This week, March 6-12, 2011, is “Read an E-Book Week”. As a promotion, I am offering 50% off my techno thriller Counting from Zero on Smashwords. For this week, you can download it for $2.99 by using the code RAE50 at checkout for 50% off. Go to Smashwords and you should see it. This promotion expires on March 12, so don’t wait!
My first e-book experience was when I first got my iPhone and discovered Stanza. Using Project Gutenberg, I downloaded and read all kinds of 19th century fiction that I loved. I was surprised how much I liked reading on the iPhone, despite the screen size. I did not get a Kindle until a few months ago, when my daughter got one for Christmas, and again I was surprised. It really is similar to paper. For me, the proof of this came during a week when my laser printer was down, and I was deep in edits in the manuscript. Careful proof reading simply cannot be done on a computer screen – I always must print it out on paper. In desperation, I started using the Kindle for this proof reading, and it worked! I still missed being able to scribble notes and changes right on the screen, but it really was as good as paper. Then, I borrowed the Kindle to take with me on a trip, and I was able to proofread my new text and edits on the go when I was no where near a printer! My biggest issue with the Kindle is the lack of a backlight for nighttime reading, but there must be a technology reason why they could not provide this on the device.
So, I guess I am a convert to E-Books. There are still two areas in which ebooks come up short in my opinion. The first is being able to lend the book to others easily. Some of my favorite book discoveries have come through loans. However, this is changing in that Amazon now permits book lending if the publisher allows it, which is a step in the right direction. The other issue is that of a bookshelf. I don’t know about you, but when I walk into someone’s home or office for the first time, I always look over the bookshelf. You can learn a lot about a person, and it can be fun to see how many books you have in common. Perhaps we need a bookshelf app that displays our e-book shelf on the various flat screens throughout our house, or as a screen saver on computers. What do you think?
Some readers have also asked me about the irony of publishing my novel only as an e-book, while the protagonist in the novel, Mick O’Malley, does not read e-books for his personal reading. I must point out that Mick does read e-books for his professional and technical reading, but prefers paper and ink for his literature. I think he does this as a way of escaping from his immersion in the cyber world, where he spends so much time. Perhaps as his life changes, he may discover, as I have, how much fun e-books are.