wow: ebooks make great gifts! but how?

Giving ebooks is a little new… and has improved a lot for the 2011 holiday season. Open Road Media has made an excellent video tutorial on how to give the gift of ebooks for a variety of major ebook readers. It’s great! The videos are quick (<2 minutes apiece) and simple to follow.

Basically, you’ll need to know your lucky recipient’s email address and what kind of ereader they use. After that it’s a pretty standard online retail experience.

There are some limitations, however. There doesn’t appear to be a way to gift books through the Google eBookstore (which beyond Android is also bad news for local indie bookstores). But don’t fret – there’s a Barnes & Noble app for Android, so just follow the video tutorial for the Nook, and that should work just fine for your friends’ Android devices.

And, if you’re looking to buy The Rival – it is not available for Kobo or the Sony Reader. But it is available on the following platforms to give as a gift!

  • The Rival for your lucky recipient’s Kindle on Amazon
  • The Rival for your lucky recipient’s Nook (or Android device) on Barnes & Noble
  • The Rival for your lucky recipient’s iPhone or iPad on iTunes

Good luck with the holiday shopping! I know I enjoy it much more from the serenity of my home computer, cup of tea in hand.

tablet sales quadrupled last quarter; ereaders not so much

Such is the news reported by mediabistro’s ebook newser. This comes as no surprise to me! After my experience with reading books on my phone (Samsung Galaxy) and Amazon’s Kindle, I posted this back in July.

While it’s nice being right, the problem is that getting eBooks tablet-ready is hard compared to getting them eReader ready. Grrr. I feel like I need to be a tech genius to make this work!

the rival: locked and loaded

The Rival is now ready to be launched on Amazon and Barnes & Noble with just one click!  I am thinking a launch date of September 1 sounds just about right. I’m hoping that gives me enought time to figure out how to launch for the various tablets… that’s not as straightforward, although I feel like for the future it’s more important, so worth the work.

I’ve also got a small case of cold feet. Time to put some socks on.

market research: tammy blackwell

I am finding indie authors to be so open and kind! Due to the promptings of one of my many smarter-than-I friends, I reached out to another bestselling eBook author, Tammy Blackwell. She quickly got back to me with the following words of wisdom:

The first month my readers were all people I know. What I did do, though, was any time someone sent me a message saying they enjoyed the book I replied back with, “Would you mind posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads if you have time? That would really help me out!” And, really, I think that is what helped the most, having a 4 or 5 good reviews there in the beginning.

So, friends who have read The Rival, watch out! I will be asking you to post your reviews. Let me know what kind of bribes work best for you.

technology = impatience

I’m getting sooo frustrated with the huge number of not only ereaders, but types of ebook files. I’ve had to start a spreadsheet of all of the websites I need log in info for, and all of the different conversion software I need.

This is exactly why I call myself “the impatient writer”. C’mon, Bethany, it’s not like you’re having to write on parchment with a quill by candlelight! Get over it!

Reminds me of one of my all time favorite Louis C.K. clips.

the rival: legible on kindle

I took the plunge and bought a Kindle last week. I’m reading Haruki Murakami‘s The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, one of few of his books that I haven’t yet read. I get lost in the story just as quickly as I do with a paperback. It still feels a bit strange; I guess I’ll know in a month or two how I really feel about it.

The Rival looks pretty official when I’m reading it on the Kindle. I tried sending it to my Kindle email (apparently the simplest way to convert docs to ebooks) as a pdf, and the formatting was all screwed up, but when sent as a Word document, bingo. Chapters start on new pages, and everything.

I’ll keep on with this ebook project over the summer. I’ll try to figure out the Nook and the iPad. And what to do about marketing. That’s where I messed up with London Moxie, so that’s where the most improvement is needed.

a multi-pronged approach: kindle direct

I’m doing some research on self-publishing through Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct, Barnes & Noble’s PubIt!, and Apple’s iTunes Connect. Since I’m already on Amazon.com thanks to London Moxie, I’m starting there. First step: create an author page. Second step: buy a Kindle? I suppose I should have a look at eBooks before I turn any of my books into one.

I don’t know yet how far I’ll follow this thread. Is the idea of going back to self-publishing motivated by a year of rejection? You bet. Does that make it the right choice? Maybe not. It’s possible The Rival isn’t going anywhere because it’s not ready for the wide world of readers.