Tag Archives: Amazon Kindle

Did you get a shiny new Kindle for Christmas? How about a Nook?

In the spirit of the holidays, BOTANICAUST is currently on sale for only .99. Grab it while you can, the price goes back up January 1st.

Botanicaust

In an all-too-plausible future where Earth has been overrun by invasive, genetically modified weeds, a doctor with photosynthetic skin risks everything to save a man who refuses to be genetically altered. Together, can they find sanctuary in a cannibal wasteland?

Buy on Amazon today!

Buy at Barnes and Noble today!

The Library Threat

A short while ago, Smashwords began offering libraries the option to buy eBooks, and allowing authors to set a separate price for libraries. My immediate thought was, “Wow, that’s awesome!”

I made my books free to libraries on the spot.Sengkang Community Library

I love the library. One of my earliest memories is of the library in the strip mall next to where my mom worked when I was in grade school. Sometimes I would have to go to work with her, and the library was a blessing during the long hours I had to entertain myself. I’ve discovered many of my favorite authors through the library. I’m thrilled that Botanicaust is offered at 3 libraries at the time of this post. I hope more will pick it up.

Smashwords also offers the option for authors to charge libraries more for their published works. Charge the library more? Our local library is struggling to maintain hours because of budget cuts as it is. Libraries are public service institutions, serving people regardless of race, income, political belief, or religion. My daughter volunteers at the library. Libraries are about community, and service, and education. I want to be a part of that.

Yet I just read this article at the Book View Cafe and learned that some publishers do want to charge more. Or not offer books at all. Or charge library users to borrow the book. Or limit downloads. Do they really fear libraries will cut into their sales? I can’t tell the number of times I’ve discovered an author through the library and then purchased several titles to call my own. Sometimes my checkout time on an eBook has expired before I could finish reading (I’m a slow reader) and I purchased the book rather than get back in the queue for a turn.

Libraries are not a threat. They allow me to discover new authors, much like Amazon is doing with their free reads and borrowing program. Amazon is smart. Pay attention, publishers. Libraries encourage me to buy books. Some may even consider them a marketing device. I plan on always offering my eBooks to libraries for free if I can. Thank you Smashwords.

My Kindle Ate My Homework

In spite of my desire to be self-sufficient in the food department, I like technology.

Betamax

Betamax (Photo credit: Leonardo Rizzi)

Love it, actually. Can’t always afford it, but I love it. While growing up, my mom was always on the forefront of entertainment technology. We were the first family in the neighborhood to get a Betamax video recorder, and I had friends over every day to watch recordings of late night movies. When we got an Atari, my siblings and I spent hours fighting over who got to play Frogger next. In high school, my mom and I sat for hours in front of the Commodore 64 computer playing what passed for interactive games in those days; not graphics, just a story where you typed what to do next, and the words would turn red, or shake, or a gong would sound, and the story would go on. Jack the Ripper. Zork. I can’t remember the others.

I wish this was my tub.

As an adult, I haven’t been able to afford to step into new technology the moment it becomes available. I pick and choose, and wait for the playing field to level out before investing in something. This Christmas, I finally got my first e-reader, the Kindle Fire. I love it. I don’t have to hold pages open to read while I do something else with my hands or try to walk on the treadmill. It is light and easy to read in the bathtub (yes, I take it in the bath with me.) It has a multitude of other diversionary functions like Suduko and Solitaire. I can transport my documents and make notes on them on the go. There are a ton of free books available, or inexpensive new authors to try.

But already I’ve had a reminder why hard-copy books will never be obsolete. I purchased John Truby’s Anatomy of Story, which I am reading as further education for my writing craft, and I wanted it for my Kindle so I could read in the tub (yes, I work in the tub.) While I was taking notes, the book suddenly went blank. I could see the cover page, but every page thereafter was blank.

I was devastated.

After trying everything recommended online, I called Amazon. They have great customer service, by the way. But the technician couldn’t help me. He told me it was a problem they were having with some publishers, and to give it a few days to resolve itself.

I went back to reading my hard-copy of the book, which I was grateful to own. Once again, I resorted to a highlighter, pen, notepad, and sticky notes. As I searched for the sticky note pad that had fallen into the crevasse of the sofa, I missed the ease of my Kindle.

But I was glad I had a “real” book.

So if you love a book, make sure you own it in multiple formats. You never know when technology might fail you. And speaking from experience, a “real” book is still readable if you drop it in the bathtub.

© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.

P.S. I called Amazon again, and this time the tech had me do a factory reset of my kindle. I lost all my music and my personal documents. But I did get the book back. Good thing it’s a book I will read several times. I’m still glad to have it on paper.