We are in the midst of change in action. Print to ePub. I'm not ready to say that books on shelves will become obsolete. Actually, books will become expensive collector's items with short print runs. But that's a discussion for another time.
The point is that with the growing market of ePublishing, more unknown authors are self-publishing and getting known. With smart phones, tablets, iPod (touch), and other similar media with Book apps, consumers have many options for taking their books with them. Authors are getting known based on the ratings (following) they receive. Cost has dropped to $3.99 or less, making an unknown author an appealing risk to consumers. Meanwhile, traditional print publishers try, with little success, to hold the epub cost to that of a paperback or oversize trade paperback ($7.99 to $14.99).
JA Konrath has an interesting view that is becoming mainstream (not quite yet).
After reading his thoughts do a check on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other online outlet. Check out the ePub section and make your own judgement. Just know that we're living in the midst of a change where what was once considered fringe is becoming mainstream, like how politicians use rock music (formerly anti-establishment) as campaign anthems.
What in education might be having the same effect? Look around...Change's a coming!