The Marshall Memo – 6/13/11


If you haven’t heard about the latest form of reading books and periodicals, you’ve been hiding under a rock.  Last year I would have wrestled you to the ground, gotten you in a head lock and given you nuggies if you said I’d be a convert to e-reading.  Give up reading
books?  Real books with pages that I can dog ear?  No way. No how.

The Conversion:

That was before Christmas, when Santa brought me a Kindle.  With trepidation, I downloaded my first book – Butterfly Swords by JeannieLin – and began my journey through cyberspace to the other side of the page.

As a writer, I spend way too much time at the computer already, and in the past I wasn’t the least bit interested in reading e-books meant only for the computer.  Who in
their right mind wanted to spend EVEN MORE TIME at the computer? Then these
crazy little gadgets kept popping up – e-readers.  The gadget reading fire caught on turning into a wildfire of different readers – hand held readers, some with color, some
on notepad sized devices, smart phones had APs for reading books, EVERYONE
seemed to have some form of e-reading device at their fingertips.

So Santa gave me a gift of reading, and I’m addicted, though I still love reading REAL books too.  And I suspect that is how my attitude will continue for another year or three.  Who knows what the future holds.

The Problems:

As I read my way through several books, at a much faster pace since I can adjust the font size, one itty bitty problemo became evident.  I owned a Kindle, it had Whispernet, and it
was too easy to buy books!  I bought too many.

The other problem was – I felt confined to the books that were only sold on Amazon.  What if I wanted to buy a book from a specific e-publisher?  Which publication version did I need?  I hadn’t a clue, and I didn’t feel like taking a course on e-reader conversions in order to buy from those specific e-publishers.

Note:  As an author I am aware that other authors earn the most royalties for their hard work in book form when bought from the e-publisher who published them.  Amazon takes a cut and the author must settle for their percentage after that cut instead of the full royalty rate for which they’ve contracted.

I wanted to support all of my e-published friends by going directly to their e-publishers. The problem was I bought a few books then couldn’t open them on my particular e-reader.  I bought e-books from Harlequin UK, then couldn’t open them.  I bought my first Carina Press e-book and couldn’t open that either.  Wasted money.  Wasted time.  Wasted effort.

The Solutions:

Another advantage of being an author is being on author loops with knowledgeable people only an e-mail away.  One author said she solved her book buying addiction by buying herself a monthly gift card from Amazon and when she’d spent it all, that was it for that month.  Great idea, and that solved my overspending on Whispernet books.  Then I found out there was a program created to help the hopeless e-reading people like myself to convert any books to fit ANY e-reader out there.  Because I will have my own e-book available in July, I want to share my discovery with my blog readers.

The program is free to download, though you can donate to the program creator.  I gave ten bucks. And that’s my public service announcement for today.

The Question: What is your favorite e-reader and why?

Make it a great week!


P.S.  Watch for my debut e-book ONE FOR THE ROAD coming July 13th from The Wild Rose Press!

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18 Responses to The Marshall Memo – 6/13/11

  1. Since I bought an e-reader, I have been addicted to it. It’s so much easier, and you can get almost any book nowadays in digital format. I actually bought a kindle. Bought myself one for Christmas. Unbeknownst to me, my husband bought me an iPad. I don’t use my kindle. At all. In fact, it just sits around. I feel I wasted my money on it. I find the iPad better because adjusting the font is as easy as pinching the screen. Its like having a mini computer. I can check my email and keep up to date on all the wrter’s loops I’m on, play music, and even play games.

    And I too have discovered a love for Calibre. I transfer all the books I buy to e-pub format, upload to my iPad and I’m good to go.

    but yes. *sigh* It is far too easy to purchase a book with an e-reader. lol

    Great post!!

    • thanks for commenting, Joanne. I have started thinking about an iPad, too. What I like about Kindle is that I CAN’T check my e-mail while I’m reading! : )

      You could probably sell your Kindle on e-bay?

  2. Nas says:

    Hi Lynne,

    When my favourite authors started coming out in ebook, I gave myself a birthday present of a Kindle!

    And Yay! for Calibre. Author Fiona Lowe advised me of Calibre and since then I have transferred all my pdf, epub, mobi to my kindle. And great reading on it at night without disturbing the hubby by the nightlight!

    • Hi Nas!

      It sure saves on shipping costs, doesn’t it? : ) Calibre is a wonderful invention that makes our lives as e-book readers much less complicated.

      P.S. I love Fiona Lowe! She and I sold our first books within three weeks of each other. She’ll always be special to me because of that, as we waded through the new and muddy waters of first pubs together.

  3. Roz Lee says:

    I absolutely love, love, love my Kindle. I discovered Calibre early on, and it was a godsend. I too try to support my epubbed friends by purchasing from the publisher’s website, and I usually save money, which translates into more books for me, at the same time. Now, if I could just figure out how to sync my Kindle with the app on my new smart phone…

    • Roz! You’re making my head spin. I can barely keep up with all this new stuff and apps and smart phones …oy!

      Thanks for commenting. I see we are fellow Kindle lovers. I would like to fool around with some other readers to see how they work though.

