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By: Darcy Pattison
Blog: Darcy Pattison's Revision Notes
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My picture book, WISDOM, THE MIDWAY ALBATROSS is now available as in iBook. To access it, you must go to the iBook app on your iPhone or iPad. Then, search for the iBook. Or, click here to be taken to the page on iTunes.
Do you want your book to sell as an ebook? Here are some of the things you must consider.
Ebooks on Multiple Platforms
First, there is an industry-wide ePub standard. But almost no one goes by it. This means that you can put your book up as an ePub, but you’ll have to tweak the files for each and every platform you want to put it on.
The easiest method is to work with Smashwords, which allows ePubs now, or has a MeatGrinder to convert files. You will most definitely want to read Smashwords owner Mark Coker’s Smashwords File Guide. It is a simple explanation of the variables involved in formatting your book. Smashwords has multiple distributions and many people just upload it here and let Smashwords take care of distribution to these platforms: Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon, Apple, Diesel, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor Blio, Library Direct, Baker & Taylor, and Axis 360 . But others prefer to move on to other platforms themselves.
Nook: You can upload your ePub documents to Nook at pubit.barnesandnoble.com.
Their process has a built in viewer so you can see what your book will look like on these devices.
Kindle: Go to the kdp.amazon.com program and set up an account to get started. Kindle formatting is not ePub and you must convert your files. KDP allows for distribution on Amazon stores in multiple countries: Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and India. Of course, if you want it in different languages, you must translate it yourself, then upload the translated files.
Kobo: Not a new player, but one to take notice of now, Kobo recently signed a deal with the Independent Booksellers to make Kobo the preferred platform in your local indie. They are working together to promote books in new and fresh ways. The Kobo App is available on almost any platform. You can get on Kobo through Smashwords, or by directly uploading to them. They accept an ePub format and will convert it as needed to their format.
Apple iBooks: The strange thing about Apple’s iBook platform is its limitations. iBooks is an app for iPhone or iPad, but there’s no app for Android, desktop Macs, or other platforms. Sales go through the iBookstore, which is part of iTunes. Some argue that iBooks won’t take off until they pull the books out of iTunes. The real advantage of Apple is their international reach, which allows you to put your book into 52 different countries. Again, you must translate yourself; if you only put up English, you may get some sales, but it won’t take off. Apple provides free software, IBookAuthor, which allows you to embed audio and video and is generally touted as a boon to textbook writers. Of course, that just increases your copyright headaches, as you must make sure you have permissions for all images, sounds, music, video, multimedia, etc. But it’s totally cool to include video. I put an introductory video on the new Wisdom iBook. If you have ePub files, they may work on Apple’s platform, but you can’t get around the requirement that you use a Mac Computer to upload at iTunesConnect .
There are other platforms, of course. Vook touts their video-embedded ebooks, while other platforms have other specialties.
PDF Ebooks. Technically not an ePub, but still often referred to as an ebook, are pdf versions of your book. You can sell these from your website through a sales management site such as ejunkie.com. It allows you to upload your files, then handles the transaction and sends a notice to the buyer when the financial transaction is finished, so they can download their file. Goodreads.com also allows you to sell pdf
Software to Create EPubs
What a tangled web there is when you consider converting your book to ePub!
First, most of the major platforms will convert for you. But you’ll want to create the ePub first. Here are some options.
Adobe Indesign. The premiere book/publishing layout and design software from Adobe has made it easier than ever to convert to an ePub. Indesign CS6 allows for flexible layouts, so you can create both portrait and landscape versions of your book for the tablet requirements. Many magazines use Indesign and create the flexible layouts to publish. You can export in a digital format, too, which should meet ePub requirements. The cost of Adobe products continues to escalate and they update so often that it is outdated quickly; therefore, they now offer a monthly subscription that I am reluctantly moving to.
Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite is not the same thing; it is used more by magazine publishers than book publishers, and by iPad app developers. This is because through this software, you can upload to the Apple App store, but NOT to the Apple book store. Think carefully where you want to sell your product when you choose your Adobe software. Do you want an app (DPS) or an ebook(InDesign)?
Apple’s iBookAuthor. On the other hand, Apple’s price is right: free. iBooksAuthor is one of the easiest, most-intuitive programs to use, but it comes with a major disadvantage. When you create an ebook with this software, you may sell it on Apple’s iBookstore and no where else. This means you will probably do a separate version just for them. The biggest advantage of Apple is that you can sell to 52 countries. And Apple seems to me to be a sleeping giant: if they ever decide to push ebooks, like they do music and video, look out.
Sigil. Open software, Sigil lets you look at the inside of your ePub and–if you are brave and knowledgable–make changes.
Calibre. A desktop ebook reader and editor, Calibre allows you to edit the metadata, add a book cover and convert to some formats. A free, open-source program, it’s useful to have around.
Well, to be honest, it changes every time I get ready to do this, because the development of software, platforms and everything about ebooks changes so rapidly. But in general, what I’ve done is to layout a book in InDesign, then export as an ebook and as a pdf. In Sigil, I can change anything I need to on the “guts” of the ebook. I use that for Smashwords, Kindle, and Nook. I’ll use it for Kobo next time, too, since their connection to Independent Bookstores has raised their profile. I use the pdf with ejunkie.com to sell on my own site.Then, I do a completely new version in iBookAuthor for Apple. Such a pain. Hard to keep track.
At times, I have also hired someone to convert to the standard ePub, then done any tweaking needed for a different format. I’ll be so glad when everyone abides by a given standard! Right now, the biggest drawback to ePubs is the fragmented platforms and their individual requirements.
Elizabeth Castro rocks. Essentially, an ePub is a set of images and text that are put into an html file, controlled by a CSS (cascading style sheets) file, and then zipped into one file. This means that if you mess with the guts of the ePub, you need advice from someone who understand html and css and can explain it in relatively simple terms. Elizabeth Castro has a suite of books that does just this.
By: Kathy Temean,
Blog: Writing and Illustrating
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This is by no means the only things you can use to format and convert your manuscript to an e-book, it is just to give you an idea of the some of the things out in the market you can use. The Kindle, the Nook and the iTunes Bookstore (which services both the iPhone and iPad) now stand out as the most common targets for e-books. This has helped the e-book boom has helped consolidate formats a bit, but there still isn’t a single gold-standard editing product that guides users through the whole workflow and helps them check their results.
You probably will want to format your e-book for a varity of readers – it helps to support as many of devices as possible. The Kindle, for instance, is notorious for not supporting ePub format files.
So here is a little information about the most common e-book formats and their drawbacks, so you can decide what to use to format your manuscript and create an ebook.
If you are looking for only one fromat, HTML is more or less it. For one, it’s ubiquitous; almost every text-processing program can generate or read HTML. It also supports many features e-books will use: hyperlinks, font control, section headings, images, etc. Downside not everyone knows HTML.
