Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Love My NOOK!

Taking the E-Reader Plunge…

As far as e-reader’s go, I held off for a long while, not because I didn’t want one, but because I wanted to see which one readers’ had the least problems with and could do what I wanted, like download the growing e-library I already have on my PC. Many of these books I won in contests, but haven’t read because I can’t get past the first chapter while sitting at my PC.

I want to curl up on my sofa or stretch out on a lawn chair in good weather for pleasure reading. Sitting at my PC feels too much like work, since I spend my afternoons writing, typing and promoting my books. And while I love print books, I end up with a houseful of used books that I struggle to get rid of. No one seems to want my cast offs anymore.

An e-reader would be a great help in that department, as well.

I haven’t had my NOOK very long, but already I’ve learned how to download books from my PC—as easy as saving a file on a thumb drive—and I’ve read a sample chapter on the NOOK and like the screen. It’s as close to reading a print page as I can get, plus it automatically saves my place. And B&N has just lowered the price considerably. So, if you've been holding off on taking the e-reader plunge, now might just be the time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The switch to e-reader

There's nothing like the feel of a real book. I prefer holding a book in hand, flipping back if necessary. And although you can do this on an e-reader, it just doesn't feel the same.

My children gave me the SONY Reader this Christmas. At first, it seemed yet another technological hurdle to jump. The set-up turned out to be very easy and I like the simple steps at the SONY Store to purchase books. All the ebooks from my computer were easily downloaded into the reader. To see them in digital format, to be able to walk away from the laptop and sit in the living room in a favorite spot to read them felt heavenly. I mastered the quick swipe to turn pages and being able to make the font larger was a treat.

I switch between paperback and ebook now. One best seller, a huge monster to tote around, was easier to read in this venue. There are many options I still don't use, but for reading, it's just fine. It's great for travel, and when you turn it back on, the page you were reading is right in front of you.

I don't think e-readers will ever take the place of paper books, but it's a great device that's simple to use. Reading for hours without having to stop and rest my eyes is a big plus as well.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Amazon Kindle


While learning the ‘self-promo’ ropes at Amazon, I started browsing, hitting the forums, finding books I’d likely never find in a bookstore. Now mind you, I have such a vast collection of paperbacks it’d make your head spin. In fact, I vowed I’d never go the electronic route. Why would I? Ebooks couldn’t compare to the weight of a book in my hand, the smell of freshly printed pages, the earmarks that I lovingly put there. Besides, the glare of a computer while reading a story gives me a headache. Printed books don’t do that.

Despite my reservations, I began to realize that─in the publication world─the future is nearly upon us. Electronic books will eventually make extinct printed books. Besides, I wanted the availability of so many publications. So I took the leap. I bought a Kindle.

What do I think of my first E-reader, the Kindle? *Wide Grin* Cha-ching! Money well spent. It’s super easy to use. Naturally, they provide a link to Amazon Kindle. In addition, I can access the internet, email, you name it. Finished online? Press ‘home’ and I’m back to my list of purchased books. Have to turn it off quickly, no time to bookmark? No worries. The minute I turn it on again it puts me back on the page of the book I was reading! It isn’t too heavy. I’d say a little less than the weight of a hardcover. Then again─as you can see in the picture attached to this post─I have it in a jacket. So, by itself, weighs even less.

My favorite feature of the Kindle? No glare! No headache! The words against the screen are nearly identical to the black print of the words against the pages of a paperback. AND, unlike a laptop you can read from the Kindle in the blazing sun. Clear as day!

All right, I believe I’ve rambled on enough. Hope you found this post helpful. Any questions? Want to know the nitty-gritty’s about the Kindle I didn’t get around to mentioning? Leave a comment!

~Cheers

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

E-reading and Readers....

Ironically, I have no idea what one of these eReaders even looks like, and have never seen one in action, so I admit to curiosity. In the (highly) unlikely event that I ever own one, it will be interesting to see if I find occasion to use it. I write a lot of shorter length books, and most of my catalogue is not available in paperback, so I can fully appreciate the love people have for these electronic devides that mean you can carry a small library with you wherever you go. It sounds like a wonderful plan, honestly.

