Two New eBooks at Amazon Kindle!

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Once a writer writes, the next greatest challenge is finding good readers. Not getting published, mind you, that comes later. No, the next challenge is readers.

I realize that not all writers/authors are open to readers (and certainly not editors). I’ve known professors who never published their good material because they just couldn’t bring themselves to submit to editing. I’ve known writers who scream like their hand’s being chopped when someone suggests cutting a paragraph. In other words, the writer’s ego is tied up in his or her work.

The moral of the story is this: Writers/authors who can’t be edited are usually still “starving artists.” Rich and successful authors have long since learned to appreciate readers/editors.

Assuming, though, that writers are open to review and critique, readers (or editors) can make invaluable contributions toward honing the work.

Readers help writers gauge whether writers are accomplishing what they think they’re accomplishing. Some readers help with content ideas, some help with grammar, some help with “general reaction,” some with expertise in the subject matter can help with accuracy or illustrations, and some can help with marketing strategy.

Some readers simply but importantly help by saying, “I read this sentence five times and it still doesn’t make sense to me.” That’s good. If the reader can’t understand the sentence, the public won’t either. And you can fix a sentence’s structure and flow before it’s published.

Why is finding readers such a challenge? The answer is a list:

--People don’t read. Really, this is part of it.

--Those who read may not have the time. Fair enough.

--People commit to reading a column/article/book manuscript but don’t follow through. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced this, and strangely, I rarely hear from my would-be readers. They seemed to have forgotten not only my work and request but also their pledge to assist.

--You can’t find readers with good writing, grammar, or proofing skills.

--You can’t find readers with enough background in the subject matter to make knowledgeable comments.

--Certain readers read eventually, at long last, maybe. In other words, they say they’ll read and respond by a certain deadline but don’t get it done until the cows jump over the moon. Meanwhile, you’ve long since given up or had to move on with the project.

There’s more, but you get the picture. This is why I hold willing, able, and reliable readers in high esteem. It’s also why, when from time to time I am asked to read, I try to respond as my best readers have responded to me.

Long live good readers.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

I'm still learning the ebook world. It's quite simple yet complex, the latter due to competing businesses like Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. who've created their own non-compatible formats and readers.

For Readers:

Ebook formatting and related matters are in major flux and, like most technology, are converging. This means that as more consumers want ebooks, become savvy in their use and applications, and want to access ebooks on their device, not necessarily the one the ebook company is promoting, companies respond. As they respond, ebook technology tends to converge, moving toward one-stop-shopping.

Plus, "somebody's going to win," just like VHS long ago won out over Betamax video tapes, and just like 8Tracks gave way to cassettes that gave way to CDs that are giving way to wireless on demand downloads. In the ebook world, ePub is becoming more widely used and may emerge as the industry-standard. If so, move over other formats, you’re going the way of Betamax.

So, the popular Amazon Kindle leans toward Mobi files. Adobe Digital Editions, Apple’s iBooks, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook work best with ePub files. But there is a host of new e-reader software available—most downloadable for free, and there are also a great number of “converter software” packages out there making it possible for you to switch from one format to another.

One of the more powerful and free software e-readers is Calibre: http://calibre-ebook.com/. I downloaded Calibre on my Mac and like it. Calibre seems to be able to access ePub or Mobi and a lot of others. Plus it offers you other conversion functions if you need it for your device.

For Authors:

I’ve paid a knowledgeable friend to take two of my books and convert the Word documents to ePub and Mobi. In the meantime, I learned how to acquire an ISBN number and upload the books to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. So both books, “Living for God in Changing Times,” and co-authored with Rick E. Amidon “Today You Do Greatness: A Parable on Success and Significance,” are available via Amazon.com.

Now I’m learning how to help friends access these books with their varying e-reader software downloads via their laptops or iPads, or with their varying e-readers like Nook or Kindle. It’s been challenging but fun.

I have more to learn about ebooks, especially on the author side. For one, since I’m not only author but publisher, I can upload my books not just to Amazon.com but to other distributors too. That comes next.

For E-Reader Newbies:

If you haven’t tried any of this yet and wish to, do this:

1 – Google Adobe Digital Editions, Kindle, or Calibre, depending upon your preference.

2 – Go to the site of choice and click the free download appropriate for your computer.

3 – Once installed, open your new e-reader software and follow steps instructing you how to set up an account (name I.D.—email address, password, and billing information).

4 – Use your new e-reader account to purchase (or acquire free) ebooks from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and many more booksellers.

5 – Open the ebook in your e-reader and begin your e-reading experience.

