Friday, June 09, 2006

Titles and Devices

Hopefully, some of you are interested in trying eBooks. First, how are you going to read an eBook? You’ll need a reading device, and I have experience with two of the top devices: a laptop computer and a PDA. My current computer is an iBook G4, which I’ve had for about 18 months. It replaced a 3 year old Ti Powerbook, so I’ve been in laptop land for a long time. At first, I downloaded books in html format, but with those page breaks and chapter breaks, along with much of the formatting, bite the dust. The thing I like best about this format is you can read fast, due to fairly large type and all you have to do is scroll. As I continued buying eBooks, I switched to Adobe pdf, which preserves much of the publisher’s formatting.

Several months ago, the Whiskey Creek Press author’s group had a thread going about eBook readers and PDA’s, which sounded better than a computer for reading. I did a bit of research and although the dedicated reader was interesting, I bought a “blemished” Palm Tungsten E, at Overstock.com, for $50.00 less than most other vendors were offering their closeouts. The Palm was a natural choice, since the software is Mac friendly, and it will do more than just display my books. The learning curve wasn’t that bad, and I have really enjoyed this device. I have downloaded some of my Adobe pdf titles to it, but I much prefer eReader or Mobipocket formats for reading on this PDA. Some of my older friends say, “How can you see that tiny thing?” but I haven’t had any problems with that aspect. Really, the screen is much brighter and more crisp than my son’s GameBoy. Of course, these same older friends live in a different time period— one where you write checks for small purchases at the local discount store, after driving up in a really long car with a big V-8 engine.

Not all titles I might want to read are available as eBooks, of course, but the selection of available titles is quite good, and the prices range from free to about what you’d pay for a hardcover at Amazon. I don’t buy those at the top end of the price range. The best freebies are found at Baen books. That publisher and many of their authors are forward thinking, and by offering free samples, they are enhancing their image as a publisher and increasing their sales of eBooks and print ones, too. Some Baen hardcover titles include a CD with other titles in eBook formats from the publisher for free. Fictionwise also has freebies, especially short fiction and samples. Another thing I love about Fictionwise is that they seem to like a sale as much as I do! Also, once you’ve purchased a book there, you can download it again, for no additional charge, even if you want a different format. I bought some books from the site in pdf for my laptop, and when I moved to the Palm, I downloaded my favorites again, as PalmDocs. Cool!

There are many sites which sell eBooks on the web, but my favorite ePublishers are Whiskey Creek Press, Wings ePress, and Baen, and I’ve bought books from their sites as well as at Fictionwise. If you can buy books at Amazon or Barnes and Noble online, then you shouldn’t have any trouble purchasing eBooks. If you’re reading this, you own a computer and are online, so you are on the way to sampling eBooks. Once you try them, I think you’ll find something to like.

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2 Comments:

At Jun 27, 2006, 10:43:00 PM, Blogger Michele said...

HI!
Sorry for being so quiet lately. NOt blogging as much as I used to.
Yes, indeed. I read ebooks.
I love fictionwise! Discovered them about three months ago. I read ebooks on my computer though. True, I have to sit here and the chair isn't the best, but for the price without having to waste gas to get there, plus the convenience of getting them at non-store hours is great.
Someday I'll get one of those fancy readers.
What got me hooked on ebooks was discovering Ellora's Cave. Now, its Whiskey Creek Press and New Concepts Publishing also. I haven't tried the other two you mentioned so I'm going to check them out too. Can never have too many "stores" to visit. Better than a mall for shopping. At least my car is safe, LOL

 
At Jun 28, 2006, 7:22:00 AM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Hi Michele,

Glad you stopped by again.

I do like New Concepts quite a lot, but I usually get their books via Fictionwise, because I like their multiformat bookshelf, which allows me to download them in whatever format I need.

As for the fancy readers, I have waited, hoping for a larger screen with lightweight components otherwise, and I do think the future will provide that.

In the meantime, I am glad I got the Palm. When I took it out of the box, it was so small that I had doubts, but really, it does work quite well.

Keep reading, and visit again.

 

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