The Rising Now on Kobo and Nook

Just a quick update to let you know that The Rising is now available on the Nook and on Kobo e-readers as well as the Kindle. If you’re wondering why no Apple version it’s because I don’t own a Mac computer, so I can’t do Apple Store self-publishing stuff. I could go through other sites to get that, but I don’t really care about Apple. When Apple starts allowing someone with Linux to access it’s store, then I’ll care. Don’t hold your breath.

The Rising Cover 2-15-16


Free Ebook Strategy Shift

Evolution of ReadersCreative Commons License John Blyberg via Compfight

I’ve changed up how I now use the Kindle Select Program. My novels and the anthology are now off the program and available in as many ebook stores as I can get them. But my related short stories are still in the Kindle Select Program. Instead of offering a short story free for the weekend, I have made it free for a solid five days. This means that you won’t see it for free again for about 90 days. But each week, I will feature a new story, so in a month you could get as many as four stories for free.

I wasn’t seeing any value to having the stories available for only two days out of the week. As for the novels, the Halo Effect that I was seeing when I offered them for free, is now no longer effective. Amazon changed their ways in the last few months and now offering books for free is kind of useless. Not sure what they were trying to do there, but they lost my books because of their changes.

The good news for most readers is that now only the short stories are exclusive to Kindle and all the other books are more widely available. Savvy readers will just buy the anthology and get most of my shorts on their chosen non-Kindle platform.

An E-book Moment With My Kids

My kids had an ebook moment last night. We had to go out to the annual baseball parents meeting and there was a chance that the kids would have to sit and be still for an hour or so. I told them to bring a book. My oldest, 10, is doing a book report and has to finish his book by the weekend. I bought his book on the Nook and he’s not been able to use the excuse that he can’t read his book, because he left it at school. He immediately wanted to bring the Nook. I said it was okay but then of course, little brother wanted to read on the Nook too. So I said, okay, you can read on my Droid. He was happy about that. When I called up his Nook book on my phone and it went right to the page where he left off, he got a smile as wide as any kid ever had. Technology is cool sometimes, even for a jaded eight year old.

E-book Catalogs are Disappointing

I’ve been slowly moving my paperback purchasing over to e-book purchasing. Using Kindle for Android, I have been enjoying many fine books from Mysteries, to SF and non-fiction. Reading on the Droid phone is very convenient but not as easy as reading on a single-use e-reader. So just as soon as the Kindle 3 ships, I will probably pick one up.

In the meantime, I purchased a Nook from Barnes and Noble. But it’s not really for me as much as my family, more specifically, the kids. Although I suspect the wife will use it on occasion too. I have been slowly acquiring YA fiction for my sons to read. Most new titles are readily available and are priced reasonably. But when I went to find the juvenile works of the three grand master of Science Fiction – Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein, I was appalled at what was unavailable in e-book form.

For Asimov, none of his juveniles are available and only the first three of his seminal Foundation books are digitized. Heinlein fares better with Space Cadet, Podkayne of Mars and Red Planet being available but no Have Spacesuit Will Travel! Clarke only has 2001 and Fountains of Paradise. These are very weak selections and it makes me sad that so many great books are not yet available as e-books.

Selling author back lists has been in the news lately with agents now acting as e-publishers. But that really doesn’t concern the reader in me. I just want to be able to read the classics of my genre in digital form. I mean SF invented e-books, it’s a little disgraceful that the masters of the genre are so hard to find in that medium. At least you can get The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on your e-reader. I did, it was my first sale on the device.

Another interesting point I noticed while reading through the catalog on the Nook, was the lack of attention to formatting for many titles. It’s obvious that their conversion to epub is both sloppy and pathetic. It may be in B&N’s interest to hire QA folks to approve titles that they sell. Maybe this could even be a new job specialty for editors or HTML and CSS people.

My own book that is available on the Nook, Null_Pointer is one of the sloppy ones. But in my defense, Smashwords converted it for me and submitted it to B&N. For the book’s second edition I will be doing the epub conversion myself. If you are self-publishing e-books you simply must get a physical device to see how your book looks on the intended target. The Nook works great for this process, because you can load your own documents on it with a simple USB connection to a PC. I’m hopeful the PubIt! program that allows self-publishers to add their own titles to the B&N e-book store, will debut soon. I’d like to get my other  titles on the Nook by the end of the summer.