John Grisham is one of the few bestselling authors whose books are not available in ebook form. But all that is about to change as Grisham is close to closing a deal with Random House to put all his books in electronic form, including the format for the Kindle.
"There was a period when John and I felt it was a good idea to watch the world of e-books evolve before diving in," said David Gernert, Mr. Grisham's longtime literary agent. "Now that it's a more mature marketplace, he will be available very soon in all digital formats."
Earlier this week, Amazon introduced an updated version of the Kindle. Although many current best-sellers are available for $9.99 on the Kindle, Mr. Grisham's newest novel, "The Associate," a legal thriller that ranks No. 1 on The Wall Street Journal list of fiction best-sellers, isn't for sale.
A spokeswoman for Random House declined to comment except to say, "We would be thrilled by the opportunity to publish all of John Grisham's books in e-book format." Mr. Grisham's hardcover titles are published by Random House's Doubleday imprint, his paperbacks are published by Random House's Dell imprint and his audiobooks are published by Random House's audio unit.
Albert N. Greco, a professor at the Fordham Graduate School of Business who studies the book industry, said there weren't any reliable consumer revenue figures for e-books. But they are widely considered one of the fastest-growing segments of the book-publishing business at a time when the industry is being crippled by the recession.
Now that Amazon has launched the new Kindle, ebook sales will continue to grow. Grisham is smart to get on board the ebook train.