November 14, 2011 Great Site Offering Oodles of Info is one of my favorite sites, and not just for the ease of an online dictionary.  The site itself is fun and informative - and it's a great place to get that writer brain in gear after you've checked the email and made the coffee (along with crossword puzzles).

For example, today's has a quiz asking me to name the protagonists of several famous novels.  Cool.

Tabs at the top take me to a nice Thesaurus and a really fun feature for word lovers, WordDynamo.  Admittedly, I may love WordDynamo because ... well ... I'm really good at it.  Considering I can't dance well at all and the only time I sing in tune is in the car or the shower, where of course I am GREAT, being a wizard at WordDynamo feels pretty darn good.

Okay.  Enough.  Back to work for me.  You?  You might want to check out

November 10, 2011

Kindle EBooks Available for Checkout at Public Library: How I Checked Out Kindle Ebooks from San Antonio Public Library: Easy and Fun

Kindle ebooks can be checked out from your local library via Overdrive, if your library is connected with Overdrive - and if you have an active membership with your local library, of course.


Well, I checked out a book to read late at night last week, long after the library was closed and because I wanted to read something other than what was on my Reading Stack of print books.

Here's what I did:

1. I went to my local library's home page.

2. I surfed through the databases to electronic resources.

3. I got to this page, which is my library's page within the Overdrive site:

4. I signed into Overdrive using my local library user name and password.

5. I surfed through the e-stacks, looking for available books (they'll give you all the books in your topic (mine was mysteries) even though some are already checked out and all you can do is place a hold on them).

6. I chose the book I wanted to read.  (I was surprised at the selection, and it appears to be growing each month - if I'm reading my monthly library newsletter right.)

7. I went to, chose Manage My Kindle, and went through the steps there to make sure the book was downloaded onto my Kindle (I had a WiFi issue that was quickly resolved).

There. Easy Peasy.

November 7, 2011

I'm Honored to Be Accepted as a Book Reviewer for Library Journal

As of October 2011, I am a book reviewer for Library Journal.  I've been vetted and approved by Library Journal and I've signed the official contract, too.  Which means, yes, I believe that I will receive a free print book as part of the reviewing process.  And, no, that doesn't mean that I will automatically give a favorable, thumbs up review in exchange for the freebie.  Who does that?

As for Library Journal itself, below is brief description of the publication from the publisher's web site.  I'm quite proud to be contributing here, and thought I would share this with you, Dear Reader.

 From Media Source, Inc.:
Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 100,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. In its twenty annual issues, Library Journal reviews nearly 7,000 books, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns.

November 2, 2011

Kindle Format 8 Announced by Amazon - the Debut of KF8 and What it Means To You

Ebook publishing just got some big news: Amazon is changing the way it does things to allow for more graphic and image friendly e-books with its new Kindle Format 8.  If you are publishing for Kindle, does that mean a major re-do headache?  Apparently not. 

Right now, Format 8 will be introduced on Amazon Fire and as time passes, it will also be placed upon other Kindle products ... "the latest generation" of Kindle devices, according to the Amazon FAQ page

What happens to my Kindle - the one I bought a year ago?  I'm not sure right now.  

What about my Mobi files?  According to Amazon, all "currently supported content" will be okay, no need to panic about changing your stuff over to the new KF8.  However, Amazon is going to be giving instructions on how to do just that in its Kindle Publishing Guidelines (tho that's not online just yet). 

For more scoop, check out the Kindle Forums as well as TechCrunch (who points out that with KF8, Amazon products can be read on an iPad); and Webmonkey (who discusses the possibility that KF8 will allow ebooks to be placed on the web itself, since KF8's incorporattion of HTML5 essentially allows for ebooks to be built in the same way as a web page).

November 1, 2011

Kindle Daily Deal - I Check It Everyday but Do I Buy? Not So Much.

The Kindle Daily Deal is cool ... every day, Amazon offers a book at a rock-bottom price, if you're willing to read it on a Kindle.  Amazon tries to juggle the offerings, give everyone something they like. 

