I was reading a conversation in the March 2013 Harper's with Maurice Sendak and Emma Brockes of The Believer (Dec.2012). It is all interesting, as Sendak is, but his answer to: "What do you think of e-books?" is what stopped me.
"I hate them," he said. "A book is a book...really like a lover...I think I spent more time sniffing and touching them than reading."
I recalled conversations with my wife about e-books versus real books. We agreed as aged and avid readers that we preferred the old fashioned kind, and couldn't understand why anyone would rather have a Kindle or Nook. Well, now we both have e-readers and read from them daily. We do not frequent the library as before, but usually are into a pages-bound-with-glue-book that lies nearby. We do digital and paper.
I wondered if other famous authors have answered the question posed by Brockes, or have given their thoughts about e-books. Yes they have.
"There is no future for e-books because they are not books." Ray Bradbury.
Ray is wrong there, about the first part anyway.
"A paperback has a sense of permanence...I can spill water on it and it will still work." Jonathan Franzen.
And drop it and throw it without worry.
“It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd.” Penelope Lively
Best quote I've heard in a while.
“How do you press a wildflower into the pages of an e-book?” Lewis Buzbee
That's what old books are for, Lewis.
“I read fast, carelessly, superficially on the screen, and don’t enjoy it. I don’t know why.” Ursula K. Le Guin
I sometimes experience this as well.
“Life without a Kindle is like life without a library nearby.” Franz McLaren
Sure. But if I had a choice, give me the library.
And there are the kids:
"You can tap on a word to see what it means and you can make the words big or small." – 9 year-old girl
More at: ebookfriendly.com kids e-book quotes.
One more thing (This is true):
A few days ago before turning off the light and going to sleep, I used my Kindle as a bookmark, saving my place in the hardcover of a Harlen Coben mystery I am reading.
New Embarrassed Free
Today, May 24, 2012, I have republished both editions of Willowtree, the paperback and for Kindle. I was quite embarrassed to find out recently that the files I submitted for publishing were not the correct ones. I submitted drafts that had not received final editing. Consequently, all previous printings contain numerous mistakes in phrasing, spelling and punctuation. It was my mistake, and I am deeply embarrassed and sorry that this occurred. The problem was with my naming of files. I must look seriously at my system of naming files, since I employ so many of various formats in the production process.
I wish to thank those readers who did not notice many errors, or who were kind-hearted and did not slam me with deserved nasty notes. I greatly appreciate those who nicely told me of the many erors they found.
Saturday, May 26, 2012 is my birthday, and Willowtree, the latest edition, will be free. I'm glad I got this problem fixed before turning 69, and my brain further deteriorates. Anyone who has a copy and wants to download a clean copy may do so. I intend to make all formats available for free on Smashwords after June 1st. Anyone can then get the free coupon code on the E-book page on my site.
Again, I wish to thank my faithful readers and apologize for my mistake.
KINDLE SELECT YES OR NO?
The work and antipation, and finally the big Friday The 13th Kindle Free Promotion is
over. 13 mystery authors got together for this Kindle Select e-book giveaway. A
conservative estimate is nearly, and possibly more than 200,000 of our freebies were
downloaded on Friday and Saturday. As a new and unknown author, my book,
Willowtree had 8,596 downloads in the two days. I was fortunate to tag along with the
group of better known writers with many books and fans. This will be a huge benefit to me in visibility and future sales.
One direct beneficial outcome of giving Willowtree as a freebie was it's appearance on
Amazon's Top 100 Lists. I watched it rise from nowhere on Friday morning to #4 on the Free Contemporary Fiction List by Saturday evening. Also to #8 on the Free Mystery and Thriller List, and #20 in the Free Kindle Store. Of course, I was only on the lists while my book was being offered free. I assume the lists generated a lot of the downloads, since bargain book hunters check these lists often.
Why give away so many books? First, without the free promotion, most of those
thousands of e-book readers would not even know about my book. Second, the exposure from being on the Kindle lists and from all of the articles mentioning our promotion is free advertising. And, I am already seeing e-mails, Tweets, and other posts in groups, blogs, and on Facebook mentioning my book. I expect some reviews will be coming. Also, in this program authors will receive royalties when the books are borrowed from the new owners.
So, I think giving Amazon exclusivity to distribute Willowtree for 90 days and offering it
free for 5 of them will turn out to be quite beneficial for me in terms of exposure, future sales, and confidence. Whether I continue in the program, is to be decided. I have no problem with the program, and Amazon is still my number one means of distribution. There are however, advantages to being with other channels, like Smashwords.
I wish to thank the other dozen writers who pulled me with them in the 13/13/13
experience. It was the bright idea of Stacy Juba, a tireless worker and beautiful person, who happens to have written a bunch of great books in various genres. The others who unselfishly contributed much time and effort are: Debra Lee, Keri Knutson, Maryann Miller, Timothy Hallinon, Bill Shepard, Jean Henry Mead, R J McDonnell, Joanna Slan, Gerrie Ferris Finger, Alina Adams, and Bonnie Hill. All are accomplished authors and their work deserves a look. I hope soon to have links to these fine writers on my "Recommendations" page.
Now to get back to work on my Book Two, Stinger Maguire. I hear the best way to push Book One is to have a Two, then a Three, then...
13 free e-books by 13 authors on Friday the 13th of April.A dozen authors and I have joined together for a huge promo event for our Kindle Select books. We are offering e-books free on Friday, April 13. You will probably run into some of our ads or articles on the web or in a newspaper from now until the 13th.We are mystery and romance writers, some of which have been published by Dutton, Dell, Avon, MIra, and St Martin's. I am pleased and honored to be included with them for this event. Kindlers can download all 13 if they wish. Mark your calendars and bookmark the link. Tell your friends. Several books will also be free on the 14th, in case anyone be celebrating other events on Friday.The link to an Amazon page listing all the books is: http://amzn.to/GUnuf1I have offered "Willowtree" free on previous occasions and have had over a thousand downloads, a lot for me, but not for better known writers. So, this will be some good exposure. I hope folks will take advantage of this offer to find some new authors they like. Like, Stacy Juba, a very talented and versatile writer. She has written adult mysteries and romance novels, as well as young adult and children's books. Stacy has spearheaded this 13-13 promotion. We other 12 admire both her writing and promotional skills.
13 free books.This is no April Fools joke.Good luck on April 1, and especially on the 13th.
Many folks treasure their copies of books signed by the author.
Ever wish you had an Ebook signed by the author?
Kindlegraph.com does just that. The author and reader connect on the site and the "kindlegraph" signature is done at docusign.com and forwarded to the reader's Kindle.
I've done it. It works. It's cumbersome, and the actual image on the kindle page is very small. I couldn't read mine.
So. I made my own.
1. I wrote a message, like "Best Wishes" and signed with a sharpie on a paper.
2. I scanned it to get a .jpg.
3. I cropped, then pasted it in a word.doc, along with a thumbnail of my cover.
The .doc size was formatted at 3.5"x5" (size of Kindle screen.)
4. Email the .doc file as an attachment to: username.free.kindle.com. Write "convert" in the subject line. (It will be converted to .mobi by Amazon.)
Or, transfer to the Kindle via USB cable.
For other devices that do not accept .doc files, convert it to .epub (free online at 2epub.com), or with calibre if you have it.
This is what mine looks like: