Archive for the ‘E-books’ Category

Avon Royal Weddings Giveaway (Contest Closed)

Monday, April 4th, 2011

chinaOn Tuesday Royal Weddings,  a new Avon Impulse digital anthology featuring Loretta Chase, Gaelen Foley, and Stephanie Laurens is released. The authors pull out their charm, wit, and passion to tell  three stories set amidst grand historical royal weddings, including those of Princess Charlotte and Queen Victoria.

Of course, the timing of this digital anthology is perfect since anticipation is building for the royal wedding between William and Kate on the horizon.  Avon wants to make the wait until April 29th a bit easier with a fun giveaway.

Grand Prize Valued at $225:

One electronic copy of Royal Weddings

One set of William and Catherine Wedding China: On the day of the wedding you can feel like you are right there withWilliam and Kate as they eat their first meal as a married couple.  Partake of a light repast from replicas of the official set of wedding china William and Kate will use.  Sip champagne from a William and Catherine tankard, nibble on cucumber sandwiches from a William and Catherine plate, and daintily dry your fingers with a beautifully embroidered William and Catherine tea towel.  The set also includes a William and Catherine pill box and wedding decoration.

Three Runner-up Prizes

(more…)

Barnes & Noble Nook Color: A Review

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

nook-colorUnconditional love – that’s what I give my lovely Nook Color.  I’ve now had it for three weeks, even though the device has been out since November, and I’ve got a fairly good idea of its capabilities.  First, it must be said that the NC is a very specific device.  It’s a color touch screen tablet that’s still, first and foremost, a device for reading books.  When it comes to reading, the NC mostly succeeds.  In other areas, not so much.

The Looooove

  • Reading Library Books: This is the most important reason that I got an eBook reader, and I have no complaints.  Adobe Digital Editions, that’s another matter.
  • Size:  I deliberately chose a larger size that more closely resembles (so it seems, anyway) the dimensions on a paper page, and I love the 8” x 5” dimensions with a 7” screen.  I’m all in favor of fewer page turns.
  • (more…)

News from Connie Brockway

Friday, March 25th, 2011

connieI’m just going to get out of the way really quickly here because Connie Brockway, one of my favorite writers, has some news.   So, without further ado, here’s our newest AAR interview with the author.

Connie, you’ll notice no headline or teaser giving away your news, so what’s up?

I’m going rogue, Sandy. Heading over the wall. Striking out for uncharted territory. Boldly going where (only a few thousand) have gone before! Which is my long-winded way of saying that the next book and very probably the next two full-length historical romance novels I write will be available solely as eBooks.

Though in the interest of full disclosure, I will be part of collaboration from Avon out in 2012.

So, what are the major reasons that you’re making the change?

Oh, there’s reasons a-plenty. First off, the contract I was offered was not good either monetarily and elsewise, the elsewise being in terms of eBooks. It doesn’t take too much business acumen to look at recent eBook sales history and project that eBook readers aren’t going to pony up the same amount for an eBook, that exists only as a virtual entity, as a paper book which costs substantially more to produce  (printing, shipping, warehousing, distribution, covers etc.) Or if they do, they aren’t going to do it often. And if the publishers set the price too high, it’s the authors that lose the most. I hate losing.

(more…)

What Agency Pricing and EBook Lending Limits Mean for Readers

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

kindle At first when I thought about the latest eBook news, this piece was going to be a mini rant about how publishers haven’t got a clue about eBooks and how popular they’ve become. But I suspect that isn’t entirely the case. According to the Association of American Publishers, eBook sales for 2010 increased dramatically, rising to 164.4% with eBooks bringing in $441 million, compared to eBook sales of 61.3 million in 2008. EBook sales have jumped 623% since 2008. Quoting Publishers Weekly, “For the first 10 months of the year, e-book sales from the 14 houses rose 171.3%, to $345.3%, 8.7% of the trade sales of reporting publishers…adult hardcover sales from 17 reporting houses fell 7.7%, and sales from 9 mass market houses were down 14.3%. Sales of trade paperbacks from 19 publishers were flat.”
(more…)

Borders: Things Are Getting Shakier

Friday, January 28th, 2011

bordersAfter years of troubling reports, it appears that Borders could indeed be on the verge of catastrophe.

After what should have been a profitable holiday season, the chain missed payments to publishers and has been trying—without much success, as reported yesterday by Publishers Weekly—to negotiate terms. Publishers are, quite understandably, tired of playing ball.  To make matters even murkier (and financial matters usually are), it was announced late on Thursday that Borders secured new financing which may buy them some time.

A few days ago, the Washington Post ran an article that explained more clearly than any piece I’d read before exactly what happened to the once glorious Borders empire.

I won’t attempt to summarize the article here since it’s such a lucid account of exactly how the company got itself in this pickle, but it’s hard to imagine the blindness of company executives who failed to grasp the importance of the Internet (crucial mistake number one) and eBooks (crucial mistake number two). I mean, heck, who knew the Interwebs was going to catch on?  And eBooks?  Who’d-a-thunk dedicated readers would so eagerly embrace an easier and faster way to get their hands on the books they love?