Maybe that's what is happening.  I'm checking the Kindle Daily Deal every morning.  But I'm not tempted to buy very often. 

I think I have purchased two Daily Deals so far - one was a biography of Bonhoeffer, the other I can't remember right now.  So I'm wondering what this means.

Is it because I'm not interested in buy most of what they are offering at the Daily Deal?  Or, is it because I'm only interested in buying certain things as an ebook because, after all, I'm really only buying a license and not the book itself?  Maybe a little of both.

Still, Kindle Daily Deal remains a fun thing to check every morning, before I do my daily crossword.  Maybe you'll like it too, if you haven't checked it out already, Dear Reader. 

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October 31, 2011

Librarians Fighting Back Against Big Budget Cuts

When I was very young, shortly after my father died, I remember my mother instituting a Friday night ritual.  She would pick me up after school, and we would go to the local branch of the public library.  I could check out as many books as I wanted! She would, too.  We would each roam the stacks, selecting carefully.  We might sit in the big chairs, too, and read awhile.  Afterwards, we would go Out To Eat.  Usually, to a small Mom and Pop Chinese Food Place that I still remember as being so exotic with its red and gold dragons and silk kimono wall hangings.  I could drink hot tea out of a little ceramic bowl, and I could bring one book into the restaurant with me.  Such a decision.

That little branch library was such a special place for me.  I was 7 years old, in a new city and a new school and with a mother who wasn't dealing all that well at all with the loss of her husband.  Books.  Books are one thing.  They are friends, sometimes lifelong companions.  Teachers, too.  But libraries.  Libraries are sanctuaries, treasure caves, shrines.  Libraries are important.  Important at all times, but especially these days.

I follow the news about budget cuts to public libraries with dread and fear and that small girl in me is afraid for her library.  For the libraries beloved by other folk, in other parts of the country.  What will happen?  Consider this: in Texas this summer, funding to state libraries was cut by 88% (yes, eighty-eight percent; that's no typo). 

So, it's very nice to learn about Librarians Fighting Back -- like those this week up in Chicago, where they not only signed a petition against budget cuts, but they also had a "Story Time" down at City Hall, where the librarians read books to the kids, right there on the threshold of the Mayor's Office.  Cool stuff.

October 3, 2011

Revenge on ABC TV: Tracking How It Rehashes Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo

After reading the script from the TV pilot, offered as a promo by ABC TV on Amazon long before the TV series Revenge began, I already caught that the writers were rehashing one of my favorites: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

I'm not the only one who thinks so:  HitFlix agrees (and isn't impressed), and a blurb at E!Online calls Revenge "a modern reimagining" of the Dumas novel.

Over at, they are monitoring Revenge as it plays out every Wednesday, tracking how the show follows along with the Count.  It's fun; check it out at their post, Characters from ABC’s Revenge compared to the Count of Monte Cristo.  In fact, knowing the Dumas' novel may help make Revenge a better show for those of us that know the book than for those who haven't read it.  (Or I suppose, seen one of the gazillion movie versions of it.)

I agree with Shnugi:  Emily Thorne is the revenge-seeking Count of Monte Cristo; however, now she's a girl, Amanda Clarke aka Emily.  That's not hard.  After that, it's still early -- and very fun to try and figure out how they're going to cram all that good stuff from the book into this miniseries.  Like how Edmond Dantes sought his own revenge, but here you have the victim of betrayal dead and his daughter planning vengeance.  (Sure, the book is better.)

For instance, is Shnugi right: is Emily Thorne going to be Benedetto?  Hmmmm.......

Meanwhile, if you want to read the book upon which Revenge is based, you can read the Count of Monte Cristo right now, for free.  It's available at Amazon, for example, as a freebie (there's lots more freebies and great deals there, by the way: check out my post over on my simplicity blog on that score, "Amazon's Top 100 Free EBooks - There are Some Great Bargains Here.")

October 2, 2011

National Novel Writing Month Begins on November 1, 2011: Will You Participate?

