Saturday, March 26, 2011

Norm Rates His New Kindle

I'm finally the owner of a Kindle.

What took me so long, you ask? Well, I still, even after owning my Kindle for a week, prefer the tactile nature of a book. And if I spill coffee on the book, no worries, just a stain. There was nothing about the coffee-proof nature of the Kindle in its instructions.

On first blush, I was pretty happy with the slim profile of the Kindle. I thought it'd be a bit more klunky feeling. The instructions were a bit vague, but adequate.

What am I doing reading instructions? Yeah, I'm a guy, I know I broke a rule or two. But after hearing some stories of the first half hour confusion some people have when they get a Kindle decided me to go ahead and flaunt the rules.

After I actually cracked it open and started playing, here are my first impressions.

1) they make it very easy to get to the Kindle store.
2) they make it hard to find the supposed 'free books' that are supposed to be available for download (I still haven't found these and haven't 'Googled' the question.
3) the instructions aren't that great. In order to see if there was a light somewhere on the device, I had to Google the question (there isn't) since the instructions didn't say one way or the other.
4) I really ...no, REALLY like the preview option. You can search any book and download a free preview instantaneously. How cool is that?!
5) the wifi option still puzzles me. It allowed me to connect to my home's wifi, but I'm still not sure of the rules for when I'm not home. I'll have to play with this out of the house.
6) reading a PDF on the Kindle is another thing that they were unclear on . Asking the question on Google revealed that you can do it, but you either have to convert the file to something else first or send it to Kindle who will charge a fee to do it. Still a bit of a mystery, but I'm not in a hurry to do this.

Searching the books on Kindle revealed some more interesting stuff. Of course, right away I checked out my books and learned something very, well, not interesting, more like disturbing. My second book, The Next Adventures of Guy, is not on Kindle at all. Weird. So I went to my publisher's website and looked for it on ebook there. Still not available. I'm going to check my contract and see if they own the rights. If not, I'll put it on Kindle. If they do, I'm going to ask them to do it or revert the rights back to me.

My other books are there, though, including two for just 99 cents. These two were ones I did myself and I downloaded both of them using 'Word' rather than converting to the somewhat mystifying html, and they came across okay, but it convinced me to try and convert it next time. The Guy'd Book was my first attempt, and I think both the book and ebook showed my technical inexpertise (though the book is fantastic! you need to read it). With the Adventures of Guy, I didn't want to lose the PDF drawings (of a mug of beer) that accompany each chapter. I have the same issue with WereWoof (wolf howling at the moon) but I think I'll go ahead and bite the bullet and strip those off.

I also checked some of Joe Konrath's books, just to see what he does with ebook. Joe's wildly successful with Kindle, so it was intriguing to see his books and how he presents them.

I have yet, after a week, to purchase a book (because I was reading some other books at the time). So now I'm going to embark on this. There are two fellow Echelon Press authors I want to check out, Jon Gibbs and Sean Hayden. I downloaded previews of their books and I like what I'm seeing. I've decided to start with Jon's book, "Fur Face," because that's darn near what I was going to use for a title for my own upcoming book "WereWoof."

More on this later.

Norm

www.normcowie.com
Norm on Amazon

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