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Posts Tagged ‘e-readers’

Attention, biblio-nauts! I’m kicking off a promotion for one of my recent novels.

Starting tomorrow (Friday, April 5), you can get a free copy of Unraveling Time for your Kindle-reader.

No gimmicks. No strings. From April 5 through April 9, this book is entirely free. Go, get it, and keep it forever. It is literally yours for the taking!

(Remember, you can read Kindle books on your PC, your Mac, your iPad, your iPhone, your Android phone or tablet…anywhere!)

Still not sure? Read an excerpt of the book right here on this blog! What can you lose (except a weekend spent with a good book)?

Want to know more? Want to know what it’s about? (more…)

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Stack of BooksA follow-up to my earlier post about reformatting print-ready files for e-book readers

In case these two points didn’t register in that post, here they are again:

  • Take Your Time…
  • Check Your Work…

I spent many hours over the past couple of days struggling with the files for FC Books II-V. I took my own advice (see above) and carefully and deliberately went through each reformation step, file by file. Then I uploaded the reformatted files and downloaded the KDP-converted files (in MOBI format) Then I previewed each MOBI file, using the Kindle Previewer, taking care to preview each file in each of the possible devices, from Kindle DX to iPad.

What I found was that while everything was fine on Kindle hardware, something was throwing off all the formatting when the MOBI file was ported to the iOS hardware. On iPads and iPhones, all my careful font styles were dropped and the whole shebang popped up in Courier New monospaced font. Ick.

Luckily, I had one file that was working on iOS (FC:I) so it was just a matter of comparing that file to the other files and trying to find the one thing that was causing the KDP conversion software to have a hissy-fit. I don’t know exactly what it was or exactly why, and I won’t bore you with details too tedious to be suffered. Suffice it to say that I was able to create files that work on all devices.

However, I still have not released FC:II-V into the e-book wild. I’m taking even more time, and will upload them all to my Kindle account, so I can see them on a Kindle, an iPad, and an iPhone for myself.

But it brings home my admonitions: Take Your Time and always Check Your Work.

That is all.

k

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As promised, I’ve begun to release the Fallen Cloud Saga in e-book format. And, just as I decided on CreateSpace to be my “publisher,” I’ve decided on the Kindle for my e-book format. The reasons are basically the same as before: ease of use, platform reach of the product, and essential friendliness of the agreement. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) website is easy and reliable.

But I just can’t take my print-ready files and use them to build an e-book. Well, okay, I can, but I shouldn’t. Print-ready files are just that: print-ready, not e-book ready. To work best, e-books need to be reformatted; not much, just a little more here, a little less there, but they need it and it’s important to the reading experience.

Fortunately for those of us who are heading into the world of self-publishing, Amazon has given us a primer.

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When I decided to publish the new FC books myself, I rather knew what I was getting into. Publishers, for all their flaws, do provide a lot for the writer. I’ve seen it, experienced it, and though I bitched about a lot of it at the time, I surely do miss it now.

Some of the services a publisher provides that are now on my plate: editing, copy-editing, fact-checking, cover art, and typesetting. (And this doesn’t even get into the marketing/distribution side of things.)

It’s that last one, though…typesetting. It’s a bloody mare’s nest of minutia and details. But its importance cannot be understated. I’ve done this before, but it’s always a surprise. (more…)

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Cover art is here! I’ve also decided that I won’t be going with a hardback version of these books; production costs are too high and the demand is too low. We’ll be putting these out in trade paper and in e-book formats.

Onward!

originally From the Heart of the Storm

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Just as today no one will ever go into a store and thrill as they unfold the triptych of the latest Roger Dean album cover, so too, in a short period of time, no one will go into a bookstore and stop as they smell that rarefied combination of pulp and fresh ink.

Like it or not (and I don’t) we are moving toward a world in which sales of physical books will be a niche market, like vinyl LPs are today. Most of the trade in these items will involve used books and take place in small, dust-filled shops where these throwback items will eagerly line the shelves, their worn spines and faded gilt lettering displayed to their best advantage. Like potential adopters at an animal shelter, we will wish we could take them all home, but we will not be able, and will have to satisfy ourselves with saving just one or two.

A plethora of experiences and rituals will be lost to this, the Kindle generation. Technology will enhance their lives in many ways, but in this one arena, they will be the poorer for it.

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Harcopies Rule!The topic that keeps popping up among my writerly friends is “E-Books” I will admit to being less-than-enamored of e-books (read as, “I hate them”) but I have bowed before reality.

Ebooks are here.
They are here to stay.
Get over it.
Move on.

Happily, I have to say that two of my greatest fears about e-books—piracy and death of the hardcopy—have not come true.

We just do not have rampant piracy of ebooks. This is in part due to the proprietary lockdown of various e-readers and tablets, but even outside of that, we just don’t see pirated versions of the latest e-bestseller going viral. This bolsters my long-held opinion that, if you make electronic versions of your creation affordable enough and accessible enough, most people will just pay the price and enjoy the product. Piracy is still a problem in those areas that are overpriced and proprietary: movies, software, and video games. Hacking a $50 movie or a $200 software package and selling a couple thousand copies half-price makes total business sense, but hacking a $5 book? Where’s the profit?

As to the death of hardcopy versions (and the loss of the legacy they provide), my fears about this were swept away just a couple of days ago. A Faithful Reader emailed me, asking if the Fallen Cloud books were available in e-versions (like all my other titles). I had to inform her that, sadly, no, the Fallen Cloud books I-IV were not currently available in e-format, but that when FC:V came out, I fully intended to have all five books available in e-format.

Faithful Reader replied that this was great news. Naturally (she said), she would be buying the hardcopy version, but she wanted to have them in electronic format, too.

This was astounding to me; someone liked my work enough not only to get an e-version for her tablet, but she also was willing to shell out money for a legacy hardcopy. It was humbling, and it also pointed out where books win out over music and movies: People just are not going to buy an album or movie on iTunes and then buy a physical CD or DVD. There’s no advantage to that second copy, and there’s no cachet to a physical disk like there is with a physical book. The closest music can come to that is the old albums that covered LP vinyl, and vinyl is a seriously niche market. So, books have a potential second market, whereas music, movies, etc., have only one.

Add to this the increasing ease of bringing an e-book to market for the small publisher or independently-published author, and the question of “going e” becomes moot. With increased profit margins and decreased costs, it’s a no-brainer; you will go “e”. You’d be stupid not to.

k

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