But if you’re starting with a Microsoft Word or Open Document Format document, your best bet is to export it directly from the source application into HTML. Word users should do a “Save as…” using the “Web Page, Filtered” option, which strips out most of Word’s generated left over junk (cruft).
Exporting to HTML from your source program helps preserve the most crucial formatting and usually preserves sections and chapters: outline headers are turned into h1/h2/h3 tags, which most conversion programs correctly recognize. Some are even able to auto-generate tables of contents from those tags. Word typically does a good job generating TOCs without problems.
Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX)
If you’re dealing with an original manuscript, odds are it’s probably going to be in Microsoft Word format. Almost every device on the face of the Earth can read or write Word documents. And the format has native support for most everything you could think of: formulas, chaptering, footnotes, indexes — anything that might show up in an e-book.
Word documents are best as a starting point for an intermediate conversion format, most likely HTML, rather than a format that can be converted directly into an e-book. In fact, most e-book conversion programs don’t accept Word natively as a source document type. They may accept Word’s sibling format, RTF, but that is already at least one stage of conversion away from the original and increases the chance that certain features might not make it through the conversion process. For example, RTF does support features like sections and footnotes, but the Calibre e-book creation suite, for one, doesn’t process them correctly.
OpenDocument is the format used by OpenOffice.org. Microsoft Word also supports ODF as one of it’s formats. it reads and writes.) Third-party OpenOffice offers extensions that let you export directly to e-pub formats. There are also a number of standalone applications, such as ODFToEPub. If you’re already used to creating your documents in ODF, your path to creating a finished e-book may be shortened, slightly.
An open, non-proprietary format. Uses XHTML as the basis for its document format. ePub is widely supported as an output format by various e-book production applications. iTunes only accepts ePub as a source format, so it couldn’t hurt to render a copy of your product as ePub no matter what other formats you use. Books that require PDF-style page fidelity won’t work well in ePub.
Mobi and Kindle:
After Amazon bought Mobit, it made it into the basis for the Kindle reader’s own e-book format. Mobi supports digital rights management, but unencrypted Mobi documents can be read on the Kindle without issues.
PDFs can be read as-is in the majority of e-book readers, including the Kindle. It is best used when you want to maintain absolute fidelity to page layout — images, typefaces, etc. But this is the very feature that makes PDFs a problem in some scenarios. Other e-book formats are designed to work independently of any particular device resolution, so pages reflow automatically for each device. This is one of the reasons the Kindle didn’t make use of page numbers at first, since the page numbering for a particular book depends on what device or screen size you are using.
PDFs reproduce the formatting of the original page, no matter what the size of the destination device, so a PDF formatted at a certain size may be readable on a large display, but look cramped on a Kindle or Nook. If you plan to use PDFs, you may want to consider exporting your document with different page sizes for people using e-readers with small screens.
http://calibre-ebook.com/ Calibre is a free and open-source application marketed as a personal e-book management solution. It can be used as an e-book conversion utility. It is powerful and may be the best place to start, especially if you want to distill output for multiple e-book formats. The program can accept ODF, RTF, ePub, Mobi, PDF and HTML. Calibre can also reformat documents unwrapping plain text that has too many line breaks or insert chapter breaks by looking for certain text structures (such as a line break, the word “Chapter” and then a number).
It doesn’t support DOC or DOCX documents, so anything coming from Word, so you will have to save it in another format first. Serdar Yegulalp, a computer techology author says, ”Saving in either ODF or HTML from Word seemed to do the best job of preserving formatting and features, including things like monospaced formatting for code examples. Doesn’t process footnotes correctly.”
http://code.google.com/p/sigil/ Sigil is a multi-platform EPUB ebook editor – free open source. It’s an editor that exports to e-books (has a built-in document editor) it includes various tools for collating and assembling a finished e-book (such as a table-of-contents editor). Sigil’s main drawback is how it handles importing – only accepts HTML, plain text or existing ePub files as input documents.
http://www.jutoh.com/ Accepts OPL files and has slightly more robust editing options. The cost is $39.
Adobes In Design is a full blown publishing solution, but it requires a lot more work and knowledge to generate a finished product than a simple conversion utility. Second is the price tag: It starts at $699.
TIP: Include a Table of Contents
An e-book that isn’t properly chaptered is difficult to navigate. Going to an arbitrary point in a book is not as easy as it should be. The Kindle, for instance, has no touch screen, so jumping around in a book without a table of contents is a chore.
If you have gone through the process of formatting and converting your own ebook, we loved to hear what you chose.
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By: Jennifer Wylie
Blog: Jennifer Wylie's Blog
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Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales volumes 1 and 2 are now available in a bundle! Not only do you get both books together, you save 25% too!
Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales (Bundle Vol 1 & 2)
by Jen Wylie and Sean Hayden
Published March 17 2013
Price: 2.99 (save 25%)
Available at [Amazon]
IT’S THE BEST OF BOTH BOOKS!
Okay, technically it’s just BOTH BOOKS in ONE seriously funny and scary easy to read, purchase only once, compendium of the deranged! And you save almost a WHOLE DOLLAR! Do we rock or do we rock?
An anthology of the strange, bizarre, and just plain weird.
Zombies, vampires, ghosts, and …crickets? Try a taste of writing from two very different fantasy authors. Flash stories are super short and perfect for when you ‘just have a minute’. This anthology contains 15 stories from authors Sean Hayden and Jen Wylie. Run the rampart of emotions in this exciting mix of tales. From humor to twisted, there is something for everyone.
Unicorns, zombies, devils, dark whispers, teddy bears, and …fireflies? Try a taste of writing from two very different fantasy authors. Flash fiction stories are super short and perfect for when you ‘just have a minute’. This anthology contains 15 stories (both flash and longer short stories) from authors Sean Hayden and Jen Wylie. Run the rampart of emotions in this exciting mix of tales. From humor to horror, sweet to twisted, there is something for everyone.
Note: Some stories contain adult language.
I am aware that I am dreadfully behind the times, but the Kindle I wanted finally hit a price point that I felt was worth it and I got one: a Kindle Keyboard 3G/Wifi model. It’s nice. I’ve been tinkering with it. Here are some initial impressions.
1. Now that the Kindle Fire and other fancier ebook readers are out, the older ones are relatively inexpensive. While you can still buy this model new for low three figures, I got it refurbished from ebay for $50 delivered and was happy about it. Didn’t come in an Amazon box. Just showed up in some bubble wrap with a cable. Fine by me and super cheap for worldwide low-end 3G and an “experimental” browser.
