Friday, June 04, 2010

GIVEAWAY: E-Books! E-Book Reading Devices! What do you think?

Thanks so much to everyone who left a comment. I appreciate all the great info! I put everyone's name on little slips of paper and put them in my mini-coffin. The name I picked is: Jeanette 8042. Send me your contact information and I'll get in touch about which book you'd like.
I'm offering encouragement in the form of a prize for my blog readers' opinions. Since I jumped into the e-book pool in mid-March, 2010 by putting up versions of my two trade paperback vampire novels (THE VAMPIRE SHRINK and DARK HARVEST) and an erotic paranormal novella I regained the rights to (UNDEAD IN THE CITY) on Kindle and Smashwords.com, I've been pleasantly surprised by the excellent results. I have been able to introduce my books to many, many new readers.

Now, I'm thinking about which e-book reading device (or devices) I might want to buy: Kindle? Nook? iPad?

So, I'm hoping you'll give me your thoughts about ebooks and ebook reading devices. Do you like reading books in e-form? Do you own an e-reading device? More than one? What do you like/not like about them? What's your opinion about how popular e-forms of books will be in the future? Do you only read paper books? Would you be upset if the predictions about ebooks becoming more available than paper books were to come true?

I'll give away a copy of either an e-copy or a print copy of one of my books (your choice) to a commenter here. I'll choose a winner (and will post the name on the blog) on Sunday evening, June 13.

This topic can be a heated one, so please keep your comments "polite."

30 Comments:

Blogger SandyG265 said...

I don't have an e-book reader but my brother has a kindle and really likes it. I'm waiting to see if the rumors are true about a new model coming out in August.
I don't think e-readers will entirely replace print books. I'd still want to curl up with a book and, I like browsing through bookstores.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I've been able to borrow a large selection of ebook readers and found I prefer the Sony models. They are simple and to the point. Not lots of unnecessary extras. BUT, the screens are still too small and I can't seem to find a comfortable grip on any of them.

Overall, they are perfect for travel 'cause you can stick them in your purse... BUT I prefer paper in my hands.

11:59 AM  
OpenID madhoss said...

I've been reading e-books for years and years, and love them. I could go on and on, but I'll try to keep it short. Or short-ish.

I would say if you want a device just to read books on, and nothing else, any of the ones available seem to be pretty decent, although I'm terribly annoyed by the fact that none of them are backlit so that I can read in the dark without attaching a book light.

If you want something that's more multi-purpose, then the IPAD would do it for now, or wait for one of the many other tablets that will be coming out. There are several that look pretty nifty scheduled for the next few months. I currently read on a netbook, and that's what I'll keep doing until a touchscreen tablet comes out that I think is worth the money.

I think most of the smartphones have reader software of some sort available, too, so there's always that option. Which, in my opinion, if you already have an i-phone or android phone or something, you might as well use that since you've got it anyway.

OK, I'll stop now. :)

Chris

12:04 PM  
Blogger jeanette8042 said...

I don't have an e-reader but sometimes do read ebooks because they're either cheaper or the book is only published in that format.
I think it's a convenient device to have but I will always love my paperback books and continue purchasing them.
I think there are a lot of pros and cons between the different e-readers but personally if I decided to purchase one I would choose the Kindle just because I love Amazon.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Tyava said...

For the authors and series I am invested in I will cotinue to buy the traditional paper models but I also find myself buying e-copies because of the easy access to them. I also buy e-copies of authors I have not read before or whom I may have not read in a long time.

Since I have a blackberry and an I-Pod Touch and a laptop I don't need my e-reader to do aything but provide easy access to my electronic materials. I bought a Kobo because it had good reviews and was the most reasonably priced and I love it! It's the perfect size, easy to use, holds a charge for two weeks, feels nice in your hands, and can read multiple formats, including PDF. Hopefully this will help in your decision making but it all comes down to what features you are looking for and the price you are willing to pay.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Oh yeah, guaranteed to be a loaded subject, but one of my favorites! I'm convinced there is the perfect, soul-mate eReader out there for ever person, it's just a matter of finding out what's imporant.

If you want eInk for battery life and low eye strain, the three biggest players I'm aware of are the Kindle, nook, and Sony (there are lots, lots more third party devices, you can check out forums devoted to them at MobileRead if you're interested).

If you don't have any eBooks that you want to transfer on to the device, the Kindle is very usable and Amazon has the best website and variety. If you have pre-existing DRMed eBooks, the Kindle doesn't play well with others.

