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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Electronic Book Readers-

One of my Facebook friends asked me when my books will be out in print. She wanted to read my works but did not have an electronic book reader. Unfortunately, the traditional way of getting into print is a long and arduous process, with winning an agent who must win a publisher and then the whole publishing circus.

Alternatively, I could go with a print-on-demand service. If someone orders my books a copy will be printed and sent to them. Not a bad system. At this point in my publishing adventure I am not prepared to shell out the hundreds of bucks to get the document formatted for print on demand. My budget for all of this is small. Ebooks are an affordable option, and the one I chose.

Ebooks have a lot of advantages. They all fit on smart phones, devices like the iTouch media player, pad format computers, and computers of all sorts. Most of these devices simply require you to download an ereader as an application or standard piece of software. These devices have various advantages and disadvantages.

For example, the smart phone you have with you always. Therefore, you will have any books you have loaded on the device with you wherever you go. The disadvantage is the size of the screen. Some people will find reading on a phone (or iTouch like device) difficult. Others will find it pleasant. I know of one woman who has read many books on her iTouch, and finds it just fine as a reader.

My reader of choice is the Nook, sold by Barnes and Noble. When they reduced the price to my chosen trigger point ($150) I bought one. The first model. I like the paper-like screen, as I can read it in full light and not get the computer screen wash-out common with phone and computer screens. By the way, the current prices have units below $150.

To get started it is easy to download a reader to your computer. There are quite a few free books available from various sources. They are easy to download and open with you reading software. Give computer reading a try and see how you like it. If you have a smart phone, try a reading application. The cost of getting started is quite low.

From there a reader can move on to evaluating other electronic reading devices. Sony has a nice one. Amazon has their Kindle, which was first on the market and still an excellent device. Kobo, which had been associated with the Borders distribution network, seems like an adequate device. Of course, there is also the Nook. Prices vary depending on the device and the features you might prefer.

If the cost of the device is of concern, don't forget the free books I mentioned. There are a lot of books out there that will cost you nothing. Paper books will never disappear, but the convenience of ebooks will grow on you. With the right kind of account you can often download a book in minutes, and be reading right away.

I recommend you give it a try. And, while you are trying, have a look my own works. I have enjoyed writing them. I would love for you to read them.

(Note: at present I am unaware of any way to read epub format writings on the Kindle. My works are not currently available in Kindle format.)


jbchicoine said...

I'm just guessing, Michael, but if you can figure out how to format for epubbing, I bet you could for POD publishing. Would sure save you lots of moola and widen your readership. If I publish independently, I think that's the way I'll go. May take me a while to format it, but seems like it would be worth it!

Michael Lockridge said...

Perhaps so. I may go forward with that at some time. There are guides out there, and it is doable. I suppose I just don't want the hassle of another learning curve at this time. It is a challenge, but one to be met at another time.