wow: ebooks make great gifts! but how?

Giving ebooks is a little new… and has improved a lot for the 2011 holiday season. Open Road Media has made an excellent video tutorial on how to give the gift of ebooks for a variety of major ebook readers. It’s great! The videos are quick (<2 minutes apiece) and simple to follow.

Basically, you’ll need to know your lucky recipient’s email address and what kind of ereader they use. After that it’s a pretty standard online retail experience.

There are some limitations, however. There doesn’t appear to be a way to gift books through the Google eBookstore (which beyond Android is also bad news for local indie bookstores). But don’t fret – there’s a Barnes & Noble app for Android, so just follow the video tutorial for the Nook, and that should work just fine for your friends’ Android devices.

And, if you’re looking to buy The Rival – it is not available for Kobo or the Sony Reader. But it is available on the following platforms to give as a gift!

  • The Rival for your lucky recipient’s Kindle on Amazon
  • The Rival for your lucky recipient’s Nook (or Android device) on Barnes & Noble
  • The Rival for your lucky recipient’s iPhone or iPad on iTunes

Good luck with the holiday shopping! I know I enjoy it much more from the serenity of my home computer, cup of tea in hand.

Advertisements

i’ve met the middleman, and her name is lulu

lulu.com, that is. This may not be the straightest path to iBooks for the iPad, but at least it’s one that I can figure out. I have spent most of the afternoon fighting with lulu.com, but finally The Rival is in the magical epub format, it has a working table of contents, and reads properly on generic ereaders like Adobe Digital Editions. And the cover is there, and lookin’ good.

Basically, lulu.com is a website that converts files like Word docs into epub format. Lulu sells eBooks, and they are also an “approved aggregator” for iBooks. I guess they are also an approved aggregator for the Barnes & Noble Nook, but Barnes & Noble’s PubIt! website is actually really easy to use and will also do this for you, so I’ve turned the Nook feature off in lulu.com.

Meanwhile, I have made zero progress for making the book available for Android devices. I like reading books on my Android phone, but trying to figure out how to sell on there is really difficult! I think I have to turn my book into an App! I have no idea how to do this. I have emailed their help desk… expectations low.

tablet sales quadrupled last quarter; ereaders not so much

Such is the news reported by mediabistro’s ebook newser. This comes as no surprise to me! After my experience with reading books on my phone (Samsung Galaxy)¬†and Amazon’s Kindle, I posted this back in July.

While it’s nice being right, the problem is that getting eBooks tablet-ready is hard compared to getting them eReader ready. Grrr. I feel like I need to be a tech genius to make this work!

technology = impatience

I’m getting sooo frustrated with the huge number of not only ereaders, but types of ebook files. I’ve had to start a spreadsheet of all of the websites I need log in info for, and all of the different conversion software I need.

This is exactly why I call myself “the impatient writer”. C’mon, Bethany, it’s not like you’re having to write on parchment with a quill by candlelight! Get over it!

Reminds me of one of my all time favorite Louis C.K. clips.

kindle:past :: android:future… ?

I finished reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle on my Kindle. (I have to agree with my sister on this one – TW-UBC is not Murakami’s finest.) I enjoyed reading the book, and the whole eBook thing really didn’t intrude a whole lot on the experience. However, one of my many smarter-than-I friends called the Kindle a dinosaur, and I have to agree.

My phone, the Samsung Galaxy, is pretty f**king awesome. I can do just about anything on this phone that I can on my computer (except hard-core Microsoft Office stuff), and when it comes to facebook / twitter / photos / video, in a lot of ways the phone is better than my computer. With Android Market, I can read books on my phone AND my computer. The books are in the cloud; I can read them from anywhere. Cool.

Is the book formatting on my phone kind of wack? Yes. But is it any better on the Kindle? Surprisingly, NO. The fact of the matter is, the Kindle does not display books any better than on my phone or computer.

That said, it is a labyrinth trying to figure out how to get books up on Android Market. I messed around with this for a couple of hours today but despite wandering into Google Books, Google Checkout, Android Developer, Google Partners, etc. etc. I feel like I’m no further along than when I started. Sigh.