2. I am mostly interested in using this when I travel for the free worldwide-ish internet access as well as being able to carry a lot of books with me on a long trip. I still prefer paper books but am at the point where I need to have more working knowledge of ebook readers than I have. We lend them out at the library that I occasionally work at, but that isn’t enough. I am not interested in buying a lot of new books. I am not interested in creating any more of a relationship with Amazon than I already have. I have a loose relationship with copyright laws but that doesn’t mean that you should, necessarily.
3. First step: hacking it so I can do what I want with it. I do not want their default screen savers. I do not want to pay them to convert things to PDF for me. I do not want to only buy things from the store, I don’t really care about the store. I don’t like the blinky page turning effect. A quick google brings me to this page. I follow a few instructions and I have my own screensavers and a jailbroken Kindle. I also read more about the blinky page flashing effect and why it exists (and that the alternative is often ghosting which would drive me crazy) and I’ve decided to stick with the blinky and learn to live with it, even though it’s nice to have options. I am not messing with the default fonts, for now. I am not installing KIF the Kindle interactive fiction interpreter, for now. I am okay that I will miss out on Amazon-only releases, for now.
4. Second step: get some books. As I said, I wanted to see how much I could do with this without involving Amazon. I’m not anti-Amazon so much as I’m just Amazon-agnostic and don’t want to have my device talking to them about me. There are basically three main ways to get books on to the thing: buy them, steal/borrow them, create them.
As much as I love the DIY Scanner idea, it’s a ways off for me. So I’m going to focus on the middle option.
First option: I went to Listen Up Vermont and gritted my teeth through the terrible interface (which I hear is changing), found a book I wanted to read, went to check it out, tried three different library cards until I got one that worked. Then got to the Amazon page and had to log in there as well. Did not want to register my Kindle. My only option at that point was to read the book in the “cloud reader” [i.e. on their website]. Okay. No way to download a book without becoming an Amazon customer. I’m sure this is not news to anyone who has a Kindle, but I hadn’t really tried this all out yet. This whole process took far too long.
Second option: Open Library. Found a book I wanted to read. “Checked it out” via Open Library’s nifty checkout options. Not even sure which library card I used, maybe it was just me being in the state of Vermont. Checked out the PDF of the book. Downloaded it to my desktop via Adobe Digital Editions which did not require me to register for an account but did have less functionality if I didn’t register which seemed okay to me. Could read it on my desktop. Was prohibited because of DRM from reading it on my Kindle. In the interests of science I tried to figure out how to get this to work anyhow. Spent a lot of time on this website reading about Calibre and the DRM and ebooks generally. Don’t let the post dates fool you, this is a fairly up to date blog. Calibre is a great ebook management tool that follows in the steps of some other open source tools in that it doesn’t break DRM itself, but you can obtain plug-ins that will do the DRM-breaking if you want. It also does a lot of other great things like allowing you to edit ebook metadata and group and organize your ebook collection. You can also use Calibre to format-shift your ebooks to and from various formats. I took the DRM off this ebook and then moved it to my Kindle. It’s not so great to read there because it’s in PDF format but it was good for proof of concept. 500 page PDFs are just not awesome for reading.
Third option: piracy. Most of the time if you search for a reasonably popular book using the title and other words like “mobi” or “epub” you can find forums where people upload pirated copies of these books to filesharing sites like divshare or mediafire. It’s worth noting that the Apprentice Alf website that helps you break DRM explicitly says that breaking DRM to upload books to piracy sites is an explicitly uncool use of DRM end-running which is the position I agree with for the most part. I tried the pirate download options with a book I already had in hard copy and found not just that book but a bundle of five other books by the same author. Downloaded, unrar-ed drag-and-dropped to my Kindle. Started reading. No passwords. No failures.
And as far as the reading experience, I’ve taken to it much more quickly than I thought I would. This is, of course, what everyone but me thought would happen. The Kindle is light, the back-forth buttons are simple and not accidentally clicked. I like being able to look up words in a dictionary without moving more than a few fingers. I like that it knows where I left off. I like getting to toss a book out when I am done with it. All in all my conclusions are much like the ones I was nodding my head with at the In Re: Books conference. Ebooks readers are great and improving all the time. It’s the ebooks themselves–the DRM, the bad user experience, the complicated and wonky checkout procedures, the lack of privacy, the changing restrictions we deal with as libraries, the terrible websites our vendors create–that are not just suboptimal but at the center of a bad user experience that we’re in the awkward position of promoting as if it were our own.
So, mixed feelings of course. I’ve gone to bed and read my Kindle most nights this week and enjoy it. I still can’t look a patron in the eye and explain that they need to go through a bunch of bad websites, log in at least twice and create relationships with multiple vendors who are not the library in order to check out a book from us. Here’s hoping the landscape will change for the better. Here’s suggesting we do what we can to help that happen.
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Oh sweet mother of dog, can anyone help me work out how to download and open a goddamn PDF book on my iPad Mini? I bought the book. The default reader is Overdrive, but Overdrive doesn’t support PDFs and won’t download the file. I cannae work out how to download and open the book via another reader. (Adobe PDF Reader for iPad, Kindle, iBooks, etc.) Gah, ebook format wars and incompatibility make Fi very angry.
If the above Facebook post slash cry for help hasn’t already alerted you to this fact, I should probably spell it out for you: This blog post has been typed in anger.
I held off buying an ereader for this precise reason until just a few weeks ago. I wanted the format wars to be over and for the dust from them to be settled. I wanted to be able to purchase and read a book with just a couple of clicks and plenty of ease, with the biggest decision I had to make being which book to purchase. I didn’t want to spend hours researching and troubleshooting downloads and formats and getting increasingly exasperated and incensed.
This is not how I should be spending my Sunday afternoon.
The ultimate irony is that the book I’m trying to download—Beth Kanter and Allison H Fine‘s The Networked Nonprofit—isn’t even a book I want to read for fun. I mean no offence by that—I’m sure it’s a rollicking read. More importantly it’s a book I absolutely must, must, must read and reference for my university study (and it does contain, I’m sure, and by pure virtue of currently being inaccessible to me, the key to my entire thesis).
I should preface the rest of this rant with a note that this is not the fault of Booku, the ebook retail site that complements Boomerang Books. In fact, although Booku doesn’t support PDF files on iPad Minis, it had the clearest, most concise, most communicationally designed (that’s a technical term) help information I was able to find. If it weren’t for Booku, I’d still be googling and randomly attempting to download apps and readers and who knows what else (and no, I’m not just saying that because I technically work for them). I also feel the need to specify that it’s not an Apple product thing. It’s an ebook format war thing. Every ereading device currently available comes with quirks and cons.
The issue is that downloading a book to any device shouldn’t have to be this hard. This format war stuff needs to be sorted the f$%k out.