The nook was the only other wireless option available when I got an eReader, but Sony has come out with once since then. Nook allows you to buy straight from B&N (not as good as Amazon, but they'll improve) and sideload all the eReader and ePub files you have. Sony has the most open platform, but their store isn't that great either.

The iPad, of course, is probably the most flexible option. You can install both Kindle and B&N reader on it, use iBooks or any third party app you want and buy from where ever you like. The estimated battery life is at 10 hours, too, which is pretty great.

I highly recommend the MobileRead forums for a deluge of information on every possible eReading platform out there. And you just might find the perfect one for you :-)

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had a Sony PRS 700 for a year and a half. I love it. I now prefer to read books in ereader format. I love being able to change the font size. I also love that my reader has a built in book light. I chose the Sony because it gave me a choice of places to buy books from. I think there is no one best ereader, that it comes to personal perference.

Lisa H.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I don't own an e-reader and don't plan on buying one. If I win an e-book or buy one (which isn't often) I will download it to my computer and read it.

I don't own a cell phone of any kind so downloading it to that device is out. My land line phone is good enough for me. When I'm out of the apartment I don't need to be in touch (but that's another story for another time..lol)

I like paperback books that I can see, feel, touch and share with family and friends. I don't think e-readers will totally replace print books and I for one am really glad about that. I still buy more print books than any other type.

3:06 PM  
Blogger cfisher1504 said...

I gotta a Kindle for Christmas. Love it!!! AT&T will be increasing their data plan...this could be expensive for the ipad...I also heard that the ipad is very heavy....Kindle is light....dont know much about the Nook....I dont think it is selling well. I love my Kindle...its so awesome...I live out in the country and no stores...not even a grocery store...I like buying a book in a snap!!! I waited a long time to get my ereader and did lots of research...to me the Kindle was a no brainer.

3:52 PM  
OpenID Pamela said...

I do not own an e-reader, I have no plans to buy one (unless they become ridiculously cheap...like $25) since the money can be better spent on traditional books.

That said, I DO have experience with them and have no problem with them for purposes they seem well suited to fill: for college textbooks, and non-fiction reading and research they are quite useful.

I have tried to read fiction on them and it always 'feels' like a manuscript waiting to be edited as opposed to a book drawing me into the story. The 'changing' of pages is particularly disruptive to my enjoyment of them as a way to read fiction.

I have tried the Kindle and seriously dislike it. I have not tried the i-Pad but based on the reviews I have seen thus far, I think I will give them some time to work out the bugs. I have tried the Nook and find it the least annoying and it is quite useful for storing research materials and for non-fiction reading. I like its screen the best and appreciate that it is backed by a bookstore as with a genuine investment in books instead of Amazon.

Bottom line, if I want to curl up with a good book and let it take me away ... it will be paper.

4:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

Having an incredibly bad case of back-pocket-destructivitis, I held off for a long time on an e-reader. I was sorely afraid I would crush a $300 device in seconds by putting it in my back pocket and sitting on it.

However, I got a Sony Reader last November (birthday gift), and don't know how I ever got along without one. The key things for me (and why I chose the Sony) are that I can use it for a number of eBook formats, and I can load my own works-in-progress, as Word Docs, RTF files, Text files, or PDFs.

I have traveled a couple of times and currently have about 65 books loaded. The reader stores 350 or more. With all the new airline restrictions, even traveling with five or six books can be a real pain.

The agreement between the publishers and the ebook suppliers to provide best sellers for $9.99 has made a substantial difference. I could see charging $17.95 or more for an eBook if the author got 75%-80% but not when the publisher still gets the lion's share of the selling price.

The Sony, and a few others, also have the capability to download/upload millions of books available through the Gutenberg project.

The only real downside is that you can't SIGN an ebook, and I'm accumulating a large number of signed books from friends and professional acquaintances.

5:10 PM  
Blogger shortyal2008 said...

I recommend getting an I-phone. LOL it's not what your asking, but if you use it or the Ipad(?) you get all the apps available for it and you have other uses. I have an I-phone and I love it. The screen is small but it's awesome to use. I've thought about getting a kindle but really there's no need with my I-phone. If you do get an e-reader I think I would go for the kindle. However, on my I-phone I have both apps so get books from all over.

good luck,
Alicia

5:11 PM  
Blogger kimberleighpaints said...

I haven't ever used a e-reader, they are slowly coming to Canada I may look into one but I am a purest I love to curl up and crack the spine of a great nook and get list fir a few hours at a time....but an e- reader woul be nice for reading in bed, I have wanted an ipad for that but have to look into things before I commit, just really like the multiple functions with it

5:25 PM  
Blogger Scott Romanski said...

