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      Changing of book industry helps NewsChannel 15 reporter write book

      "It was something I always wanted to do. It's on my bucket list. Not that I'm planning to die anytime soon," NewsChannel 15's Joel Allen says about his desire to write and publish a book.

      Allen's book, Ripoff and Run hit the virtual book shelves on Amazon late Tuesday.

      The book is inspired by a story Allen covered as a reporter in the early 80's.

      "I was working in Iowa, and it was about a man who was a manager of a credit union. He stole a lot of money. Put some cash into a box, put in into the back of his car and took off."

      Allen said he sat on the book though for many years after he initially completed it. To get published, writers must go through a literary agent.

      "What I got was a lot of no thanks, or not our style," Allen said.

      Despite the discouragement, Allen tried again this week.

      What made it possible? "E-books," he says.

      Allen is now among the hundreds who have published their own work through

      "It's made my work availible to millions of consumers. And I didn't pay a thing for it," he said.

      Also this week, Apple has released a new self-publishing application, which together will allow Apple users to self-publish multimedia ebooks through the iBookstore.

      Litchfield Bookstore owner Vickie Crafton says the book industry has changed dramatically over the 11 years she and her husband have owned the independent bookseller.

      "The majority of the changes are coming in the last 3 years, with the e-readers. It has closed down some of the major retailers. Small stores are still struggling," she says.

      Crafton says her small store has been making it because their customers are loyal to books and e-readers.

      "Anything that is new and hot makes it appealing to people. I think it's a way for all age groups to feel like they're still connected," Crafton says.