I can’t recount the steps I took to get my PDF onto my iPad, partly because I don’t want to bore you and mostly because I can’t remember the myriad, seemingly unending, largely fruitless steps I took. I should also admit that although I’ve now got the book open and readable on my Macbook Pro, I still haven’t managed to do it on my iPad Mini (it appears that I can only download the Adobe Digital Editions to the former, because it’s not an app, which kind of defeats the purpose of me specifically purchasing an iPad Mini to be an ereader). If you’ve got any advice on how to do this, I’m all eyes and ears.
Who knows, maybe half of what I’ve typed here today is incorrect. But I don’t apologise for that—this ebook stuff is unnecessarily confusing. Because here’s the rub: I don’t care what format my ebook is in. Nor should I even have to know. As the producers and distributors of this product, the publishers and retailers should be across that. And they should be making it as easy as possibly for me, the enduser, to simply decided on my purchase and download it with ease. That’s how the interwebs work these days.
There’s a reason why iTunes and Amazon’s (particularly with the latter’s oh-so-dangerous, impulse buy-encouraging one-click functionality) are dominating the sales spaces, and it’s not because they’re behemoths. It’s because they’ve made it easy for people to get the things they’re after. I’m actually reasonably tech savvy and interested in ebooks (it is, after all, central to my work and industry). If I can’t work it out, what hope is there for the lay reader who just wants to enjoy some Sunday afternoon Vampire Academy (I’m eagerly awaiting the arriving of my just-released The Indigo Spell)?
To be blunt (not that I haven’t already been), I resent having to have about 17 different ereading apps downloaded to my ereading device and playing which-one-will-work roulette every time I want to read a book. I resent not being able to use the ereader of my choice, instead being dictated to by the format that it may or may not support. I also resent having my ebooks spread across various apps—I imagine there’ll be a time when I lose my s$%t trying to find a book I know I own but can’t remember its format and, subsequently, in which app’s library it will happen to be stored.
I’m sure downloading Kanter’s book didn’t and doesn’t need to be this hard. But I didn’t know the steps and I shouldn’t have had to. They should be intuitive and the process should be seamless. It shouldn’t have involved me having to first find and then type in my stupid Adobe ID multiple times. (As a side note, Adobe also forced me to give the company my birthday, which enraged me no end. The only reason they need such information is to gather marketing data on me is that they will use against me or sell on to a third party. It’s not ok, Adobe. You knowing my age doesn’t affect whether I can get a goddamn PDF downloaded and opened on my device.)
Nor should the process have had to involve me becoming an expert of what kinds of ereading apps are available and which formats they support. For the record none of the ones I looked at—Goodreader, Stanza, Kindle, iBooks, Overdrive, and Bluefire—and especially not the last two, are intuitive titles that people would think to use as search terms. Where is the generically named ‘ebook reader’ app? Where is the ereader that’s easy to find, intuitive to use, and that reads all formats?
Following up on yesterday’s post—some good questions came up in the comments. I’ll tackle this one first: “How does the Send to Kindle app work?”
Send to Kindle
I mentioned how much I rely on Send to Kindle to read long-form posts and articles later, away from my computer. This is an official Amazon app but there are third-party equivalents, too. (See Send to Reader, below. Instapaper is another.)
How it works: I installed Send to Kindle in my browser. (There are Chrome and Firefox versions, PC and Mac desktop versions, and even an Android app.)
In Chrome, the Send to Kindle icon appears at the top right of my browser—see the orange K?
When I’m reading a post online and I want to send it to my Kindle, all I have to do is click the icon.
If I want, I can choose to send the article to the Kindle app on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device instead. Click the icon to access the settings button. This is handy if I want to send a particular article to Scott’s device instead of mine. (You may have up to six devices connected to your Kindle account at any one time.)
Send to Reader
As I said, Send to Reader works almost the same way. You create an account, install its bookmarklet in your toolbar, and enter your Kindle’s email address. IMPORTANT: Be sure to use the free.kindle.com version of your Kindle address, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org, not email@example.com. This is the simplest way to avoid any download charges for the content you send. (You can also tweak your Kindle document settings to make sure you don’t accidentally download content via Whispernet, incurring data charges. Go to Amazon –> Manage Your Kindle –> Personal Document Settings and set a price limit of, say, one cent for download fees. That way, any download that would exceed that fee will be withheld until you’re connected via Wifi, where all downloads are free. Or just make a point of always using the free.kindle.com address instead!)
While you’re in your Kindle settings, be sure to enter firstname.lastname@example.org as one of your approved email addresses for receiving content.
This fussy set-up stuff takes much more time to describe than to do. Once you’re set up, you don’t have to bother with this ever again. From then on, you can zap articles to your Kindle by simply clicking the bookmarklet.
I believe Send to Reader works with the Kindle app on your iPad or Android device, as well. If you don’t know your device’s Kindle email address, you can find it at Manage Your Kindle –> Personal Document Settings.
Sending posts directly from Google Reader
OK, so that’s how I send long-form web content to my e-reader for perusing later. Now let’s back up half a step: say I’m reading a blog post in Google Reader—how do I send that post to my Kindle? Two ways. Either I can click through to the actual post and follow the steps above, or I can send it directly from Reader via the “Send to” button.
See the “Send to” tab at the bottom of the post? When you click on it, up pop your options. You can send this post all over the place!
Here’s how to configure the options: In Google Reader, click the Settings gear icon. Select “Reader Settings.”
Click the “Send to” tab to get to the screen pictured below.
Choose whatever sites you like to send stuff to.
You’ll notice Diigo and Send to Reader are missing from this checklist, but do appear in my list of options in the previous photo. That’s because I added them manually (again, a one-time set-up process) following the instructions under “Don’t see your favorite site?”
Click “Create a custom link” to connect with the site of your choice. Again, I think this kind of thing is harder to explain than to do. Let me know if anything here doesn’t make sense!
I should add that I really only use Google Reader’s “send to” feature to send articles to my Kindle—I seldom share links to Facebook or Twitter this way. I prefer HootSuite for that. But that is fodder for another post.
A doozy! You guys! The Betsy-Tacy Treasury (that’s the first four books in the series) is $2.99 on Kindle right now!
Here’s an older post of mine about the books.
Sorry so brief today. Busy busy day! We took the kids to the mountains to see snow. Was Huck and Rilla’s first encounter with it. Oh my little Southern California children.
But I finished re-reading Ballet Shoes for the Streatfeild read-along and I should be able to get a post up about it tomorrow afternoon. Are you reading? Are you ready?
There are a lot of reasons I haven’t been posting lately — a busy time at work, an overwhelming urge to reread all of the Grace Harlowe High School Girls and College Girls series, my lack of an ereader, etc. If you’re following me on Twitter, you already have a rough outline of the Kindle saga, which started when I admired a coworker’s new Paperwhite but admitted I was probably going to stick with my first generation Kindle until it died on me. Ten minutes later I got on the subway, pulled out my Kindle to continue reading the 850-page book I was in the middle of, and found that the screen was badly dented and wouldn’t display a page. Cue a lot of people telling me that you get what you ask for, which, a) no you don’t, and b) that wasn’t what I meant.
