Sedona O'Hala Series:

Executive Dirt

Dragons of Wendal Series:

DragonKin

Moon Shadow Series:

Ghost Shadow

Now Available:

Soul of the Desert

sword and sorcery

Project E-books

twentyfivepercentgrannySo I saw…more than a few complaints from Sony reader users that “Kindle exclusive” authors were shutting themselves out of a rather large opportunity. Apparently Sony is fairly popular in Europe and other countries, especially since the Kindle isn’t yet available over there unless you can provide a US credit card and/or address.

The problem for authors and readers is the lack of a cohesive storefront. There are many sites for ebooks (and the formats range from RTF to Sony, to EPUB to .MOBI). Some of these ebook stores require and use DRM, some accept self-published, some do not. If a reader wants to buy a book at any of these stores, she has to create an account. Remember a password. Browse it occasionally to look for new books. The selection on the sites varies from a few thousand to many thousand. Some of the sites have a lot of public domain books (and not enough newer stuff), some have taken more time with making sure that uploaded formats are clean and formatted nicely.

For authors…same thing. Uploading multiple formats, stores all over the internet, accounts to keep track of, rules to keep track of, forums galore…it’s a distribution nightmare. Which ones to choose? All? None? The royalty paid to authors is different on each site. The price rules are different.

But we’re all about experimenting here at BMBooks. Gulp.

I made Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom available on Smashwords in those multiple formats I mentioned (PDF, HTML, Javascript, EPUB, MOBI, LRF, and PDB). Why Smashwords? Other authors gave them high marks. A few of those Sony users mentioned them as well. The process was not all that hard, although there were formatting issues to resolve (and some of those were real bears!) Their royalty contract was good, thoroughly explained and–did not require an exclusive. Some sites (I believe Fictionwise is one) requires exclusive listings. I’m not sure if this exclusivity expires after a time or if if it remains so long as the book is listed. Exclusivity is fine for a brief period, but after that–with all these ebook sites–yikes!

It’s hard to say which of these sites will garner a lot of market share. I was pleased to read that Smashwords signed a distribution agreement with Barnes and Noble. Right now B&N doesn’t seem to have much of a reputation for ebooks at all. So it could be slow going and an uphill battle.

If anyone has a Sony reader and has an opinion or likes/dislikes, where you shop for books–I’m all ears. Or eyeballs in this case!

Posted: August 31, 2009
Filed in Project E-books
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iPod Touch

I did a post a while back on the Kindle and trolled around looking for opinions on it. One of the interesting things I came across was people talking about reading on the iPod touch. What surprised me most was how pleased they were overall with the performance and readability.

So today’s post is from guest blogger and good friend, Max, who recently bought an iPod touch and downloaded a couple of books and did some reading. Here’s what he had to say:

I spent most of my flights on the way home reading Sage using the Kindle Reader app for iPHONE/iPOD Touch. Just a little on the flights up.

For the flight back, I’d turned the brightness setting for the screen down to 1/6 in order to help conserve battery life. The default setting of 1/2 brightness really sucks the battery down fast. While reading, I had music playing in the background the entire time. Contrast and readability on the plane was great with this setting – I’d left “auto brightness” enabled so I’m sure it automatically cut the display further once the sunlight disappeared. BlueTooth and WiFi were both turned off.

Battery life under these circumstances was great. According to the iPOD, I’d used around 1/8 of the capacity after about 5 1/2 hours of use.

If the iPOD reader app supports text-to-speach, I’ve not found it yet.

Finding and downloading “Catch An Honest Thief” was a breeze.

The actual “reading” experience was very good overall. Hard to find much fault with it – so far. The one thing that was a bit frustrating was that the reader doesn’t seem to allow for “copy and paste” functionality.

Thanks for the input! I’m hearing that people are sometimes happier with using the iPod touch–more functionality than just reading. I’ve heard from both Kindle users and iPod that emailing is possible (I don’t know if Kindle users versus iPod users are happier with that particular function.) Interesting little devices.

Posted: August 13, 2009
Filed in Project E-books
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Sage – Anthology

sage_halfSage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom – Now available for download to your Kindle, iPhone or iPod-touch via Amazon.

Amazon UK
(It’s available at all the Amazon country retailer stores, including Germany, Spain, Italy and France).
Barnes and Noble
Kobobooks

If you have an e-reader that supports ePUB, I will be uploading the ePub files for sale from my own website soon. In the meantime, try here:

Smashwords

Sword and Sorcery meets Agatha Christie. Three novellas introduce the Kingdom of Sage and those who protect its boundaries.
Sometimes it takes a more experienced hand to save an entire Kingdom.

The first of these stories, Toil, Trouble and Rot, was published in Coyote Wild Magazine; the other two are all new, original stories. In Dungeons and Decay find out just how far a mother will go when her child is in danger–and how much magic it takes to keep him safe. In Call to Arms, its a family affair; every hand is needed when a ghost invades the kingdom demanding old wrongs be righted.