In less than 30 days, it will once again be National Novel Writing Month ("NaNoWriMo").  For all the official information, check out the homepage where things are provided like FAQs, Forums, Breaking News, etc. 

What's it all about?  Writing 50,000 words in 30 days time.  As a fiction novel.  Or, I suppose a non-fiction novel works just as well: the key is to get a novel done, first draft, start to finish within the time frame of November 1st to November 30th. 

You're not alone.  People all over the place take up the NaNoWriMo gauntlet each year.  There are local groups that get together to write at coffee shops, for example, supporting each other in getting that word count. 

In addition to the help provided at the official web site, there's also a Facebook page for National Novel Writing Month as well as a Twitter feed that's begun already as "sprints" during October, to prepare participants for the November word marathon.  Interested? Check it out at @NaNoWordSprints.

I haven't decided if I will participate this year.  Mulling it over. 

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September 12, 2011

More Classics Being Made Revamped Into Scripts For Movies

After learning about The Count of Monte Cristo getting new life as a nighttime TV soap, and yet another version of Anna Karenina for the big screen (right after Jane Eyre), I surfed around today to see what other books are being turned into scripts for movies or television.

Here's what I found out:  BuzzSugar has a nice slideshow of 15 movies that are being made from books right now.

These include two more remakes of films already made from novels:
  • Dashiel Hammett's The Thin Man (Johnny Depp in the shoes of William Powell)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio in the shoes of Robert Redford.
I'm praying now that no one has any big ideas about remaking Gone With the Wind.  Or Rebecca.  Or Double Indemnity.

I couldn't find a list of books being made into TV shows.  We already know about Bones and Castle, for example.  Surely there are more....

September 9, 2011

The Literary Character Test: I'm Scarlett O'Hara, Who Are You?

 This was fun.  I took the Literary Character Test (you can too, go here) and here's the result: 

Your result for The Literary Character Test ...

Scarlett O'Hara

Good, Epic, Straight Forward Thinker
You are basically good.  Overcoming selfish desires or cruel ways, you focus on doing the right thing, when possible, and acting in a way to benefit everyone.  You think like a champion.  Regardless of your skills, you strongly feel you can use them to their greatest ability.  Your persona is indomitable, you are a true believer.  You think straightforwardly.  You don’t feel you need to weigh too many options, neither do you feel the need to plan to far ahead, but instead take the simplest and straightest path toward your goals.
Proud to the point of haughty and determined to the point of recklessness, Scarlett O'Hara will not let anything stand in her way of taking care of those around her.  Her determination is a key to her character, and when it is set, no bonds of war, man, or even emotion can stop her.  As if to exemplify her resolve, her resolute mantra simply is "After all, tomorrow another day."

September 8, 2011

New Remake of "Anna Karenina" with Keira Knightley in the Lead. Yikes.

Greta Garbo as Anna (1948).
Yesterday, I was writing here about the Count of Monte Cristo being turned into the ABC drama series "Revenge," which starts airing this month -- and today, I read that there's going to be another remake of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, this time starring Keira Knightley.  

You remember her, she's the actress that played Elizabeth Bennet in a 2005 remake of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Jude Law is going to play Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin (Anna's husband) and Aaron Johnson is in the role of Count Vronsky (Anna's lover).  I checked IMDb, but so far there's no word on who is going to play Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin. 

My first thoughts:

I recently read Anna Karinina (see post here) and it's still pretty fresh in my mind.  Having read this movie news on Nikke Finke's blog, I'm not sure what to think.  I'm not overjoyed.

  • I have no idea who Aaron Johnson is ... but he better be really something if Jude Law, of all people, is the guy that Anna dumps for him.  
  • As I recall, you didn't get thru the first three chapters before you learned that Anna was much younger than her husband, and that he wasn't all that handsome.  I don't see how they are going to ugly-up Jude Law for this one. So, I'm puzzled by Law's casting. 
  • Which brings me to the female lead:  I don't see Keira Knightley as Anna.  It's not working for me.  Maybe it's that Anna seemed older to me than Keira Knightley when the story began ... maybe in her early 30s?  I see Catherine Zeta-Jones here more than the star of the Pirates movie franchise. 
  • One key character for me is Levin.   Who's getting to play Levin?  I'm scared to think about it.