Anyway, I ordered the Paperwhite and a new phase of the saga began. The stated lead time was something like five to six weeks, so I resigned myself to a long wait and was pleasantly surprised when it shipped out, like, a week and a half later.
Then it just…didn’t arrive. The tracking page listed it as out for delivery, but it’s my understanding that things aren’t usually out for delivery for more than a day. After my package had been listed as out for delivery for four days, I called UPS. They suggested I call Amazon and ask for them to put a trace on the package. I still, uncharitably, suspect some UPS employee of saying, “Hey, I know what comes in an Amazon box that size,” and making off with it.
I spoke to a customer service person at Amazon, and when I told her that UPS had suggested a trace, she basically said that that meant it was lost, and did I want a refund or a replacement? Obviously I wanted a replacement, although she warned me it might take another month. That didn’t seem to make much sense, but I work with customer support people and I’ve been a receptionist; it takes a lot to make me argue with the person on the other end of the phone.
I waited patiently for a couple of weeks, but I was kind of uneasy about the fact that my account showed no trace of the replacement order. I didn’t know if I was supposed to be able to see a replacement order, so I didn’t do anything, but this weekend I got impatient as I was nearing the end of the 850-page book — I’ve been reading it on my phone — and gave them another call. It turns out that when the first customer service rep told me she would set up a replacement what she meant was that she was not going to do that. Yeah, I don’t know. The service rep I got this time was very apologetic and sent out a replacement with free one-day shipping. It may get to me today.
I’m not upset with Amazon or anything. Multiple people have told me I should have got more out of them, but I just wanted a Kindle and they’re sending one to me as fast as they can. Mostly I’m upset with myself for not calling to check up on the nonexistent replacement sooner. And with my imaginary thieving UPS employee.
So, keep your fingers crossed for me, because I don’t think I really believe it will arrive today. Meanwhile, I finished the 850 page book yesterday — it was When Ghost Meets Ghost, by William de Morgan — and am full of good resolutions about posting about, and lost of other things. What should I put on my new Kindle when it gets here? What Christmas stories should I read this year?
by Bruce Lidl
With Thanksgiving (and the various themed shopping days that follow) now past us, the highpoint (or lowpoint depending on your viewpoint) of the annual shopping season has arrived in full force, and according to various trend observers, tablets are once again one of, if not the, thing to give or receive this year. Unlike in previous years however, when “tablet” actually just meant “iPad,” in 2012 we are finally seeing a bit of diversity in the “portable device that is bigger than a smartphone but doesn’t have a keyboard” category, beyond just the offerings from Cupertino. And considering what a great fit for comics tablets are proving to be, no matter the specific shape or size, not to mention the ever expanding offerings of digital comics, it is worth a glance to see how the landscape is shaping up for tablets and comics this year.
Amazon released the original Kindle Fire roughly a year ago, and while it has certainly not overtaken the tablet crown from the iPad, it did demonstrate that other companies could compete in the arena, particularly if their device had tight integration into broad content eco-systems (something that all the pre-Fire Android tablets sorely lacked). Smaller, less powerful, but decidedly cheaper, the Kindle Fire expanded the Kindle brand beyond mere black and white eReaders and helped to legitimize the 7 inch form factor, despite Steve Jobs’ previous dismissals of that format. Attempting to build on the first Kindle Fire’s success, Amazon has diversified its lineup of tablets this year, offering not just the original Kindle Fire ($159), but expanding with the Kindle Fire HD (same size and shape as original but better a 1280×800 screen, more powerful, etc for $199) and the Kindle Fire HD “8.9 (larger, better 1920×1200 screen, more powerful, etc. for $299).
Barnes & Noble technically beat Amazon to the punch with their Nook Color, a 7 inch Android skinned tablet very similar to the original Kindle Fire, but without the marketing power of Amazon, the Nook Color languished a bit compared to its Kindle competitor. Nonetheless, B&N (with some financial assistance from Microsoft) is pushing ahead with tablets, and now has an improved Nook HD (better screen, more powerful, etc. for $199) and a larger 9 inch Nook HD+ ($269). A third entry in the eReader-based Android-skinned tablet competition is the Canada-based Kobo, with a very Kindle Fire-like Kobo Vox ($179) and a newer Kobo Arc (better screen, more powerful, etc. $249).
The offerings from Amazon, B&N and Kobo share some fundamentals, notably they are essentially modified Android tablets, with strong integration with their respective online retailers. All of them do, however, allow the installation of Android apps so with some basic technical know-how they can each provide access to each other’s stores, or other independent markets. An owner of a Nook HD could conceivably purchase content from B&N, Amazon or any of the comics publishers affiliated with Comixology, iVerse or their own stores (like Dark Horse). Hence, preferences between these pretty similar devices will likely depend more on comfort with a particular retailer than any noticeable specification or app differences at a particular price point.
Of course, the hitherto dominant figure in the tablet world remains the iPad, and Apple continues to iterate the device now in its fourth generation. The big news is, however, the introduction of the iPad mini, the first major deviation from the original iPad format, shrinking the screen down from 9.7 inches to 7.85, creating a tablet that is smaller, lighter and more ergonomic, if sacrificing some power and display resolution. By all indications the iPad mini is proving to be very popular, and has even convinced some Apple observers that the mini is the logical development of the iPad, and the smaller format will become the “default” size ultimately. On the other hand, the mini goes backwards from a resolution standpoint (1024 x 768) and is not a “retina” display, or even “high definition” by normal understanding. While the mini obviously benefits from the maturity and depth of the overall iOS experience and App Store, from a specific comic perspective, the advantage the standard iPads have had in displaying graphic storytelling is somewhat blunted in this case. For $199 the Amazon Kindle HD has a 7 inch display with a resolution of 1280×800, and while resolution is not the only factor when it comes to screen quality, it does create an interesting comparison to the $349 iPad mini. The fourth generation non-mini iPad retains the larger screen size and high resolution display (2,048 × 1,536) of its predecessor, but did receive a computing power boost and starts at $499.
From a sheer visual quality standpoint, it is hard to beat reading comics on the larger, sharper iPad, but as we have already seen, Android competitors are not sitting still when it comes to resolution, and comics should look fantastic on any of the HD capable models from Amazon or B&N. The most buzzed about Android tablet this year, however, remains the Nexus 7, the first tablet in Google’s Nexus line of quasi-flagship devices that receive special software attention from Google. A relatively powerful device for its 7 inch screen size, with HD resolution, no retailer app restrictions and a guarantee of always receiving the latest version of the Android operating system, the Nexus 7 will appeal most to price sensitive power users at $199. There is also a larger Nexus 10 available, but with a size, screen and price ($399) that borders on iPad territory it is not as compelling an option, although digital comics will certainly look great on it.
