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A lot has changed in the book-publishing world since the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center held its first book fair 10 years ago. One significant change came with the advent and rise in popularity of electronic readers, including Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble's Nook and Apple's iPad.
Another major change is the way in which publishers and authors convey their messages through social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
This year's book fair, "Culture, Comedy and Cuisine," will take place Nov. 2-13.
Sandy Adler, chair and founder of VOSJCC's Jewish Book and Cultural Arts Fair, says while e-books are becoming more popular, they won't have much of an effect on this year's event. Books will be for sale at the book fair as always, she says, and in the future they will probably be able to provide e-books.
Jewish News spoke to three of this year's authors to get their take on the new world of publishing.
Mitchell Bard, author of "The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East," is the executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Bard has written and edited more than 20 books and is an authority on United States-Israel relations.
He remembers when e-readers first came out. "They were neat little toys, but nobody was all that excited about them," he says. But now with the success of the Kindle and its competitors, "it is permanently going to change the dynamics and make it likely that fewer books will be published in book form," he says.
As far as marketing himself, Bard uses email, Facebook and Twitter, but questions the effectiveness. "It's hard to say how much good it does unless you have a lot of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter."
Bard doesn't think books will go by the wayside just yet. He reads fiction on his Kindle, but prefers a book for nonfiction reading because he likes to take notes on the page and keep them for future reference. "I suspect at some point, (books) will probably go the way of the dodo and everything will be easily referenced digitally."
Karen Bergreen, author of "Following Polly," says while this is her first novel, publishing has changed even in the short time she's been a writer. "We're not even sure if my next novel should (come out) in hard cover because so many people go right to the Kindle." And, she says, it's less expensive to buy an e-book than a hard back.
Bergreen, who is also a stand-up comedian, uses social media to help promote herself.
Self-admittedly, she's not a priority at her publishing house, so she uses Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about her book. "I tweet, but I don't like it. Facebook seems more like sitting in a room," she says. "And it's really fun."
As the mother of two small children, Bergreen will sometimes start a book with them at home and then they will be stuck somewhere without the book, so she'll buy it on her iPad for immediate access. "But, they would much prefer that I read from a book," she says. "Kids realize that it's a more intimate experience."
Sharon Pomerantz, author of "Rich Boy," and a creative writing instructor at the University of Michigan, says as a first-time novelist, she doesn't have a lot of experience with e-book publishing. "I just want people to read. I don't care if they are doing it in print books or e-books."
As a college instructor, Pomerantz says getting students to read has become challenging because of competition from the "visual, video and Internet world." Most of her students prefer electronic course materials, but some want their information delivered the old-fashioned way - on paper.
Most of her friends, who are in their 40s, Pomerantz says, grew up with "actual physical books" and spend most of their days in front of a computer screen. "For us, part of the beauty and wonder of books is being able to get in bed with this physical object that is not a screen," she says. "That's part of what we love. It's relaxing and gets you away from what you think of as work."
To keep in touch with her readers, Pomerantz uses Facebook and a website. She also writes a blog about "Rich Boy," but not about her personal life. She says she gets a lot of emails, because her email address is included in the book. "I answer every single one," she says. "I'm so touched by it."