Since I’m knowm for making bold predictions, let me put my neck on the line one more time. I’m usually right, so it’s a prety safe bet!

I predict the iPad will change books and publishing as we know it.

To look to future, I look to the past.  Let me explain.

Back in the early days of publishing, monks and artists wrote books or copies Bibles and Haggadahs and other works. Each work contained not only black letters on white background, but colored fonts, large fonts to draw the eye and most important, illustrations.

When Gutenberg came along and invented the printing press, we started to see the book as we know it today. A bland  series of pages with black on white text. Few illustrations, if any, because they are expensive to produce. And all the type was the same size. So you have no idea if one idea was more important than the other.

We saw the beginnings of the change when Jeffrey Gitomer started writing his marvelous series of books.  Pick one up the next time you are in an aiport bookstore. They are easy to find since they sell like hotcakes. Why? Because Gitomer has gone back to the age of the scribes and took their best ideas. Namely:

– Different sizes fonts so you can see what’s important. It isn’t unusual to see one page with just one sentence displayed in 24 point type. That get’s your attention. You know what’s important.

– Different colored fonts. It’s pretty. Why does reading have to be dull?

– Short chapters. Who has a long attention span today? Need I mention Twitter?

I’m sure many authors would love to copy Gitomer, but their publishers won’t let them because of the expense of printing.

Enter the iPad.

Now authors can design their ebooks with type, fonts, illustrations and color, color, color!

All the new, bold design doesn’t add a penny to production costs.

You’re probably wondering. Why stop there? Why not add audio and video? Perhaps an interview with the author? Or video of a role-playing exercise? The sky’s the limit.

One final point. On a recent flight from Minneapolis to San Diego, my two seat makes each had Amazon Kindles. And everyone who passed by them asked them about it. Ebooks are hot and that’s going to change everything.

Your task: Start thinking about illustrating your books, just like you illustrate your blogs.