I suppose I should be happy that Hollywood is going back to the classics for new material given the lack of movies I thought were worth my moola over the past few years.  Thing is, tho, with a classic there comes the reader's love of the story ... and it feels sorta personal.

We'll see, I guess. 

September 7, 2011

ABC Promotes New TV Show Revenge Thru Kindle, What Does This Do to EBooks? And Where's the Hat Tip to Dumas?

Right now, for free, you can download the script for the pilot episode of ABC TV's new series, "Revenge." Get the script, and you get a link to watch the pilot episode online, also at no cost to you.

Two things that I'm taking from this: 

1. New ways of using Kindle ebooks are popping up, and here's one: promotion of TV shows (and I assume movies in the future) through Kindle and its Top 100 Free list. Because that's where you'll get the exposure, right? What this does to Kindle, I'm not sure. What this does to ebook publishing, ditto. However, I must admit that I did download the script and I did read it. Afterwards, I thought it seemed familiar ... so I went surfing around, and sure enough, it was.

2. This story seems to be culled from one of my childhood favorites, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Change the protagonist to a young blonde female, move the story from France and Italy to the Hamptons, streamline some of the complicated plotting in the original and voila: a new, heavily promoted piece of entertainment that just might sell its products well considering that Dumas' original has proven itself so popular with so many for such a long time.

Go to the ABC site and you don't see anything referencing The Count of Monte Cristo. Read the reviews of the script over at Amazon.Com, and most of the reviewers perceive the new show as another nighttime soap, comparing it to the revamped Dallas that will be airing this fall.

However, if this new series is successful, then I think we will be seeing the e-book selections peppered with all sorts of things that are promotional in nature.  Lord help us all.  

July 7, 2011

Must Read: Joe Konrath's Take on The Impact of E-Books Upon the Quality of What You Can Find to Read

Once again, Joe Konrath has written something everyone (writers and readers, which I assume is almost everyone on the planet) should read, and here's how his latest greatest begins:

Some people believe the ease of self-publishing means that millions of wannabe writers will flood the market with their crummy ebooks, and the good authors will get lost in the morass, and then family values will go unprotected and the economy will collapse and the world will crash into the sun and puppies and kittens by the truckload will die horrible, screaming deaths.

Continue reading "The Tsunami of Crap," his July 5, 2011 post on his great blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing....

June 27, 2011

How to Write a Book in 90 Days: The Book, The Plan

I've ordered the Kindle version of Sarah Domet's book 90 Days to Your Novel: a Day by Day Plan for Outlining and Writing Your Book.  I've read it. 

Now, I'm going getting serious about following the path established in this book, because it's smart and it's hard and it makes good sense.  What Sarah Domet has written speaks to me -- I think I've found the approach that jives with how I work.  Not all do, I'm sure you know what I mean.

This is all about my writing fiction, and this means I am going to have to add this time commitment to my current working day, which involves writing and editing nonfiction work as well as providing consulting services for lawyers writing blogs and using social media. 

The book opines that you will need to find two hours a day to meet its 90 day deadline.  Okay.  Two hours; I can find them. 

The book demands an outline, although it gives you optional approaches to outlining.  I like outlining, I like planning in advance.  I love lists.  I love lists of lists, it's that bad.  So, this is good for me.  It might not be as welcome to someone like Robin Lee Hatcher, who likes to write and find out how the story develops as she goes. 

We'll see.

One last thing.  You can keep reading about writing, studying trends, learning markets and publishers and agents ... but then there comes the day when you have to put your foot down.  No more.  No more preparation, whether or not you feel like you're ready to go, there comes a time to move forward. 

At some point, you've got to write instead of learning about writing, thinking about writing, dreaming up plots and making friends with characters. 