I have a Sony PRS-600-the "Touch" model. I love it. It is great for traveling, since it will fit anywhere. Currently i am only using it for e-book formated only novels..if it is available in print, i tend to buy it that way. I also use it fro out of print/hard to find books sometimes. I decided to go Sony since it seems to be the best option for importing non-sony-store bought books, based upon what i tried and found. The iPad wold be a great option, if you want to use the other features as well. If not...it's an overpriced reader.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous C.D.W said...

I researched for about 6 months before I decided which ebook is best for me. while everyone has their own prefrences I am going to suggest the nook. The kindle is very nice, however, the nook has some features that the kindle does not have. For instance, if the battery in the kindle dies you will have to send the whole device back. The nook on the other hand has replaceable batteries. Also, on the nook their is a spot for SD Micro card. So you will be able to have more memory on your e-reader. The kindle does not have that option. Just a little bit of information for you to think about. Also, since the nook was made they have done plenty of updates so the colored touch pad is much better. :0)

2:22 AM  
Blogger Sela Carsen said...

My hubby bought me a Nook for my birthday this year and I'm in love! I've already read several books, sideloaded content I already had on my computer, picked up LOTS of freebies and it goes with me everywhere -- including to the pool yesterday!

I don't think print books are ever going to disappear, but I've never been married to format. I read for the story. I still buy paperbacks, but this opens up a whole world of stories that will never see print because they're too short or for some other reason.

I couldn't be happier because life with an e-reader truly is the best of both worlds.

6:48 AM  
Blogger susan said...

Call me "old fashion" but I perfer a print book. Several co workers have e-readers but I like to hold the book and enjoy the covers as well as the story line. Most co workers have the Kindle and they love it so I guess they are rather nice. susan L.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Dina said...

great ?, I don't ownone or even an i-phone, so I'm learning also. I enjoy print books and work on computer all day, so don't really enjoy reading books this way. Also, the price is a concern since I don't think I'd use is as much, so still deciding if it's a good investment for me. Need a new comp, so tha will be the 1st thing for me to get. ;)

7:51 AM  
Blogger s7anna said...

I have an eBookwise reader...it's a really simple early version of a reader. It's super simple to transfer books over...via USB and if you have books from Fictionwise, you can transfer via your library at eBookwise.

I still wanted to get another reader...one that can handle .pdf books...If the nook was able here in Canada I would totally get one of those. However, since that's not an option...I'd go with a Kindle or a Sony reader.

I'm not too keen on an iPad for everyday use...It's just not a comfortable size...as much as it's multi-purpose device...I want a dedicated reading device.

I am a HUGE fan of ebooks...I have over 1000+ on my macbook and it's continuously growing. However, it hasn't stopped me from buying print books...

*hugs*
Anna

10:50 AM  
Blogger jellybelly82158 said...

I don't have an e-reader right now but my husband said he would buy me one for my birthday. I have been research on them and I think I like the Sony touchpad the best for what I want. I don't care if it can get on line like a computer. I have a laptop computer for that. I want it to read ebooks, listen to audiobooks. and I want it to be expandable. Also I want it to handle many formats. The Soney touchpad does all of that plus you can get it at Sam's club for under $200 right now.

10:52 AM  
Blogger SiNn said...

to be quiet h onest the price you pay for a kindle uc ouldbe a laptop mini and get the same effect with out haven the rick of amazon taken the books you buy off of it personally im a true die hard sony fan so when i buy one willbe a sony i dont put much trust in b&n and amazons readers simply because well they have a vested interest to get you to buy more were as sonys only interest is that your happy with their product and willing to come back and be a loyal customer

I love books e-books and print
the convience of e-books are awesome and i do love to read them im still way partial to print copies too and if i read a good e-book im more then likely to buy the print version soona s its available

i agree with sandy ereaders wont replace regular books too many people love to hold books in their hands

hope that helped

2:01 PM  
Blogger April Ash said...

I just got a Kindle after using an older Sony ereader for years. Love the Kindle features.
Saw an iPad and loved it, but it's more expensive.
I don't buy paper books now...have too many sitting on shelves!
april@aprilash.net

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Lakisha Spletzer said...

Wow, so many comments, but most positive.

I just want to say that I just got the Sony Touch E-reader on sale from Wal-Mart for $198 (that's $100 less than at Sony's website).

I'm still learning how to use it but so far I like it. Only downside is there is no backlight but other than that, it's lightweight, came with USB cable, stylus pen and protective sleeve/case.

I have been downloading a lot of freebie ebooks (allromance.com, manybooks.net, smashwords.com) and had been reading them on my computer.

