Total Pageviews

Monday, 26 December 2011

Did Santa put a Kindle in your Stocking?


Well, did he? Last year I got so fed up waiting for Santa to bring me one that I gave myself a Christmas present, a lovely brand new Kindle which I quickly clothed in a swish red leather jacket. I was in book heaven, and my fingers just itched to load it up with books.
 
So, I imagine that if Santa was good to you and brought you one, you’ll be looking forward to filling it with books. Well, you’re in luck because Amazon has loads of free books in their Kindle store, some of them good, some of them not so good, and some of them downright awful. So how do you choose?
 
I played safe and downloaded some classics. You can’t go wrong with them. I went for things like The Adventures of Tom SawyerThe Legends of King ArthurPride and Prejudice, although I’m not really a Jane Austen fan, and there were several more. But being a crime writer I then turned to The Picture of Dorian GrayThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – and of course, I couldn’t resist one or two horror novels like Dracula, - Frankenstein, - and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Now I don’t know what your tastes are, but when you get tired of reading the classics – and who wants to read nothing but classics? Well, maybe you do, but I’m afraid my tastes veer towards fast paced modern fiction so it didn’t take me long to start exploring the lists of other books. And there are plenty to choose from with a variety of prices from the ridiculously cheap to the over the top expensive.
 
I discovered that a lot of traditional publishers have something which is called the Agency Agreement which keeps their prices higher and does not allow Amazon to sell them cheaper. But there are loads of authors out there who are writing what is termed Indie books, it just means independently published books, by authors who are bypassing the publishers. Now, you can find loads of good books published by Indies, and also some, which to be polite, are not so good.
 
So how can you tell the difference? Well, a lot of the books on Amazon allow you to ‘Look Inside’ and by clicking on the cover you can read a short part of the book on the Amazon website. There is also the facility to download samples onto your Kindle, although I’ve always resisted this because I don’t want to clutter up my lovely Kindle with loads of samples.
 
There are also some websites and blogs, like The Famous Five Plus http://famousfiveplus.blogspot.com/ and Loveahappyending.com, although this latter one is not solely for ebooks and promotes authors with print books as well. Here is my page on Loveahappyending.com http://loveahappyending.com/chris-longmuir/ although there are many more authors to choose from. I’m sure if you root around the internet, you’ll find a lot more. It’s also worth googling the author’s name and title of the book you are interested in, and checking up on the reviews, because there are lots of reviewers out there.
 
So, whether Santa brought you a Kindle, or whether like me, you decide to give yourself a Christmas present, happy reading. And I hope you’ll cast your eyes over my selection of ebooks when you’re looking around.







14 comments:

Janice Horton said...

Happy Kindling Chris - and happy Boxing Day too!

Melanie said...

Enjoy Boxing Day and enjoy reading on your Kindle, Sony, iPad or whatever e-reader you choose to use!

Patricia said...

Looking good Chris! I'm a Kindle convert too - never would have believed it. Your advice to sample the writing first is absolutely right on. There are some books (indie and traditional) that don't live up to our expectations and having the opportunity to read a bit before purchasing is a great option! We do want our readers to be delighted with their downloads.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I've loved my kindle for over a year now - so quick to download all those lovely books waiting to be read!

Chris Longmuir said...

Thanks for the comments and I'm glad everyone is enjoying their Kindles, it's the best gadget ever.

Bill Kirton said...

No doubt about it, Chris, the ease and convenience of Kindle has changed the way we read - even though 'real' books are still better. Add to that the fact that my son gave me an iPad for Xmas and I may not have contact with paper for several months. All the best for 2012.

Linn B Halton said...

Always worth paying a visit - you are such an active lady and I don't know how you find time to do so much! Chris Longmuir is on my own Kindle .... so like Bill, my reading for 2012 is already set up! Have a very Happy New Year.

myraduffy said...

It's so easy to use a Kindle and download new writers at little cost,even if some of them turn out to be not very good!
And how is your own new book coming along,Chris? We're all waiting for it!

Chris Longmuir said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments. I see you're becoming a techie convert, Bill. Have fun with the iPad. Hope you enjoy my book(s) Linn. And Myra, the new book is at the halfway mark and it's slow going. I wish my characters would get their fingers out and provide me with some much needed action! Ho Hum, back to work!

Bill Kirton said...

Hardly a techie, Chris. I spent far too long today trying to convert a Word doc, then a PDF file into a mobi format to view on Kindle and iPad. (I'll get a review copy from the publisher but I wanted to try it for myself.) I was using mobipocketcreator but couldn't get it to accept page breaks. Grrrr. Techie phase over until the next tempting bit of software comes along.

Chris Longmuir said...

Bill, you should have saved your Word file as HTML first (In Word that's 'Web Page, Filtered' in the Save as box. My page breaks always stick. Never tried to convert a PDF file through MobiPocket Creator though. Haven't you got my Formatting for Kindle Guide?

Bill Kirton said...

Yes, I have your guide, Chris, but this was pre-formatted by the publisher. I've tried with it as Word as well as pdf doc and the page breaks just don't get through. Not important, I shall overcome.

Chris Longmuir said...

Open your Word document in MS Word then do a 'Save As' and click the arrow on the end of the save as file box where it says 'Word Document' and from the drop down list click on 'Web Page, Filtered' that will save it as an HTML file which you can then import into MobiPocket Creator to do the conversion. Try it and see if it works any better.

Bill Kirton said...

Sorry to be hi-jacking your blog with this, Chris. I actually did do that with another file but I'll try again. I think the problem then was anchoring the cover image. But don't waste more of your time on this. I'll email you to let you know what happens.