Happy e-reading.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

I’ve been learning about eBooks. Not what they are or how to read them, that’s easy. But how to create and market them.

An eBook, if you happen not to know, is an “electronic book,” i.e., a manuscript, whether previously published in print or whether ever scheduled to be print published, that is put into a read-only file and posted online. eBooks can be made available for free or for fee.

eBooks have taken the publishing world by storm. No, make that by tsunami. Amazon.com introduced the Kindle in 2007, a portable eBook reading tablet similar to Barnes & Noble’s Nook (2009) and Apple’s iPad (2010). Barnes & Noble is selling three times as many eBooks as print books and since introducing the Apple, iPads have captured 22% of the eBook market.

Recently, Amazon announced: “By July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales, and six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Amazon.com. Today, less than four years after introducing Kindle books, Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books - hardcover and paperback - combined.” This is a pretty amazing change in consumer behavior, a genuine phenomenon.

I’ve been learning how to turn a manuscript into eBook format so I can place more of my writing online and so we can tap into this materials distribution method with SAT-7 USA. What I’ve learned is that it’s not difficult, but like anything worthwhile there’s a time investment and a learning curve required. I’ve given it enough to know that new eBook software is available—that’s what formats the text and makes those cool turn-the-page-on-the-screen eBook functions. And through one of my sons I found a gentleman who does this for a living, so I can talk to him, send my material, pay him an appropriate though modest amount, and get my eBook set up more quickly and more professionally than I could do it myself.

I’ve learned that each book, including each eBook even if it’s simply the electronic version in toto of a printed book, must have it’s own title and a unique ISBN. The ISBN or international standard book number is governed and recorded in the United States by the Library of Congress. They outsource the task, currently to Bowker, and you go to this website, set up an account, and purchase an ISBN for $25 or so. Or you can order ISBNs in blocks of ten or higher if you’re a publisher. Once you receive a new ISBN, you register it on the same site together with the title of your book and, Voila, you have an eBook.

If you haven’t seen an eBook function, ask a friend to give you a demo with an ereader like the ones listed above. Then I encourage you to take the plunge and buy your first eBook for your laptop or for the new ereader you acquire. If the growing number of Kindles, Nooks, and iPads I see on planes is any indication they’ll soon be everywhere.

And oh by the way, you can get my eBooks when they’re released ever so soon. Watch this space.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

Writing a book is like dieting; you don’t do it until you really want to. Then, and only then, you’ll sacrifice, stay committed, and willingly suffer the pain for the gain.

People ask me “How did you find time to write a book?” My standard answer: “I gave up TV.” Which is actually true, I substituted writing for a lot of what typically had been television time. Was this a sacrifice? Not really, because I’d made the decision I really wanted to write the book. So what seemed to be a sacrifice before the decision was made turned out to be enjoyment.

Turning perceived sacrifice into enjoyment gets back to transforming desire into drive, no matter what you aspire to do. This is why I say “Dreamers dream; writers write.” Writers, real writers, don’t sit around thinking about writing. They write.

“If wishes were horses beggars would ride,” so sayeth the old English proverb. Wishing isn’t enough.

I find that people sometimes struggle with turning a dream into decision into drive. There’s something there, that bridge between dreaming and decision, that’s getting in the way. It could be laziness but that’s a bit harsh for most people.

Or to stick with the metaphor, there’s something not there between dreaming and decision. The bridge is missing or in disrepair or disuse.

It could be there’s no bridge because the desire isn’t yet strong enough. Or there’s no bridge even with compelling desire because a capacity to forge ahead is simply missing.

To build a bridge to decision-making, taking us to a drive capable of fulfilling our dream, we must sometimes delve deep within our moral fiber, search our very soul. Who are we? How strong is the skinny person hidden within the obese and does he or she really want to be revealed? Do we have the strength of character to decide?

Taking “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” can be the most consequential step in our lives. It starts us on the path to authorship, to healthy weight loss, to becoming a better me, to crafting a brighter future. Deciding to take the step encourages the drive that enables you to accomplish your goal. Once you’re on the path, what earlier appeared to be sacrifice turns into satisfaction.

There’s no magic potion. Doing begins with Drive, which begins with Decision, which begins with Desire, which begins with a sense of yourself treasured by God.

You matter, and because you matter what you do matters to an infinitely loving and creative Sovereign God. You build the bridge from desire to decision out of your understanding of your eternal worth as a creative human being. You do as unto the Lord as part of your reasonable service to him. He will empower, he will never leave or forsake you.

Writing a book, dieting, or any other worthy goal depends upon the first step, desire building a bridge to decision. The rest of the journey begins here. Build the bridge, take the step, do.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.