

The advantages of the e-book over traditional printed publications are undeniable. In addition to text, the e-book can have more images, full color, animation, even video, in fact all the multi-image resources of the computer. It doesn’t require external light, can be read at night in bed without disturbing a companion. Many have text to speech capability, can be easily updated and edited. The new Apple iPad is a reading device no longer limited to static pictures to illustrate text. Now students can experience 3D images that can be rotated to examine the image from all angles. Interactive, the reader can zoom and pan, highlight and jot down notes. Enhanced e-books provide a platform for live exchange with reading groups where you can discuss the book with the author. No longer need reading be a solitary pursuit, it can be a shared experience, a community activity. Because e-books are less expensive to produce, they will cost the consumer less. For the writer, it will open up new markets, especially for unpublished authors. For publishers, it offers a far less expensive way to produce product because production skips directly from the editing process to the consumer, eliminating the cost of ink, paper, printing, binding, distribution and delivery.

The Past Is Prologue

Alan Kay’s revolutionary idea was preceded by several earlier technological revolutions in the history of written communications. The first flourished in pre-dynastic Egypt, some 5,000 years ago, where a long-forgotten genius discovered a way to make a writing surface by splitting, soaking and pressing the stems of the papyrus plant that grew along the banks of the Nile. No longer was information only carved in stone or clay tablets. Now, for the first time, words and pictures were transportable. A second revolution flowered during China’s Han Dynasty when a man named Ts’ai developed paper from a mixture of the inner bark of the mulberry tree and bamboo fibers, the first real paper. Revolution number three followed Guttenberg’s invention of a printing press with moveable type, a revolution that fostered rapid development in the sciences, religion, scholarship and the arts, and made this information and these ideas accessible to the masses.

The World of Blocker Publishing

Blocker Publishing is your gateway to the fourth major revolution in the history of written communications – electronic publishing. In years past, we might have printed a brochure to explain who we are and what we do. However, the technologies we employ, the skill sets we embrace, the markets we supply, change so rapidly that our brochure would be old news before the ink had dried. Never before have the ways people exchange information and ideas, the way people write and read and publish, been so alive with innovation and change. At Blocker Publishing, we ride herd on this change and the emerging electronic devices at its center and we channel them into meaningful tasks. As an electronic publishing firm, we create and help develop electronic content for smart phones, digital tablets and other electronic devices. We also help people and institutions access the vast treasury of knowledge, the tens of millions of books that have been published since the time of Gutenberg. Perhaps just as important, we help writers and authors, especially those who are unpublished, find a way to profitable markets and loyal readers.

Gordon Blocker

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