Here goes.

Of course, you know what happens.  Just as I find the link for this post on Amazon, what pops up?  How to Write a Book in 90 Days, God's Way by Henry Abraham.  Now, do I read it or stick to my guns?  Arrrgggghhhh. 

June 17, 2011

I'm Reading Anna Karenina and Remembering the Timeliness of Great Books

I started reading Anna Karenina (see previous post) on Kindle and learned something right off:  there are certain things I want to read on Kindle (or any screen) and things that I most certainly don't.  Call me Old School, call me picky.

This week, I stopped by the Half Price books and got a great copy of Anna Karenina that is the right size and weight.  It's a big book and I don't want one that is cumbersome; I want one that is easy to flip back and forth when I want to go back and re-read something, and I need quality paper that can withstanding my highlights and note taking (yes, I'm one of those).  Usually, college-targeted versions serve me well, and that's what I got this time.  It's an oversized, quality paperback meant for students and I love it.

The eerie thing about reading Anna Karenina right now - and there are some eerie things - include it's opening sentence:

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Wow.  Love it, and it's so topical what with the daily news blast of Casey Anthony's trial, especially since the defense has just begun putting on their case.

The first few chapters delve into a man who has had an affair with the children's governess and now the wife has found out and is packing to leave (though we know she's really not going anywhere).  Suddenly there's a news break about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver - and the news that he's the father of their former maid's son. 

No, I'm not far enough into the book yet for Anna to appear on the scene.  She should be here any minute; Vronsky's just been revealed as Levin's rival for the hand of Kitty.

It's true, I know it already: this is a great read.  Is it the best book ever written?  I don't know that I can agree with that accolade yet ... but I know one thing: one of the keys of great books, in my opinion, is how they span the ages with truths that are as applicable today as the day they were written.  A great writer's wisdom is timeless and rare, I think.

Anna Karenina in the first few chapters is already resonating with the world I'm living in today.  That's a good sign.

June 8, 2011

Here's Why I'm Reading Anna Karenina

Roaming around the web this week, I stumbled upon a list of books that famous authors considered to their favorite books, which corresponds with an actual book on these lists-- The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books.

It's only $9.76 for a Kindle edition.  There's a blog, too. 

Anyway, I had discovered the Top Ten list from all their collective selections -- and there was Tolstoy's Anna Karenina at the top.  Number One.  Anna Karenina, really? 

All these different, successful writers had chosen this book as the best of the best, the creme of the creme.  Ever read it? 

No, me neither, I'm not ashamed to admit.  (I did see Vivien Leigh in the 1948 movie version, but I hated the ending and after all, Anna was no Scarlett. I like survivors, I am one.)

Still, here I was - wanting a good book, one of those that keep you up at night, and here this was: this list.  So, I went over to Amazon and guess what?  Right now, Anna Karenina, Kindle version, is FREE

It was a sign.  So, right now I'm reading Anna Karenina.  I hope they're all right. 

May 26, 2011

Book Review: Zoe Winters' Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author

I wish I had stumbled upon Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author by Zoe Winters long before now. If you are researching publishing your own e-books, then this is a must-buy.  (It's less than five bucks if you own a Kindle.)

Zoe Winters writes an easy-to-read, exceptional overview of indie publishing that not only gives a great broad-based education of the whole process but also entertains you with personal tips and asides.

She's funny and informative - a great teacher, a good read.

My only negative: I wish she would write more on the subject, but I understand her announced need to focus on writing fiction. It's just too darn bad that we cannot anticipate a Smart Self-Publishing II.

May 3, 2011

Soon We Will Check Out Kindle Books From the Library. Good.

This is good news.  Amazon is recognizing the local public library, and "Kindle Library Lending" was debuted a couple of weeks ago by the Seattle-based company which makes the Kindle e-reader.  Before now, Kindles only read books that you purchased from Amazon (or downloaded, it's true that you can get loads of stuff for free from Amazon's Kindle selection).