  4. Charlene Sands says:

    I don’t know if Kindle is my favorite or not. I don’t have any to compare. I’ve never tried Kobo or Nook for that matter. But I do LOVE owning a Kindle. I have more books on my Kindle now, than I’d ever have on my TBR shelf on my desk at home. Why? Because of easy access… Whispernet is awesome. It has never failed me. And I’ve been getting Amazon gift cards as gifts for birthday, mother’s day etc, so I can spend, spend, spend. As an author, nothing brings me more joy than to buy books!!

    I do use the Font change in Kindle and I often use the Text to Speech, if I’m exercising, or when my eyes get tired and don’t want to stop reading. I love that feature.

    My Kindle syncs to the Iphone, which is really nice. Don’t know if it works with the smart phone though!! Sorry, Roz.

    Times are changing….

    • Christine! Will you show me how to do the text to speech thing the next time I see you? I really don’t know the potential of my favorite e-reader!

      I love the appearance of my whispernet books moments after I’ve bought them. It’s like this little magical gift. : )

  5. When I retired, I got a Nook Color from my co-workers and the citizens in my Basic Car in Northridge, CA. I love the Nook Color. I like having the color to see the beautiful book covers and things I can look up on the internet. I’m sure the Nook Color does a lot more than I know how to make it do. It’s a good size…but I will admit noticeably heavier than a Kindle. But the color and internet access makes up for it!

    • Hi Kathy!

      Yeah, that is a drawback about Kindle, the book covers are in black and white, and some covers are so gorgeous, it does seem ashame.

      Thanks for your input on the Nook Color. For me, size does matter, and I like the lightweight of my Kindle, thought I would like some color.

      I know, I know, I can never make up my mind!

  6. Nas says:

    Hi Lynne,

    Not all ebooks support “Text to Speech.” You just use the Sym and scroll to Text to speech and voila! It’s talking! You can choose between a male and female voice.

  7. Love my Kindle. I polled around, before I bought it, and found that some people found the iPad clunky at times – screen glare in sunlight, certainly doesn’t slip easily into your purse, and it doesn’t give you “book feel” when reading in bed.

    What sold me on Kindle, rather than the Nook, was that 1) On Kindle, once you buy a buy and it’s in your archive, it’s always there, on THEIR site – so if I drop or break my Kndle, I can re-download to my new one. With a Nook, you have to back it up yourself, which everyone would agree is an excellent idea and nobody does. 2) Nook, at least as of a year ago, doesn’t let you file your books the way YOU want. Kindle lets you set up folders, and you can have the same book in multiple ones, so I have Pride & Prejudice, for example, in a folder called Classics, and also in a folder called Chick Lit (I know the term is poison now, but it’s MY Kindle) and in a folder called All-Time Favorites.

    That said, I do not take my Kindle into the tub with me, so I will always have “dead tree books” too, just fewer of them.

    • Hi Beverly!
      Great information. I do love the archived Amazon books, too.

      LOL on bathtub reading.

      My son took his to Alaska with him and made the mistake of leaving it in the trunk of his car. The ink froze! Amazon wouldn’t replace it under their insurance plan. So don’t take your Kindle into the walking freezer with you either! LOL

      Thanks for commenting. Good information.

  8. Sharon Goldstein says:

    I love my Nook. It’s about the size of a trade paperback, very light, and the B&W screen plays well with sunlight. They say they have a bigger available library than Kindle, and yes, Calibre is very worthwhile to have just in case.

  9. Hi Sharon,
    I’m glad to hear you’re a happily satisfied Nook customer. Interesting about the wider library with B&N (is that right – the Nook is with B&N) Kobo is Borders?

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Now, we need someone to chime in on iPad and the Sony reader.

  10. Karen C says:

    I bought myself a Nook (not color, just wifi & 3g) about a year ago and I really love it. And, it is oh, so easy to buy books, no matter where you are. I’ve taken advantage of far too many of the free books B&N has to offer. Every Friday they have a Free Friday and offer a book for free. I’ve really gone outside the box and found some great new-to-me authors and genres to read this way.

    If you use the Nook to search for $0.00 books, there are hundreds of pages to sort through. Granted, some of these free books are worth just that, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Right now, Nook offers shelves instead of folders and I haven’t tried to set anything up, so I don’t know if you can store in multiple places. I’m able to see the book covers in color on the touch pad at the bottom of the Nook.

    My Nook Library shows on my account on B&N; the only books I would need to back up are those added to My Documents on the Nook. I have the app for Nook on PC on two different computers (house and laptop) and keep them in sync with my Nook, which isn’t difficult. Anything I buy from a sight other than B&N is downloaded to a flash drive first. I’ve also converted books I’ve bought from my favorite authors e-publisher websites to my Nook. Right now, I’m in the neighborhood of 400 books on my Nook. And, I still have paper books – because I love paper and sometimes it’s still cheaper to buy at a half price store! But it sure is a lot easier to travel (and never run out of books) with my Nook!

    I wasn’t aware of Calibre, so thank you for that information. As I understand it, you can’t convert Kindle format to anything else though; I’ll have to check to see if it can convert a Kindle book format to a Nook book format (epub).

    Thanks for the great information!!!

    • And thank you for all of that great info, Karen. What a great idea about free books and downloads to our e-readers.

      OK, Nooks sounds like a fine option. And according to Calibre, Kindle should be convertible.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!