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.

i’ve met the middleman, and her name is lulu

lulu.com, that is. This may not be the straightest path to iBooks for the iPad, but at least it’s one that I can figure out. I have spent most of the afternoon fighting with lulu.com, but finally The Rival is in the magical epub format, it has a working table of contents, and reads properly on generic ereaders like Adobe Digital Editions. And the cover is there, and lookin’ good.

Basically, lulu.com is a website that converts files like Word docs into epub format. Lulu sells eBooks, and they are also an “approved aggregator” for iBooks. I guess they are also an approved aggregator for the Barnes & Noble Nook, but Barnes & Noble’s PubIt! website is actually really easy to use and will also do this for you, so I’ve turned the Nook feature off in lulu.com.

Meanwhile, I have made zero progress for making the book available for Android devices. I like reading books on my Android phone, but trying to figure out how to sell on there is really difficult! I think I have to turn my book into an App! I have no idea how to do this. I have emailed their help desk… expectations low.

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.

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.

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.