I selected "Breaking the book" as my trend for 2011. Being an avid reader, I think eBooks are fantastic. They are cheap, almost 2/3's the cost of the printed book; easy to read; and the file size is tiny. I have an Amazon Kindle and it was the best purchase I have ever made. I love that I can take any book, anywhere.
While this may not be the BIGGEST trend, I do believe it will be one of the most important in years to come. Just like most movies are becoming 3D, most books are now available as eBooks, often weeks before their release dates. Entire chapters are available as "Samples", letting you decide whether you like a book before paying for it. Authors like James Patterson often release entire sections for free. In his new book, Tick Tock, he released all of part 1...that is almost 180 pages. Also, eBooks make it easier for the novice author to write a book and spread it to the world. Amazon uses what they refer to as "Singles", which are often just short stories and cost nothing. However, it could truly help to generate interest in an author people may not know. I believe that the only thing holding this trend back in the United States is the decline in the number of people who read for fun. The majority of my friends only read when they need to, which saddens me because they honestly have no idea of all that they are missing. Only time can tell what will happen with eBooks, but I believe they are the future for written materials.