Book Digital Copies

It is now almost one year since I bought my Nook Color.  Some things have changed – I definitely access more books than I used to, and some of it (maybe 30-40%) is digital.  But I confess I’m still primarily a paper reader.  For me, it’s a matter of comfort, and I just can’t use the Nook Color as my primary reading source.

But my friend came over the other day and looked at my shelves and shelves of books.  And she said, “Wow. You have a lot of books.”  She’s not wrong – guesstimating, I’d say I have about 350-500 romance novels, depending on whether I have random stacks hidden away somewhere (which is probably a yes), and most of which I’ve accumulated in the last two years.  And I still gain about 4-5 romances a month.

Well, what if my house burns down?  Am I going to have to lose all those books?  It seems stupid not to take advantage of the digital age and just get eBooks.  I’m sure most of us agree that uniformity amongst the publishers has far to go, but the convenience, pricing, and durability of an eBook make total sense at this point.  And yet why shouldn’t I buy a paper copy if I want, especially since they’re still available, and it’s what works for me?

Then it hit me: Digital copies.  They don’t do it for CDs, because it’s legal to buy a CD then make a digital copy yourself.  But they do it for DVDs, because it’s illegal to rip a DVD, even if you own it.  So you pay a little more, get extra features or Blu-Ray, and get licensed to download a digital copy of your DVD.  And you’ll have it for all eternity.  (Frankly, the legality of ripping CDs versus DVDs doesn’t make much sense to me, but whatever.  They’re both on their way out.)

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The Other Guy’s Bride: Exclusive Excerpt from Connie Brockway

brockwayI am really excited about this one, so fair warning.

On November 22nd, The Other Guy’s Bride, the long, long, long(!) awaited sequel to As You Desire will finally hit your Kindle, with the print version following one month later.  I’ve read the book and it’s fair to say that’s one of the reasons I’m so excited.  I’ll have more to say later, but this new book is a worthy successor to a book so fondly remembered by so very many of us.

You know, there was so much controversy over how this book is being published and now we’re down to what really matters.

We’ll be back in a few weeks with a giveaway, but, in the meantime, Connie offered us an exclusive excerpt from the book to whet your appetite.  So, read it, enjoy – and leave a question or your reaction for Connie in the comments.

- Sandy AAR

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Big Changes in the EBook Market

kindle It is no secret that I am a big eReader fan. I’ve talked about it here and here. And from the very beginning I have been a loyal customer of Amazon. With the introduction of the Kindle, I knew I wanted one but waited until 2009. The Kindle Two had just been introduced, giving me the security of a second generation device, plus the slight decrease in price from $399.00 to $359.00 helped.
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A Shameless Plug: AAR-Amazon Kindle Links

Mucho excitement is in the air today.  Amazon has announced a new range of Kindles, including a basic Kindle for just $79 and a $199 Kindle Fire tablet.

If anybody is buying a Kindle today, we’d very much appreciate it if you’d use the links below to do so:

Kindle Touch 3G

Kindle Touch

Kindle Basic

Kindle Fire

AAR will receive a small commission for each Kindle purchased through these links.

- Sandy AAR

How EBooks Save Me from My Own Decluttering

bookbox I know that for the readers that just love holding the actual paper book in their hands, it is going to take a lot to convince them to change to eBooks. But this week, a recurring dilemma of mine brought home one reason I love them.

An AAR reader mentioned wanting to read an out of print book, but the least expensive copy available is selling for $40.00. As I read the message board post, I realized that I had read the book. Continue reading

The Buzzword? Digital.

NYC Workout View

NYC Workout View

If there was one word we kept hearing last week at RWA, it was digital. We heard it from excited people, disillusioned people, scared people, and confused people. Digital options are opening up a Brave New World, but no one seems to be sure how that will change the current landscape, only that it will.

The most immediate change seems to be that most publishers are open to new ideas. If you follow either Lynn or me on twitter, you may have seen us live tweet from various publisher spotlights. We attended Spotlights for Avon, Carina, Harlequin Series, Pocket, Tor, and Berkley. There was only one (Pocket) that didn’t say they were looking for Westerns. Last year, I’m pretty sure no one was looking for Westerns, because I would have noticed.  Last year, the message was, “Here’s what we already publish; if you want us to publish you, please submit more of the same.” This year was, “We’re open to all kind of new possibilities.” (I think my favorite may have been the editor at Tor, who said she really wanted someone to submit a book about a ghost ship. Can someone get on that one?)

Why is that tied to digital? I think a large part of the credit goes to Carina Press, who started publishing digital first books last June and is showing all of us that it can be successful. They’re taking chances on different settings and niche books, and by and large it’s working. Avon Impulse is  - from what I understand – starting out with novellas, some of which are tied to other full-length print/ebooks that are coming out later. But they’re accepting full length books for digital first publishing, and that’s where they’ll take most of their chances on unusual settings.

