Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bought a Tablet and want to read eBooks?

Tablet + eBooks = reading made simple. 
Truly, an equation that does work.  I learned this important fact about six months ago, and I only wish I’d bought the Tab earlier. But, more importantly, I’m really glad I didn’t buy a proprietary eReader.

In fact, I’d looked at Kindles when they first came out. Then I looked at Nook, and Kobo readers. I looked at ‘no name’ readers. But, I didn’t buy, as I found some issues.

Proprietary eReaders = Different formats = Bad

One of the problems with buying a proprietary eReader is the issue of reading other formats. Okay, so if you only buy eBooks on Amazon, and you have a Kindle, that’s not a problem. But, if you like to shop around to find eBooks, that is a problem. In my case, I’ve been buying eBooks and reading them on my laptop since 2007, so I have the additional problem that some of my eBooks cannot be read on a Kindle, or on a Nook, or whatever.

One other problem I’ve heard of, but not personally experienced, is the issue of books that disappear from a Kindle or Nook or whatever, because they’ve been ‘unpublished’ somehow. Now, for me, that stinks (and I’m being polite here). If I buy something, I want to keep it for as long as I want.

Reading on a Tablet
How does this work? Easy:
  1. Put an eReading app on your Tablet. I use FB Reader for Android, and highly recommend it, for ease of use. (It presents all book formats with no conversion necessary.)
  2. Buy your eBooks at Amazon, or the Apple iTunes Bookstore, or at B&N, or at Kobo, or at Smashwords, or at any other fine eBook (online) retailer. I use my computer to do this.
  3. Download the books from the retailer into your computer. Make a backup copy on your backup drive, as you do for all important data.
  4. Transfer the eBooks from your computer to your Tablet.
  5.  Start reading, and enjoy.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Advice for writers: Being unpublished doesn't mean you suck

"Unpublished? You Don't Actually Suck."  That was the title of a Huff Post Books piece earlier this week, in which the writer detailed her feelings about trying to convince herself that her work really did not suck.  She also introduced Writer's Bloq, one of many new ways in which indie authors support each other.  I commend her and all those who help their fellow authors.  I was inspired to write a comment on Huff Post Books about the piece, and I've repeated it here:

I know I don't suck. Just ask those who now have the tens of thousands of copies of my books. But the realization that maybe there was some merit in my (so far) seven YA novels, and that people might actually want to read what I'd written? Well, let's just say that realization was a long time coming.

The problem is that I don't write what apparently 'sells.' I don't write fantasy, or dystopia, or about vampires. I write solid family and adventure reality-based fiction for Young Adults. I write what I want to write, and I've had to find my niche market.

Three years ago, I had four unpublished works and a brain full of doubts and worries. Now I have some amazingly positive and inspiring reviews with scores of good ratings, and more motivation than ever to keep writing. 

Good luck to all those who find the courage and tenacity to keep at it, and who persevere in this new world of self-publishing. You, too, can find that you don't suck.

Google Translation

Pictures of Lighthouses