Kindle Library Lending is going to launch later in 2011 -- I'm guessing late in the Fall.  Once it's up and running, those who own a Kindle e-reader will be able to borrow Kindle books from their local library (assuming that your local library is participating).  What's really happening is that Amazon is working with OverDrive to make its publications OverDrive-friendly

Cool thing:  you'll be able to highlight and note as you read, and even after the book goes back, your Kindle notes and highlights will remain for you to use.  That's nice.

Amazon's press release mentions "over 11,000 libraries in the United States" are on board.  Is that a lot? 

Will it include the San Antonio Public Library? Yes -- because the SAPL offers OverDrive publications - the SAPL branches are considered "digital branches" by OverDrive (go to the OverDrive site and input your zip code to learn if your library will be offering Kindle ebooks to you). 

April 12, 2011

Six Days And Counting Till My Standing Desk Arrives

Techni Mobili Mobile Laptop MDF Cart
(shown in for setting and standing)
Writing means sitting on your keister for long periods of time, obvious to anything but what is in your mind and on the screen.  Which is great for getting things done, but very bad for your back, your neck, your legs - and fine.  Your butt.

So, I've ordered a standing desk.  I'm so excited about it that I'm not even bothered that the customer reviews discussed around an one hour assembly time.  Eww.  But I'm not thinking about that.  After all, it comes with its own screwdriver.  Isn't that sweet of them?

In fact, it is becoming insane over here on the Planet Reba because I'm actually counting the days till this thing arrives.  I've already rearranged furniture for it.  I'm pondering whether or not it should have a name.  My car does.  My computers do.

And, look!  There's room for my tea mug on that little shelf, as well as my wireless mouse.  (I hate laptop mice.)  Adorable.  And it has wheels! It's so smart, too....

What is the word for giving personalities to inanimate objects?  Because I'm doing this.  It's like my new sidekick is coming.  My executive assistant. 

My own Jeeves. Watson. Friday. Ethel.

I'm only hoping that I don't go all Wintour and end up throwing my coat and purse on this thing.

March 21, 2011

Being Accountable for your Word Count: The 250, 500, 1000 Words a Day Challenge

From reading Zoe Winters' blog, I've discovered InkyGirl's challenge to us all:  to write a minimum number of words, six days a week. 

Not planning on it. Not procrastinating, running totals to the next day, so that Friday afternoon you're facing a gazillion words to meet your self-imposed word count tally.

Nope.  Doing it.

I write for a living.  However, I have the dream of writing fiction (hence, this blog) and I'm thinking it's a good idea to take up InkyGirl's challenge and Zoe Winter's example and start doing it. 

It will be fun.
It will make me happy (happier).

It's important to move forward in life, and I believe that I have stories to tell.  Things to share that are worth the reader's time.

So, I'm going to commit to 250 words a day.  Fiction.  Six days a week. 

You can see it in the sidebar over there.  And if I can figure out the wordcount measure that Zoe Winters has on her blog, I'm going to include it in the sidebar over there, too. 

No pressure. 
No worries.

March 16, 2011

Kindle, Nook Color, Sony Pocket: My EReader Conversion

Kindle 3G Wifi
sold at Amazon
for $180 new, refurbished
for much less
Six months ago, I had no ebook reader and no interest in buying one. What with technology advancing so rapidly, my plan was to wait for the next wave - which I assumed would be the next generation of IPad. 

Maybe.  Part of me just didn't like the idea of an electronic book. I'd stick with print, thank you very much.  If tablets advanced that they served other purposes for me and they were great e-readers as a bonus, then great.  I could wait. 

Then I got a Nook Color for Christmas and everything changed.

I enjoyed the Nook Color for the two weeks last December that I went through three different Nooks before getting a cash refund. I liked the color screen, the size, and the ability to immediately download books ... but each time, the Nooks I had went nutzo. They started automatically scrolling ahead in the book, as well as highlighting random words. It was almost as if the Nook Color was possessed, or controlled remotely. Crazy stuff.

But I had the fever after that two weeks with Nook Color. So did I get a Kindle then? Nope. Got a Sony Pocket Reader.