Since the Reader discussion is sort of a dead issue for me, I thought I'd mention a couple of very cool books that I have read recently. One of them is ROMANZO: Love and Corruption Italian Style, which is a kind of love story, but not a typical romance. Also, if anyone is looking for a fabulous cookbook, (yes, I did say cookbook, I read anything that catches my attention!), try this one: Breading Bread In L'Aquila. The nice thing about the second one is that all profits go to aid the rebuilding of the earthquake ravaged city of L'Aquila, and the surrounding towns, so it's a double win situation if you like to cook and help! (I was asked recently to write a news article about this particular disaster/tragedy, using my non-Italian/International voice to remind people of the help that is still needed there. I was honoured, believe me, and I wrote the piece with great care. If anyone is interested, the link is listed below, or CLICK HERE)

I've got stacks of books, all genres, waiting to be read. There's not end to the titles I could suggest, so I'd best leave it at the last two I finished. My current reading is a fabulous eBook called A Sicilian Romance - it's 240 pages, and a free download - and the writing is superb. If you check out the site I picked it up from, you discover many historical novels available for the price of $1 - you read that correctly, a dollar. I just grabbed another called Vendetta that is 550 pages, and it was $1 - so how can you argue with that?

ROMANZO: Love and Corruption Italian Style
BREAKING BREAD IN L'AQUILA
L'Aquila: Remembering One Year Later
Scandalous Books - Historical Novels

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

E-reading

My, how things have changed! I sorted through my books this last weekend and noticed I have books that don't even have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Now, you don't even need paper to publish books. Electronic books are the new rage and rightly so, since entering the new millenium. They've caused quite a stir in the publishing world. But, doesn't every new advancement in technology? Some people fear change while others embrace it. E-readers seem to have the same allies vs. skeptics.

I know some people who swear they'll never give up the joy of reading a paperback book. They promise to never buy e-readers thinking they'll lose the pleasure a paperback can give them. But, I think they might be missing out on a whole new world of wonderful authors and beautifully written stories.

I must admit, I rode the fence a bit at the beginning. Waiting to see if this e-book thing really was worth spending the money to buy an e-reader. My husband purchased one last March for my birthday. And so far, I think it's a great investment. E-readers aren't so different from traditional books. It's the story that keeps you turning the pages, not the device or format it's delivered in. If you're an avid reader you'll find anything to read. Haven't you ever read the back of a milk carton or the back of a cereal box just because you're eating breakfast and you feel the need to read something?

I like the convenience my e-reader brings. I exercise in the mornings on my elliptical machine. Somedays, I really have to drag myself to it and I'm easily bored, counting the minutes until I'm finished. I tried propping books up so I could read while I worked-out but with all the bouncing I couldn't read the small print. With my e-reader, however, I have the option of changing the font size and now I find I'm exercising longer just because I want to finish the next page, then the next chapter, and oh, if it's a short story, I'll just read the whole thing! How about that? Reading e-books is good for my health!

Do you have an e-reader? Are you willing to try something new? I encourage you to give it a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Of course, I'll never give up my paperbacks or hardcover books. I need those just as much as I need an e-reader. And really, why can't we have both?

Monday, June 7, 2010

EReaders

Hello, I wanted to discuss the topic of e-readers. Sadly, I don’t have one, but I wish I did. Maybe someday. I read my ebooks on my computer.

Do you have an e-reader? If so, which one, and did you research several before buying it? What made you decide on that one, and are you happy with it?

I can see the advantages of having one. I carry around a big bag with books in it that I read on the bus when I go home each evening. If I could afford an ereader, I could just bring that with me and save carrying around the weight. I like the fact that many books can fit in an ereader. I like that font can be adjusted and lines highlighted.

There are so many brands to choose from, and when the time comes for me to buy one, I’ll have to decide which one based on many factors.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June? How did that happen?

Isn't it crazy that the heat is on and swim suits are... Okay. I'm soooo not ready for a swim suit! Lord when did they get so small? Or maybe that isn't the problem...*scratches head*

Okay... I have a Nook that Santa gave me just the other day... and it is filled with books to read by the pool in my not so itsy, bitsy... I did read Brenda Huber's Mine. Which any of you vamp lovers really should pick up.

I'm going to be at Coffee Time Romance for their June Jubilee on the 30th of June which also happens to be my release day for Embracing the Wolf. So by all means, stop on over and wave. I'll be doing the post about my release next month and will probably be giving away some free be's, so stay tuned.

*ding dong* oh, sorry guys, have to go work out with Sven. My doesn't he look good in his 'swim trunks'

Ta, ta!

Friday, June 4, 2010

To e-read or Not to e-read

I love the feel of a book in my hands, especially my own book! When I first opened the box containing my beautiful book, I felt so proud. So accomplished. It was a dream come true for me. I just can’t explain the feeling. I picked it up, flipped through the pages and fell in love with paperbacks all over again.

I’ve always loved reading paperbacks. They feel so much more “comfortable” in the hands than a hardback and they are so much more convenient.

When I’m reading a paperback, I can just toss it in my purse or beach bag and take it with me. It’s lightweight, portable, and I don’t have to worry with keeping the book cover in place, or preventing it from bunching up in my hands or blowing away. It’s just so much easier to carry and to read than a hardback book.