(more…)

How My Kindle Cured My Book-Buying Disorder

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Kindle3-224x300If I had to rate the electronics that have impacted my life the most, my Kindle is right up with microwave, DVD, DVR, and computer.

I have always had a compulsion for reading. The only problem is that just any book wouldn’t do. I can remember driving my mother crazy, asking her to drive me to the library. When I was fifteen, out of school for the summer, she had enough, and told me to ride my bike. The trip seemed like 50 miles, riding up those steep hills against the Oklahoma wind.  A smart person would have picked out enough books to last three or four days after a long ride on a bike.  Not me.  Being the persnickety reader that I was, I found only one or two books and the next day I was on my bike again.

While I never had to ride my bike again (and my legs never looked as great as that summer) that set a pattern for my book buying. Back in the 80’s & 90’s books were shipped to the stores and put out when the employees got around to it. And, yes, that was me sleuthing around the un-opened boxes of books, When I found someone I did ask, but I confess I have opened many boxes. Of course the pattern of arrival was irregular enough that I traveled from store to store on my days off, going from Wal-Mart to K-Mart to Target to the grocery stores, and then the bookstore. When I lived in larger cities, I added more bookstores. Invariably, I didn’t want just what was on the shelves, I wanted a certain book.

(more…)

Enter to Win a New Kindle 3 from AAR (Contest Closed)

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Kindle3We’ve got a brand new Kindle 3 Wi-Fi to give away this week to one lucky reader, courtesy of AAR.

The Kindle is the most popular product in Amazon’s history and, as someone who loves her Kindle 3, it’s easy to see why.  So, if you’ve been wanting a Kindle 3, but find yourself not quite ready to shell out the bucks, this is your chance.

Entering is easy.  All you need to do comment to this post by 11:59 pm on Thursday, January 6th.

A few caveats apply:  Please comment only once.  Due to high postage costs, this giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. The winner will be chosen at random and notified by email on Friday morning January 7th.  The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the notification email and claim the prize.  After that on Saturday, January 8th a new winner will be chosen.  That winner will also have 24 hours – and so it will go until we have a winner. So, if you enter, please remember to check your email on Friday morning.

Good luck to all!

– Sandy AAR

Poof! The Amazing Disappearing Stories

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

banned According to techie news site Ars Technica, Selena Kitt, a self-published author of erotic fiction and a publisher, reported that Amazon removed some of her stories from the print store and from the Kindle store. Other authors affected include Esmeralda Green and Jess C Scott. Amazon did not give an explanation to the authors, but the stories had one thing in common — they all contained erotic incest fantasies.

Kitt’s non-incest stories seem unaffected. Early reports that Amazon was removing the stories from readers’ Kindles were wrong. However, they did remove the stories from readers’ archives, so if those readers want to read the stories later, they are out of luck. They may be able to get a refund, but that depends.

(more…)

Yes, Virginia There are Legal Free eBooks

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

300-thumb-lifestyleIf this is Tuesday, there must be a new controversy about eBooks. Recently, the Technology section of the Washington Post reported that both Amazon was selling Project Gutenberg titles in their eBook stores. This was picked up by other sources, including the Huffington Post. Amazon bashing ensued. People quickly found similar titles available on Barnes and Noble. Of course, B&N bashing ensued as well.

As usual, the blame, if there should be any, was misplaced. Many people were pointing fingers at  Amazon and B&N, forgetting that in most of these cases, they aren’t the publishers. These titles were put up by people selling PG titles through CreateSpace at Amazon or PubIt at B&N. Just copy the text from Project Gutenberg, reformat it, and upload it for sale at Amazon and B&N. Presto, you’re a publisher. It’s not illegal, and it is allowed by the Project Gutenberg license, but some argue that it’s unethical. After all, the PG volunteers put a lot of effort into scanning and proofreading the eBooks, only to see someone selling the very same editions.

(more…)

Yet Another eBookstore…with a Difference?

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

The news has been floating around for a while, but Google finally made it official on Wednesday: Google Editions, their eBook store, launched on Monday.

What’s the big deal?  Well, as many of us agree, the proprietary formats are just a pain.  You can’t read Adobe DRM on Kindle, you can’t read AMZ on anything except Kindle-compatible devices, blah blah blah.  (Although the Bluefire app, which reads Adobe-DRM books on Apple devices, just broke through a major barrier.)

Anyway, the difference with Google Editions is that their books are entirely Web-based.  This means that you would be able to read books anywhere, on any device, as long you can connect to the internet and have a Web browser.

The tech media are talking it up, saying it makes a significant difference, that it will provide true competition to the juggernauts.  And in a way it is.  Without being tied to a proprietary format, readers can read on anything.  Similar to most eBook stores, the purchased books will stay on your virtual bookshelf, which you can access as long as you have a Google account.  Reading the fine print on the Google Editions page (which is directed at potential booksellers, not consumers), there are some points of interest: