2.4 eBooks, further thoughts

Linda Enis, commenting on the recent “4. Bits and Pieces” post’s reference to ebooks, said she did get a Kindle for Christmas although not ready to give up print books.  I  believe  ebooks are new technology, an additional way to enjoy books.  Ebooks will increase the market but divide it and reduce market share for print books.

Alon’s reply made a good observation about price points.  Whether print or ebooks, best selling authors will always command a premium over young writers.  If you like keeping up with best sellers, it will always cost a few bucks more.

Rather than reading best sellers, I tend toward books written by friends or friends of friends or recommended by friends.

Linda asked for some personal recommendations among ebooks.

In a prior post I mentioned Francine Howard’s, A Page From a Tennessee Journal.  Kindle $4.00

I enjoy Alon Shalev’s daily blog and his book is on my list to get to soon.  Accidental Activist Kindle $4.00

I bought Kemble Scott’s Sower on Scribd.com for $2.00 and downloaded it directly to my laptop.  I see the book is on Kindle for $6.00.   Sower still awaits me in a computer file.  I’ve met Scott and read his prior book, SOMA, which was a fun, edgy read.  He’d be wise to put it on Kindle.

I enjoyed and was touched by A Regular Guy: Growing up with Autism by Laura Shumaker.  I see it on Kindle for $10.00.  I think she’d sell so many more at a $3-4 price point, and net more dollars and develop a wider audience for future work.

I wish my friend, Colleen Rae, would put her debut novel, Mohave Mambo on Kindle or Scribd or something.  It deserves a wider audience. It is a great one-flight read.

That is not as long a list as it ought to be.  To be honest I have too many books (if there is such a concept) on board the Jolly Swag.  But that is more about the tangibles of space and weight.  The content between the covers of book is so much heavier as an intangible but weightless on a scale of enjoyment.

BTW, I forgot to mention there are hundreds of thousands of books that are out of copyright that can be downloaded for free or a token sum.  I see Zane Grey and Sinclair Lewis for less than a dollar.  And a ton of classics, Dracula, Gulliver’s Travels, Treasure Island, etc

Also check our Archive.org which has a couple million books for free download

It is the time of year for summaries and backward looks, how about mentioning your favorite book or two from last year.   Please include a sentence about genre and why you are recommending it.

13 Responses to 2.4 eBooks, further thoughts

  1. Claudia Sims says:

    I too received an eReader from Santa – a Nook Color (with wireless access). As a commuter on public transportation – yes; Al some of us still work the corporate grind – I am hoping to get rid of tree-killing paper magazines and actually be able to find the recent issues. We shall see. The subscriptions are less expensive and the house will hopefully be a little neater.

  2. Dave L says:

    There is something about driving a car that beats mass transportation, a personal hard drive that beats clouds in the sky, and something about owning a book on a shelf that beats a collection of digits. There is something about shaking hands and a hug from a friend that beats email, and family over facebook and … let’s see, how would one copulate in fortran or C+ …

    No …. everything has its time and often it’s place, but I am in favor of sitting down with hardcover and coffee for my reading. When my favorite writers penned their books, Doctorrow, Delilo, Atwood and Proux, they didn’t have ebooks in mind for their stories. They wrote for the hardcopy, and I’m not sure that their prose isn’t more comfortable there.

    Maybe I’m old fashion but I like my Alpha … you take the bus.

  3. ewagele says:

    Hi Al,

    I looked up my books and found four in Kindle:

    The Enneagram Made Easy
    The Enneagram of Parenting
    The Happy Introvert
    The Career Within You

    I didn’t know that. Still collecting interesting
    Enneagram type stories on dying, death, near-death
    for my current book if you hear of anyone with one……

    Happy travels.
    Liz Wagele ewagele@aol.com

    • allevenson says:

      Liz, What is an “interesting” death, dying or near-death story? Anyone reading this is welcome to contact Liz directly

      At this point I know more and more people who have died and are dying–some stories are somewhat offbeat. Plus five personal near-death experiences I have never written down although the day will come when they will be.

  4. ewagele says:

    My book is in nine chapters, one for each Enneagram type: perfectionist, helper, achiever, romantic, observer, questioner, adventurer, asserter, and peace seeker. There’s a quiz at http://www.careerwithinyou.com to help decide your type. People die as they live, according to these personalities or temperaments. I have all kinds of contributions from people: suicides; dad died when woman was 7 from jumping out a window; mother didn’t tell the children their father had been murdered or even was dead; Thai monk couldn’t stand being in a modern hospital and finally got to go home to forest to die, gentle guy died full of love; assertive guy fought to the end; etc.
    I have attachments telling more I can send people from my email. ewagele@aol.com
    I also accept ideas about death and dying. I think it’s important to think about death.

  5. Michael and Marsha Joyce says:

    Books take us to the world of words beyond the limits of physical reality, they are communications with the mind of the author as we understand them. A library is a chapel of imagination. Books can intrigue, captivate, guide, befuddle, illuminate, and open new vistas of ourselves, just as our loved one.

    While ebooks will have their place through convenience, they will not replace a real book anymore than a blowup doll can replace my sweetheart.

  6. Helen Herzberg says:

    I’m not ready for e-books. I AM ready to snuggle in bed (with my cat – or better), lean the real book against a purring body (guess whose ?) and read. And I can fall asleep, it slides off to the floor, and no electrons quit working.

    And real books are good for camping & backpacking – as is a REAL compass instead of a GPS. The battery will not quit when you are in the middle of somewhere. And you tear out the pages, use them for kindling, lighten you load as you travel, and have you ever use a Kindle to wipe …. ?

      • Kathleen L. Orosco says:

        When I first moved to California from Texas, I felt that at last I would have the opportunity to live in midst of the beauty of mountains and hills. Each time I looked up at the hills I would be in awe of them, I would often say to myself, I wonder how it would feel to climb up and look over the bay area? Many times, I have flown over the Sierras thinking how each mountain is shaped so differently. I recently went to my friend’s family home in Daily city and if we have time, we walk her dogs at Fort Funtston. Around Thanksgiving, we did something different, and we left the dogs at home and began a hike, a hike that was unplanned. I wore my weather worn tennis shoes, nice jeans, and an attitude that I wanted to overcome my fear of success. It was raining hard enough to soften the ground so that the dirt was glissening, moist and very slippery. Thank God for grass and weeds. My friend had lived in Australia so she was a great guide showing me all of the moves and how slumping deceives gravity. Nonetheless, looking over the cliff down onto Miramar Beach was breathtaking and frightening at the same time. It was too late to turn around so I climbed it and other hills nearby. I never realized how accomplished I would feel after climbing and hiking. The analogy between facing life’s challenges and taking on a new career as a writer is daunting to say the least. As a comment about death. I learned about death at an early age. I was 18 and arranged my father’s funeral selecting his casket and choosing a military funeral. I lost one of my best friends during this Christmas and she was only 47 years old.
        I plan to take a beginner’s class in hiking because I know there is a distinctive link between writing over the hills and climbing over the hills.


  7. tennjournal says:

    Al, you and I ARE ships passing in the night, or in the day as the case may be. You’re in Pasadena, and I’ve been marooned in Whittier for the past eleven days! You know Whittier–the home of Richard Nixon.
    Other than “complexion”, the town has changed little since Dickie was a boy–very conservative. My son, with his Cal Berkeley alumni license plates, has had the dreaded question thrown at him more than once–are you one of THEM . . .a . . . a LIBERAL?
    I’m executing my carefully planned mutiny tonight. I’ve found the north star and I’m following it straight home!
    As for ebooks vs. hard cover, both have their followers though my Kindle sales outstrip my hardcovers. I was sure that my supposed demographic–females 50+ would go for hardcover. But it looks like my demographic has a wider appeal. With this Amazon one-month sale, my Kindles are outselling hardcovers by about 2-1. Who knew?
    My ebook selections? This year I’ve read Dolan-Perkins’, Wench. This is the lesser-known, pre-Civil War tale of white slaveholders taking their black mistresses north (in this case, Ohio) for annual “vacations.” Then there is Kathryn Stockett’s, The Help. Set in 1963 Mississippi, a white Mississippian explores the entertwined lives of white housewifes and their black house maids. Fascinating stuff. Can I be blamed for thinking PAGE, set in the Jim Crow era, is a perfect bridge between the two?
    Happy travels, Al. And, stay out of Whittier!

  8. love my (girlfriends) new kindle. I’m reading more now! compared to almost never, probably like 3 hours a week. that’s pretty good!

  9. Colleen Rae says:

    Thanks Al for mentioning Mohave Mambo. I will look into putting MM on kindle.
    Good idea!

  10. I haven’t bought a Kindle yet but plan to. Maybe I’ll wait for the Kindle 4, which I’ve read is coming out in 2011.

    However, for research, I’d rather have the (printed on paper) magazine or book sitting on a shelf. For entertainment, a Kindle works. It’s not heavy or awkward to hold and it remembers where you stopped reading, which saves readers from losing his or her place when the book mark falls out of a paper book (happens to me often–frustrating). You also don’t have to carry all those paper books that take up so much space when traveling.

    Another feature with the Kindle is that most books may be converted to audio and listened to while driving or walking, which means readers won’t have to wait to read to discover what happens next.

    In fact, you could wear an audio earplug and listen to a novel in the dark so as not to disturb a bed partner.

    Since the Barnes & Noble Nook (and I’ve heard the Sony e-reader) doesn’t have an audio function, the Kindle will probably end up being what I get since the iPad costs far too much.

    I read recently that when paperbacks came along, the hardcover world lamented it was the end of literature as we knew it. The opposite happened. The lower cost of the paperback boosted the sales of books higher than expected and the hardcover survived. In fact, more books sold.

    I’ve been reading that the same thing is happening due to e-readers such as the Kindle. The great thing is that e-readers have a global market. For my Concubine Saga, about 12% of Kindle sales are from other countries than the US and only 4% of total sales are in paper. Without Kindle, the Concubine Saga would be selling about 15 copies a month in paper.

    By the way, when the battery needs replacing on the Kindle, I found a YouTube video that shows the owner how to remove the old battery and carefully replace it with a new one.

    Here’s a link to that YouTube video. I wouldn’t risk it unless the battery needed replacing.

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