Of course, I own a few hardbacks. They’re on my keeper shelf. They look so much nicer and more “sophisticated” on my bookshelf than paperbacks. And most all my reference books are hardbacks. They keep better than paperbacks. So I’m not totally anti-hardback. And trust me, if a publisher ever wanted to release one of my books in hardback, I would NOT complain.

But, after hearing so much about e-readers I got to thinking. Maybe an e-reader would be nice. I thought it might be a good idea to have one if I could ever afford to visit my daughter in Germany again. An e-reader would be nice on a long trip—a really convenient way to travel with multiple books and not fill up my carryon. But I was still thinking I’d always prefer paperbacks.

Then I saw an e-reader in action on the beach…

While I was struggling with bookmarks and keeping the wind from blowing my pages shut on my sunscreened hands, a woman two beach chairs over was casually reading from one of these small portable devices—and there was no glare on the screen. I could clearly see what she was reading from where I sat. I couldn’t read the actual words, but I could see the page clearly. And she wasn’t struggling to keep a book open or find her place when she came back from taking a dip in the ocean. She just lifted her book off the chair and picked up where she left off at the touch of a button.

Now, that looked cool. And I wanted one! Plus, I started noticing that some of my fellow Wild Rose Press authors had short stories available on e-readers that weren’t coming out in print. I was starting to feel left out. So, I started making noises about wanting an e-reader. And on Mother’s Day weekend, my dear sweet husband presented me with a Starbuck’s frozen latt√©…and a NOOK!

You could have blown me over with a light tap to my dazed forehead.

Of course, he said it was a late birthday, on time Mother’s Day and early anniversary present, but he was smiling as he grumbled about the price—which, by the way, wasn’t that bad considering how much money I will save on e-books versus paperbacks.

Or, maybe not! The first day I owned my NOOK I downloaded three books. I can also listen to music and access the internet and my email from my NOOK. It is totally cool.

I love the fact that I can read in bed—lying down! I don’t have to sit up. I can prop the NOOK on my knees and read holding it over my head if I want to. No pages to flop closed. No losing my place. And I can read with nothing more than my dim bedside lamp. It doesn’t even have to shine on the NOOK because there is no shadowing from the book cover or the curve of the other pages. I LOVE it! And when I took it to the beach Memorial weekend, I was absolutely sold!

With the NOOK, I can read more and read faster—which is a good thing until you consider the fact that I have purchased five books in two weeks and have read three of them!

I still like paperbacks. I love the covers and the fact that you can get an author to sign your copy. I happen to have a collection of autographed books. But for ease of reading, ease of purchasing, and book availability, I’m an e-reader fan all the way!

And I love the fact that OUT OF THE DARKNESS
is available in both electronic and print format. I’m hoping the wider availability of my book will generate more sales. I like to think it generated the 4.5 star review I received from Night Owl Reviews—

From http://www.nightowlreviews.com

Megan Harper is a doctor who’s working on people who are extremely sensitive to sunlight. Her sister had that genetic problem and that drives her to find a cure.
Vincent Maxwell is a part of Lifeblood, a large blood donation bank. He wants Megan’s help and information. He is a vampire and at first Megan thinks that he has the same genetic problem her sister did.
As these two work together more twists and turns reveal themselves. Megan finds out Vincent’s secret. Will these two be able to have a happy relationship. Will they survive to be together?
Out of the Darkness is a Top Pick for me. I just loved the plot and the interaction between Vincent and Megan. The sensual scenes were hot and the ending was done just right. The villains were chilling and Vincent’s history compelling. This was an action packed and exciting read.

So, e-read or not to e-read? I think I’m an e-reader for life!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We've been talking about what we've been reading lately, and since I haven't done much of that recently as far as books go, I'd like to discuss what I have been reading....an absolutely wonderful manuscript in progress called Rage of Innocence. Now I know this is a paranormal blog, and that we are paranormal writers, but this book is an 1850's New York City Historical, as you can guess, based on Edith Wharton's story. And those who know me have to be shaking their heads and wondering....Linda....really?

Yes, really.

I have to tell you all that genre and time don't matter when the writing is absolutely fabulous. The author has done a wonderful job of bringing me into this world (which I know nothing about), making characters come alive, explaining the dictates of this society without really explaining them, and getting me to love a book I'd rather not read.

So what's the point to all this? Superb writing transcends our normal every day reading zones.
Awesome books can grab readers who frequents other genres. So if we as authors write the best books within us, we're sure to increase our audience. And that's one of my major goals, to get my books read by as many people as possible.

How about you? Are you ready to brave uncharted or less frequented genres? Give it a try.
You never know what gem you'll pick up next.