Surprisingly, at least to me, what may be the best current “over-all” tablet choice with a comics emphasis is the Barnes&Noble Nook HD+. It has a large-ish size screen that displays digital comics excellently, has a pretty good price to performance ratio ($269 for the 16GB model), can be rooted for maximum flexibility and compatibility, and even has the ability to expand storage with microSD cards (up to 32GB added). Still small and light enough to be read in bed comfortably, the Nook HD+ offers many of the benefits of the larger iPad, but at almost half the price.
Are you planning on giving or receiving a tablet this year? Which one do you want, and why?
Someday will we be nostalgic about our good old-fashioned Kindle or Nook?
In his “For Lack of a Better Comic” strip, artist Jacob Andrews imagined how we will talk about eReaders and digital books in the future.
If you liked the comic, check out the complete “For Lack of a Better Comic” archive at this link.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Bernard Beckett’s Genesis is 1.99 on Kindle today. It was one of my favorite reads of the year a few years back:
After plague and war decimate the human race, a small group of survivors build a protected, isolated island community called The Republic, modeled on Plato’s vision of the perfect society, but rigidly totalitarian. We learn about the history of The Republic via the oral examination given by the somber members of the esteemed Academy to Anax, an earnest young scholar who has prepared long years for this event in hopes of admission. Anax’s subject of specialty is the revolutionary, Adam Forde, whose subversive actions brought down The Republic many years before. A serious and captivating aspect of Adam’s history is his relationship with a robot possessing highly advanced simulated-consciousness technology, and their discussions about the nature of consciousness are incredibly gripping and thought-provoking.
I wanted to celebrate the release of two new picture eBooks: The Perfect Christmas Tree
, US download
) and Where It's Always Winter
, US download
) earlier this month. So on the 2nd I decided to give some of my other picture eBooks away for free.
Sadly you've missed one but you might still have time to download for FREE The Best Rabbit
(part of the Burdock the Rabbit series). If interested click on the relevant link: UK Amazon store
- US Amazon store
You definitely have time to download Clever Rabbit
(also part of the Burdock the Rabbit series) which will be FREE from tomorrow (15th December) to the 19th December. To enjoy this book download from the UK Amazon site HERE
or the US Amazon site HERE
Finally the third in the Burdock the Rabbit series The Abacus
will be available for FREE between the 20th December and the 24th December. UK readers can download by clicking HERE
or US readers can download by clicking HERE
And remember you don't have to have a Kindle to enjoy these books. Just follow this link to download a FREE Kindle App
so you can read on other devices.
I hope you enjoy sharing my books and I wish you the very best for this festive season.
P.S. If you do enjoy my books would you be kind enough to place a positive review on Amazon. Such reviews help boost sales. This enables me to write and publish more books, which means I can then release more free downloads as a thank you for supporting my work.
Three myths about KDP Select (and how you can capitalize on them)Guest Post by Maggie Ball
Are you a self-publisher? In 2011, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) started a program called “Kindle Select”. To enroll in it is easy. When you upload your book into KDP, you’ll be asked if you want to enroll. Tick yes, and you’re in. That’s all there is to it, but is that all? What does it mean? In a nutshell, enrolling in KDP Select means that, for the period of enrolment, you have to commit to making the digital format of your book available exclusively through KDP. You aren’t able to distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your website, blogs, etc. This means that it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to enroll in KDP Select if your book is with a traditional publisher, as they’ll want to sell it from their own site and other sites as well. The benefits of doing this are:
• Your book will be available from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for anyone who joins Amazon Prime. Every time someone borrows it, you’ll get a share of at least $6 million throughout 2012
• 70% royalty for sales to customers in India instead of the standard 35%
• Use of a Promotions Manager tool that allows you to schedule 5 free book days a year.
It seems like a simple trade off – exclusivity for benefits, but confusion and mis-information abounds. Read on for the three biggest myths about KDP Select and what you can do to make sure that you utilise the benefits of this program to its full capabilities. Myth one: KDP Select means you can’t sell your book on other sites.
When you enroll in KDP Select, you only have to commit to 90 days – roughly three months. After that you can put your book up anywhere. This means you can try it out, use it for a bit, and then opt out. But be careful. When you sign up, there’s an auto-renewal box. If you don’t tick off that, or diarise the renewal date, you’ll automatically be renewed and then you’ll have to wait another 90 days to opt-out. Also remember that you are free to sell print and audio copies of your book anywhere while you’re in KDP Select – it’s only for digital editions. Myth two: If you put your book into KDP readers will come.
No promotions work without effort on the author’s part, and as more and more people become aware of KDP Select, the number of people participating in it will grow, which means more noise and more competition for attention. You’ll have to get the word out and promote your involvement as hard as you promote anything else to do with your book. Tell readers that your book is always free to borrow for Amazon Prime (you can see what Amazon gets out of it!). Tell your readers when there are free days and make sure you maximise those. Tweet and use appropriate hashtags (like @KindleBookPromos). Tell Kindle book blogs. Don’t just hope people will find out about it. Myth three: KDP will cause you to lose sales.
Giving your book away doesn’t cause a loss of sales. It’s well known that giving your book away can dramatically increase readership awareness, potential reviews, and ultimately, sales (just ask Cory Doctorow). The more people who have heard of you, the more people will hear of you. That’s called “buzz”. It’s good.
So there are your three myth, busted. Of course I’m practising what I preach and two of my books are free this month. For Christmas, there's the poetry book Blooming Red
, which I co-wrote with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, available (just click on the link below) on the 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of December
(that would be now – go!). It makes a great thoughtful, fast electronic Christmas gift for someone you care about, and yes, you’re welcome to download, and then send it to someone. Then there's Black Cow (just click on the below
) available between the 20th and 24th of December. I hope you'll download a free copy of both of these books, and try out KDP Select from the users point of view. Then drop me a line when your book is up so I can grab a copy.
Magdalena Ball runs The Compulsive Reader. She is the author of the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, the novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Deeper Into the Pond, Blooming Red, Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future. She also runs a radio show, The Compulsive Reader Talks. Find out more about Magdalena at http://www.magdalenaball.com.GET YOUR FREE COPIES TODAY:BLOOMING RED: CHRISTMAS POETRY FOR THE RATIONALBLACK COW
By: Kathy Temean,
Blog: Writing and Illustrating
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This December illustration titled, Hiding in the Snow was sent in by Summer Hart. Perhaps we are seeing the beginnings of self-published books coming out of their hiding, too.
There’s been a lot of talk about self-published bestsellers, Amazon’s own publishing lines, and the disruption of “gatekeepers” in 2012, so I was interested when Publisher Marketplace reported what Amazon’s own lists show (below).