And how will digital self-publishing change things? Many authors seemed to think it just might give them another option for their bag of tricks. I think a lot of people will be watching to see how Connie Brockway’s book does.

I met her at the Avon party, by the way. She’s very nice, though she told me as we all took yet another tiny but calorie laden dessert, that you pretty much have to plan on eating 10,000 calories a day at RWA. That is probably true, though in all fairness we chowed down at parties because they cut out dessert from both luncheons (and in one case, severely underfed the vegetarians). Nonetheless, I don’t think anyone was in danger of starving to death in New York. Which is why, like last year – I included a picture of my spectacular workout view. In this case, it’s from the 23rd floor of the conference hotel. Not too shabby.

Free and Bargain eBooks – Blessing or Curse?

kindle I have caught a new addiction: I hunt the net for free and bargain eBooks. Thanks to the delightful folks at Mobileread and here at AAR Potpourri Forum, and thanks to special discounts offered by ebookstores like Fictionwise or Kobo, and by publisher sites like Harlequin, Avon or Carina, I pick up loads of books for comparatively little money. Let’s take the last two months: In April, I acquired 66 new eBooks, and altogether I paid $ 70. In May I acquired 171 new eBooks, and I paid $ 210. On average, that’s $ 1.18 per book, and considering I still paid full price for a number of them, you can see how many came completely free. Before I started to gather my numbers, I was going to write that I now bought more books than usual, but paid less for them than I had done with paper books. Faced with the exact numbers now, I must concede that while this is certainly true for April, in May I spent more on books than usual, ending up acquiring far higher numbers than in any other month before.

I made extensive use of Kobo’s delightful € 1 off discount for a lot of books, especially books from Smashwords and Harlequin that were cheap to start with, and with the discount came free, or virtually free. Similarly, in May there were very good discounts and bargain prices offered from Fictionwise and Carina Press. I want to point out that I acquired all of my new books legally, respecting geographical restrictions and never pretending I was from anywhere but Europe. And I want to add that were I a citizen of the United States, I would have had even more books available, and were I prepared to read books on my PC with a Kindle App, even more.
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Connie Brockway Is Launch Author in Amazon’s New Romance Imprint

connie-199x300We had quite a party around here when Connie Brockway announced her intentions to self-publish several books that readers have long been waiting for, including sequels to As You Desire and, my personal favorite, All Through the Night.  While this discussion was punctuated with many booyahs, there were also quite a few complaints from those who don’t have an eReader and no plans to get one.  Turns out more than just readers were listening.

Here’s Connie:

About a month ago I was here announcing my intention of “going rogue” by writing and publishing my own books. The announcement certainly garnered more attention than I’d expected, including from Amazon. Soon afterward, they contacted me with a fabulous proposition: Would I like to be the launch author Montlake, brand new digital and print and audio publishing imprint dedicated to romance.

It didn’t take long for me to say yes –even though it meant I had to down-grade my status from “rogue” to “roguish.” Because I’d been impressed with AmazonCrossings, and I knew they could do similar wonderful things for the romance genre. Now I don’t mean to sound disingenuous, but my first consideration really was the reader. One of my greatest regrets in “going e” was the thought of disappointing those of you without an eReader. (Oh, yes. I read every comment.) Montlake will make my books available to everyone, in every variety of formats, including print, though digitally the books will only be formatted for Kindle—but remember, you can download a free Kindle app that you can use on your phone or your computer.

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Nook Update: It’s Great! Not.

cartoon-bucket-on-head-sitting-on-the-fence-undecided-576x272This cartoon from Edward Lear’s Laughable Lyrics perfectly illustrates my feelings about the recent Nook Color (NC) software update: A man, sitting on a fence, with a bucket over his head.

When it comes to technology, sometimes I feel exactly like that: Blind, frustrated, and living out a giant crapshoot.  Case in point: The Barnes and Noble Nook Color, version 1.2.  Between Monday when I got the email notification to Friday, when I handed in this blog, my emotions sort of went like this:

  • Monday: Excitement
  • Tuesday: Ecstasy
  • Wednesday: Disenchantment
  • Thursday: Resentment
  • Friday: Resignation

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Readers Love eBooks. Too Bad Publishers Still Don’t Get It.

sonyIn case you missed it, in February sales of eBooks were up an astonishing 202% from the same month just a year before. To make the news even more impressive, for the first time eBooks exceeded sales of all other formats – specifically hardcovers and, the former staple of romance, mass market paperbacks.

Wow.  Just wow.  This change has happened far faster than I ever would have expected and it reflects a few things that I think are most significant for readers:

  • The enormous ease of eReading.  You want it, you got it without having to worry about whether or not a capricious bookseller will have the book you want in stock.
  • The anonymity of eReading.  While I wish it weren’t the case, women are often embarrassed or uncomfortable reading romance and with eReading, it’s your business and yours alone.

And, even more astoundingly, this growth occurred despite the lame-fisted, ham-handed, stupid, ridiculous, short-sighted, hide-bound, tradition-worshipping New York publishing industry.

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