It's cute, and I like the screen on the Sony Reader. It's great that I can download books from the public library. It's terribly bad that there's very little to choose from at the Sony Store. Not much inventory there.

So, I bought a Kindle 3G with WiFi one afternoon at Best Buy.

And, I adore my Kindle. I love the selection available to me. I love that at three in the morning, I can shop Amazon for books. I love that there are great books for free or very, very low cost. Connecting to the internet is fast, downloading is fast. The battery lasts a good, long time -- I'm thinking that I recharge once every 2-3 weeks (lasts longer if you keep the wireless connection turned off until you need it).

Do I still use the Sony Reader?
Yes. I like it, too.  I prefer using the wand to highlight sections of the text that Sony lets me do over the Kindle's text blocking.  Easier, faster.  Plus, I want to support the local library's expanding ebook collection and I can download the borrowed ebooks via Sony's ereader (no can do with Kindle). 

Do I buy more books because of Kindle?
Yes. Full price, 99 cents, free. I'm reading more because of Kindle (and I read a lot before).

Do I buy less print books?
Nope. In fact, I'll buy a book in print after reading the ebook because I want the print version. Never before did I routinely buy the same book twice, just for me.

February 21, 2011

Book to Read: Newbie's Guide to Publishing

Don't stop reading the blog, but don't miss this book!
For only $2.99 at
Newbie's Guide to Publishing by J.A. Konrath
Earlier this month, I recommended reading Joe Konrath's blog daily if you are interested in ebooks, publishing, self-publishing, yadda, yadda, yadda ....Don't stop doing that, but do go and check out this book (see it on his blog sidebar, or just go to the Amazon site).  Chock full of great, helpful information.  

Don't know about you, but I really respect pros who share the wealth - like Mr. Konrath, and Lynn Viehl/Sheila Kelly over at Paperback Writer

February 16, 2011

The Big 6 in Publishing: Who They Are, and Why Their Days May Be Numbered

This month, Write it Forward's Bob Meyer interviewed Randy Ingermanson to discuss the impact of electronic publishing upon the Big 6 - and it's a good read, since they ponder things that seem suspicious, like the reported statistics about the number of ebook sales versus printed versions (hardback, paperback).  Am I the only one who thinks some of those numbers are fishy?  Nope. 

Another good read: last fall's panel discussion on the profitability of ebooks and how this impacts the Big 6, over at Publisher's Weekly.  Very nice info here on the ratio of profit to author versus profit to publisher in hardcover sales, wholesale ebook sales, agency ebook sales, etc. provided by Paul Aiken, executive director for the Authors Guild.  Especially interesting when you've been reading Joe Konrath's blog for awhile (see previous post). 

So, who are the Big 6? 

The Big 6 in publishing are the six North American publishing houses that make the most money, year in and year out.  Some of them are owned by even bigger powerhouses; for example, HarperCollins is owned by NewsCorp. (whose chairman of the board is Rupert Murdoch) (fyi, NewsCorp. owns Zondervan, the Christian publishing house, too).

As of February 2011, here are the Big 6 Publishing Houses (with links to their web sites): 

Within each of these big conglomerates are a variety of imprints, whose names may be more familiar to you.  For example, Harper Collins imprints include (full list here) Avon, William Morrow, and Walden Pond Press.  To learn the complete listings of all the other imprints for the remaining Big 6, visit their sites (linked above). 

February 7, 2011

Blog Recommendation: A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

If you are curious about self-publishing, or if you're wondering how successful anyone might be rebelling against the traditional publishing model, then you must read Joe Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. 

Must. Read.

Not only does Mr. Konrath share his personal experiences - including his financial details - but he also welcomes guest posts by other authors who have their own tales to tell.  People like Lee Goldberg.

Great stuff, if you're any kind of maverick.  Absolute manna from Heaven if you're writing something that you want to have published, and you'd like to make more than a nickel per copy (and maybe avoid all that book signing mess, too). 

Go read it here.