For the “announced” lists of 2012 books only, leaving aside EL James, by our count the top 100 Kindle list includes 16 titles that were originally self-published. But only 5 of those books are still self-published (The Secret of Ella and Micha, by Jessica Sorensen; Down to You and The Wild Ones, by M. Leighton; Blood Stained by CJ Lyons; and The Unwanted Wife, by Natasha Anders).
And of those 5, Leighton’s two books are also moving to Penguin Group’s Berkley–and Berkley/NAL now publishes 7 more of those originally self-published books on the Kindle bestseller list:
Sylvia Day’s Bared to You and Reflected In You Samantha Young’s On Dublin Street Tammara Webber’s Easy Sydney Landon’s Weekends Required Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel’s Rapture Sydney Landon’s Not Planning On You
Amazon’s imprints accounted for 4 books: The Long Way Home, by Karen McQuestion (Encore) Hidden, by Kendra Elliot (Montlake Romance) Thicker Than Water, G.M. Ford (Thomas & Mercer) Dead Weight, by T.R. Ragan (Thomas & Mercer) and two of them are Kindle single exclusives — Snatched, by Karin Slaughter, and An Unexpected Twist, by Andy Borowitz.
On the “actual” list of 2012 Kindle bestsellers, regardless of when published, the highest-ranking self-published title is Stephanie Bond’s OUR HUSBAND (at No 29–though Penguin’s Sylvia Day editions are at No. 7 and No 8.) This list has 15 books that were originally self-published, 4 Amazon-published books, and one Kindle Single exclusive (Karin Slaughter’s).
More Self-Publish Success:
Author of self-published NYT and USA Today ebook bestseller WOOL Hugh Howey has made a print-only deal with Simon & Schuster, which will release his title in both hardcover and paperback editions simultaneously in March 2013 while Howey continues to control the ebook version. He had already made a traditional publishing deal in the UK (with Century) and agent Kristin Nelson and her sub-agents have already licensed the book in over 18 territories.
Spokesperson for the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group Julia Prosser told us, “Not one size publishing fits all, and Simon & Schuster wants to publish the most talented writers out there. We’re thrilled to be able to bring WOOL to a larger audience.” In 2011 Simon& Schuster agreed to distribute print books for another successful self-published ebook author, John Locke, and that unit also provided full-line distribution (this time including ebooks) to Tucker Max’s Blue Heeler Books for his latest book, HILARITY ENSUES.
Print-only deals remain rare, though not singular (and they may become more common as the 21st-century version of the old paperback license). Mira licensed print-only rights from another self-published author, Bella Andre, in September. And Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s New Harvest imprint issues Amazon Publishing books in print only, and when they first licensed two Oliver Pötzsch books from Amazon Crossing it was for print only. Other one-offs include Jon Krakauer’s Three Cups of Deceit and the NYT’s WikiLeaks book OPEN SECRETS, which Grove/Atlantic published as a trade paperback.
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Today’s Kindle Daily Deal for kids is Elizabeth George Speare’s The Bronze Bow—Newbery winner, homeschooling staple.
By: Mayra Calvani
Blog: Mayra's Secret Bookcase
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The Adventures of Zeppi series
A penguin named Zeppi makes a boy’s wish for a special friend come true. When young Alesdor finds Zeppi amongst the flowers in the garden, they adopt each other and grow in The Adventures of Zeppi series.
Zeppi and his friend have fun and discover a lot about friendship, tolerance and generosity. As Zeppi adapts to his new life with ecological-minded Alesdor, he will learn about taking care of the planet too.
Book 1 – New Friends
When Zeppi’s cage falls off a truck, he’s found by a kind boy named Alesdor, who teaches him that
compost piles are plant food and not penguin food.
Zeppi’s Christmas gift: FREE download on December 25 and 26:
Check out the other books in The Adventure of Zeppi series:
Book 2 – Circus
Now living in Alesdor’s teepee in the garden, Zeppi is overjoyed when a circus parade comes down the street. It’s so much fun, until he realizes some animals are caged. Have his parents wound up in cages at the circus? Zeppi decides to find out.
Zeppi’s Christmas gift: FREE download on December 25 and 26:
Book 3 – Learning
Penguins cannot speak human words. Will Zeppi the penguin learn to talk?
Book 4 – Greenback Town
During a visit to his favorite toy store, Zeppi decides to snuggle between two plush penguins that remind him of his parents. But everything turns topsy-turvy when a wildlife protection officer wants to take him to the zoo.
Book 5 – Cackle Island
Zeppi takes his first swim in the sea, when a storm comes up and takes him to an island inhabited by strange creatures.
Available begin January 2013.
Capturing the Castle (How “Once Upon a Castle” was born) On a bitterly cold, November afternoon, I found myself stranded near Bamburgh Castle on the wild Northumberland coast whilst the local, old fashioned garage, with tall petrol pumps, repaired my broken-down car. The delicate, somewhat bright, late autumn sunlight created an eerie, pastel coloured scene, albeit tempered by a biting breeze, yet quite magical, certainly ancient, and almost ethereal. Vikings have landed here,’ I told myself scanning the unique white beaches below the hazy castle ramparts. It was one of those strange experiences that triggered the imagination and I could see a Scandinavian longship coming ashore, disgorging horned-helmeted warriors seizing the beach before storming inland to ravage the sparse Saxon populace. I could feel that there was a tale to be told. With the genesis of a story in my mind, I conducted research into Northumbrian castles and was intrigued to discover there was another ruined castle along the coast. This gave me a plot basis involving two castles, one of which was real and the other a phantom! Ideas built as I thought this was an area to where children were evacuated during World War II. Things shaped towards an exciting novel for young adolescents involving twelve-year-old twins, Tom and Mary (to appeal to both sexes) who dread being sent from southern England to Aunt Victoria’s Northumberland farm. Yet she proves to be young, and fun, until lessons are arranged with a terrible private tutor, Miss Urquart. Their London Uncle Toby had said: “There will be castles to explore with ghosts and things.” Teenage rebelliousness ensues as the twins escape and riotous, scary adventures involving castles, Vikings and even the Royal Navy begin. “Once Upon a Castle” is republished by USA publisher GMTA Publishing under their imprint, Mythos Press.
“Once Upon a Castle” Blurb Uncle Toby had said that there would be castles to explore, with ghosts and things. This helps to cheer up the glum twelve-year old Lovell twins, Tom and Mary, leaving their schools and loving parents to be evacuated to wild Northumbria during World War II. Then the adventure begins. They live with their Aunt Victoria and Uncle Leslie, meet the loveable ‘Mrs M’, a strange dog called ‘Scamp’ and, worst, the terrible private tutor, Miss Urquart, from whom they run away to find a mysterious castle seen through an old telescope. Now they are drawn into bizarre supernatural events of a time-warp between the war itself and ancient warfare. They encounter dark forces, as the story twists and turns, and are even rescued by the Royal Navy. Yet, this is only the beginning of more unexpected tragedies before the twins begin to escape from it all.
