pslasher: (Default)
"Boldly Writing" is a book written by Joan Marie Verba that details early Star Trek and Star Wars fanzine history. It is free on Kindle today  and tomorrow (9-12 to 9-13) and can be downloaded from Amazon here.  Note: You don't have to have a Kindle to read it.  There is a free Kindle app for lots of platforms.  Info via [personal profile] morgandawn  here.

ETA: the ebook is no longer free, but it's only three US bucks, so still well worth buying if you have any interest.

pslasher: (Karl Chris The Kiss)
My dad asked me the other day, completely out of the blue, if I was still writing.  I promptly answered that I was not.  He asked why not, as I used to write such creative little stories, and I had talent and should use it.  *g*  He wouldn't think that if he knew what I was writing!  But it did make me think back to the writing I did as a preteen.  Even from the beginning I was writing relationship stories, though obviously the content was far more innocent.  Stories about friends, family, and even one story about a newlywed couple that went through tragedy.  It's the characters that inspire me enough to write.  The characters, and then the world they live in.  And that might be the reason I've had trouble writing original fiction.  When I'm not already starting with characters I love, I have trouble getting engaged enough to actually create a complete story.  The drive just doesn't seem to be there; or at least, I haven't figured out how to access that drive for original fiction. 

The stories I wrote as a kid weren't any good, and I shudder to think that any of them still exist.  My dad gave me a couple of floppy discs that he thinks might have some of my stories on it, and I still haven't looked at them.  Partly because I no longer have a floppy drive in my computer, and would have to dig it out and install it in order to view the files, and I just don't want to look that bad.  But also because I'm sure they really were terrible, and I just don't want to look.  I want to remember that golden age of writing with fondness, not critique!

In other news, I recently joined a book club and used that as an excuse to try out Amazon's ebook store.  The next meeting is a month away, but there is a long line of people ahead of me to get the book from the library.  The ebook was $3.00 US, and I figured that was worth spending to make sure I get the book read in time.  Even if I wind up hating the book, which I don't think I will.  I don't have a Kindle yet, but there are free PC and iPhone programs/apps that let me read the book - since I already read a lot on my PC and iPhone, it's no problem to switch to pro reading.  They sync together, allowing me to find the last page read from either place, so I can switch up my place of reading when I want to.  Pretty nifty. 

Less nifty is the fact that this book came without a digital table of contents, which apparently I can't blame on Amazon, but on the publisher.  WTF, Minotaur Books?  How the hell am I supposed to navigate a lengthy document without a table of contents?  (I know that other-or most-ebooks come with a digital table of contents because I've seen them.  I just assumed that they all have them)  I mean, the last-page-read feature is extremely useful, but what if I want to go back to a previous chapter to reread something for clarity or because I liked it?  I have to manually flip back through each page to get to where I want?  I could set up a digital note at the beginning of each chapter (a really cool feature), but that's not practical if I have to annotate each chapter myself!  A table of contents is standard for any printed book, and it should be the same for any digital book I buy as well.  It can't be that hard to code in the table of contents when putting the book together.  You only have to do it once, for god's sake, and I'm paying you to do it!  But the worst part is that there is no notation of the presence or absence of a table of contents on this book's Amazon page, or any other ebook for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders.  Granted, I didn't do a thorough search, but I did check a pretty wide selection of books.  How am I supposed to know if I want to buy if they don't tell me what I'm getting beforehand?  You wouldn't put a laptop up for sale without listing how much RAM it has, would you?  Same thing.  I am disappointed with this discovery.

Also, it occurs to me that professionally published books should list length in word count instead of number of pages, just like fanfic does.  In an increasingly digital age the number of traditional pages in a written document becomes irrelevant.  First of all, the "page" can be a printed paperback, printed large-print hardcover, computer screen, eReader screen, or handheld device like an iPhone.  All of these pages will have a different number of words on them because they are different sizes.  And then when you change the font size you completely change the number of pages given, even though there are the same number of words in the actual work.  Giving a word count is much more accurate, and therefore will be universally adopted when I am Queen.

Um, anyway.  Here begins my adventures in buying and reading ebooks, and I may subject all of you to my detailed thoughts as I progress.  You are forewarned.  :)
pslasher: (Default)
Hey everyone, I'm thinking of getting a Kindle and am curious to know if any of you use an eReader?  If so, I'd love to hear what you have and what you like and dislike about it.  I'm also keeping notes here on the other eReaders I come across, and will be updating them as I go on.

I've seen the second gen Kindle and the Nook, and they both look good.  I haven't spent much time playing around with them, but based on a quick view of both of them, they seem pretty similar in function.  They both look like something you could really use for serious reading of long books, without the eyestrain of reading on a computer.  Sony has quite a few ereaders, but I've never seen any of them, and honestly I'm wary of buying something like this without having actually seen one.  See below.

Kindle vs nook )
Getting fanfic onto an ereader )
Sony Reader Pocket Edition )
Kobo Reader )
Nook )Nook Color )iPad )
Anyone have any tips or comments?  I'm particularly interested in hearing your experiences with fanfic and your ereader, and anything extra special about your device that you like. 

ETA: I started a post on the [livejournal.com profile] fanfic_ebooks comm here comparing the Kindle, nook and Sony ereaders and it's gotten some very good comments.

List of posts and communities that may be helpful
slyprentice's list of software related to ebooks - excellent source for info on getting fanfic ebooks made, edited, put onto your device, ect.
fanfic_ebooks - LJ community for discussing all things ebooks
ebook library - website for downloading ebooks.  Multifandom,  but concentrates mostly on the site owner's favorite fandoms (which coincide with several of mine).
my ebook tag on delicious

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