Alan S. Blood worked in the British Civil Service, Advertising and journalism (edited three publications) before qualifying as a Teacher from the University of Reading, England. He enjoyed a long, distinguished career in the Teaching Profession, in both Primary and Secondary levels of education, in several parts of the UK - which eventually led to Senior Management. His main subject area was English and, at one time, he was Head of English and Drama. Throughout, he gained considerable knowledge of literature that children and adolescents enjoy. Alan now devotes his time to writing novels, plays, screenplays and poetry. He won top award in the ‘Hastings International Poetry Festival’ (2003) with his controversial ‘litter’ poem ‘CONTRITE CAN CANNOT’. The paranormal genre features in much of his prose work. ‘ONCE UPON A CASTLE’ is a ghost story written for young people (but also enjoyed by adults) set in World War 11. It concerns both a real and a phantom castle based upon Alan’s experience of strange castles on the wild Northumbrian coast of England on cold, dark wintry afternoon. Alan Blood has widely travelled the world and undertook research in Chile where some of his supernatural crime thriller ‘CRY OF THE MACHI A Suffolk Murder Mystery’ is set. He was previously a Cotswold Morris Dancer and the novel is a conflict between the forces of good and evil linking a Chilean ‘Machi’ and ‘organised crime’ to murders in a Suffolk Morris Men side. Alan enjoys wildlife photography in the Welsh countryside, painting and scraperboard engraving. He lives in a Victorian (1873) house below the Cambrian Mountains of Mid-Wales.
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/Ct08l
Every time a friend like Sarah Elwell or Liz Burns mentions the books of Melina Marchetta, I think I have got to get on the ball and read those. Just last week I was wishing the first book in the series, Finnikin of the Rock, would be a Kindle deal. And today it is.
What ho! Otto here!CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON.COMCLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON.CO.UK
Here is my new bestselling work of children's literature!
It is about a penguin called Piddles who widdles everywhere.
"Brilliant!" I hear you say, wondering why no-one has penned such a tome before. That is why I am a Bestselling Author and International Poet and you are not. (Statistically speaking it is very unlikely another Bestselling Author and International Poet is reading this. But if you are actually a Bestselling Author and International Poet, I apologize.)
It will be free, of course, for a short period, purely out of the goodness of my heart, on Monday and Tuesday. Probably this coming Monday and Tuesday, the 28th and 29th of January. But as it is only 99 cents, or 77 pence, why not buy it anyway? You can always return it if you don't like it!
Click on this rather shakily drawn cover image to view the thing on Amazon.com, or click on the links underneath!
Halloween is in the air.
You'd like to see a ghost - but where?
At night when the sun's gone down,
Come with me to Ghostie Town . . .
Where you will find the most colorful and cheerful collection of ghosties you could ever hope to meet.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SAMPLE ON AMAZON.COMCLICK HERE TO VIEW SAMPLE ON AMAZON.CO.UK
Lois Lowry’s The Willoughbys is $1.99 on Kindle today.
And a very nice review of Fox and Crow Are Not Friends at Jean Little Library:
…a fun new easy reader with a great text and illustrations. I hope these two will collaborate on more stories. I strongly recommend purchasing the library bound edition, as this is one that will be read again and again!
Heads up: Johnny Tremain is today’s Kindle daily deal—only .99!
At Wisteria & Sunshine, Lesley is preparing to lead us through preparations for An Unhurried Christmas…her gentle pace, beautiful images, nourishing words, and refreshing common sense are inspiring, as always. Perhaps you could splurge on an early gift for yourself and try a subscription?
And I just saw that Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World is encouraging folks to sign up for her mailing list because she has a sale coming up. I love Wendi’s work. Her mailing list includes free sewing or embroidery lessons.
Other links I’ve shared elsewhere:
Classic Childrens-Literature-Inspired Bedrooms. Including a Great Green Room, of course.
Beatrix Potter’s Picture Letters at the Morgan. Oh I want to go!
Living Walls and Self-Healing Concrete.
Concrete is the most widely used structural material on the planet, but it has a niggling habit of breaking down over time, giving rise to cracks, pits and holes that require expensive repairs or replacement. But what if concrete could mend itself? It turns out such a material already exists — and it could be used in a building near you in as little as 2—3 years.
Street Murals Made from Sugar.
Eight Hacks to Make Google Calendar More Useful.
I never get tired of Curiosity’s Mars photos.
Bonus happy-kid photo:
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Um. November went where? I'm filing a missing person's report.
And speaking of which: Last day of NaNoWriMo!! How did you guys do?!
Now then! Lots of links! It was a hectic month and I missed a lot so as always, please be sure and fill in what I missed in the comment section.
Machines can already beat us at chess. Could they ever write a novel?
Meanwhile, NO COINCIDENCE AT ALL, the University of Cambridge is forming a unit to assess whether developments in artificial intelligence pose a threat to humanity. (Disclosure: Link is to CNET, I work there).
So yeah. It's been a month since Hurricane Sandy, and even aside from the fact that it proves that Mother Nature has turned psychotic, many people remarked on how social media changed the experience of going through the storm. It certainly felt that way for me - I kept tabs on friends here and heard from lots of people wondering how I was doing (I was fine). New York Magazine had what I thought was the best take on that phenomenon.
Speaking of hurricanes, (and let me get the disclaimer out of the way first: I work for CNET, which is owned by CBS, which owns Simon & Schuster. All opinions expressed on this blog are my own, I don't have knowledge of S&S's publishing operations, and linking to outside blogs doesn't necessarily mean I endorse the opinions espoused therein), Simon & Schuster has entered into a relationship with controversial publishing operation Author Solutions. Friend-of-the-blog David Gaughran launched a broadside against the arrangement.
Ken Liu's short story 'Paper Managerie' has won pretty much every award ever, and you can read it over at io9.
A new app called Litragger has launched, which aggregates all kinds of literary journals in once place. Pretty cool.
After previously removing e-books from libraries, Penguin has embarked on a new pilot e-book lending program in a few libraries (link is to CNET, you know the drill).
I found this very interesting: In June, Kindle devices (e.g. Kindles, Kindle Fire, etc.) represented 55% of e-book reading, while the iPad clocked in at 12%.
My former client Jennifer Hubbard wrote an awesome post on good and bad uses of supporting casts in a novel.
The last few weeks in the Forums: writerly things to do in New York, why do you want to get published anyway?, where have all the review blogs gone?, what to do when you're desperate for inspiration, and what's your editing style?
And finally, I seriously have no idea how this photographer pulled off this time-lapse of the leaves changing in Central Park, but it's utterly spectacular:
Fall from jamie scott on Vimeo.
Have a great weekend!