With my ereader, I'm not confined to my computer desk anymore and this is awesome.

I too did research on the Kindle, Nook, Sony ereaders, and the Kobo. I didn't even bother looking at the Ipad because I don't normally get Apple/Mac products (mostly because I can't afford them).

Out of the four I looked at, Sony and Kobo were the most affordable and had the best mix of features. I like that both have the expansion ports for SD cards. Which allows more ebooks to be accessed. Neither the Kobo nor the Sony ereader I have are wireless-enabled (though Sony does have an ereader that is around $400 that is wireless) but that doesn't matter to me. It's just as easy to plug in the USB cord and download directly to the device from my computer.

Now that I've babbled about the ereaders, I just want to say that I love the feel of a paperback book. As a reader and as a writer, I embrace both styles of reading and purchasing books.

I don't think ereaders will ever replace physical books but they will allow more authors to be discovered and cherished.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Lady Beatrice said...

While there are times that I love the feel of that romance paperback in my hand, smell the slight mildew of the pages as well as hear the scrape of the pages as they turn there is something to be said for the latest technology in e reading devices. They store a large number of books that you can reach by a mere touch. A variety can be stored from historical to the paranormal, enough to keep anyone from getting bored. And anonymity, when your really into that one hot steamy romance that you just have to read no one else has to know what you are reading. All this packed within one electronic device.... Yes! I have had my Sony Ereader for 2 years now, got it for my birthday from my family and I adore it. I have heard of the Nook and the more eleborate Sony readers and would love to give them a try. Reading romance in any form is a treat. All the more reason to make that reading all the more enjoyable... Read on!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

I love my Sony e-reader for the simple fact that I have freedom to buy from different websites and it's easy because it accepts .pdf format. I still enjoy buying books in paper form too. But the ease of having more than one book on hand is awesome.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Hilburn: I just read the Vampire Shrink on Kindle for Mac and iPhone. I loved it!

As for the eReader question, the best choice, for me, is to stick with a Kindle of some sort. Kindle has a wide network of devices and software available to view my e-books anywhere, anytime. I don't actually have a Kindle, but I have read countless novels seamlessly on multiple devices no matter where I am or what device is available: iPhone, Macbook, PC or iPod Touch.

Also, you can adjust the font size and color and the background color and screen brightness for your comfort.

I am planning on eventually getting the iPad and I know that my Kindle library will be waiting for me there when I do. With an iPad, I can not only read my books, handle email, surf the net, buy more books, watch movies, use other apps, etc. My Macbook can do this too, but sometimes I like to travel light and the iPad would be perfect for this. Hope this helps!

Looking forward to more Kismet, Devereux and Alan!!!

May W ;)

11:13 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

I love my NOOK!!! I just bought it a few days ago and absolutely love it!!!

I have been reading eBooks since the beginning of 2007...I read them on my Palm PDA so the format that I purchased them in was both PDF and eReader.

So, I chose the Nook because it supports those two formats and I don't lose the ability to read my older books on my eReader.

The other incentive for me was that B&N is offering a $50 GC with the purchase of the Nook...so I received $50 worth of free reads!!!!

9:32 AM  
Blogger michelle said...

Interesting that I found this post today. I actually just bought your book The Vampire Shrink at Smashwords the other day! (As a side note, I had problems with the formatting on the epub version on my Sony reader and had to download the pdf version isntead...might wanna check it out.)

Anyhoo, I never thought I would like to use an ereader, but I got a Sony Pocket Edition reader and absolutely love it! I probably would have gotten the Touch version if I thought I would like it this much. One extra for the Sony is that you can get ebooks from the library if you have a library that loans ebooks in your area.

I'm obsessed with ebooks now and only recently have discovered self-pubbed authors and I now seek them out. This includes authors like you who have already been published in print as well as brand spanking new never published before authors. I think this whole ebook phenomena and self-pubbing can really be a win-win situation for both authors and readers.

In addition to my Sony reader I also have an IPod Touch so I use that to read Kindle books. I also have the Stanza reader on my ITouch so I can read non-kindle books. Due to the size I prefer to read short stories or novellas on it but I'm sure I could read a full novel as well. It does have an advantage of having some backlighting so you can read in the dark without an external light source. However, the backlighting could also tire your eyes out more. Ereaders with the e-ink technology are very easy on the eyes and the ability to change the font size has come in very handy.

One reason I didn't want a Kindle as my main ereader is because they don't indicate in any way what the length of the book is unless there is a print book available. If there is no print book to reference, you have no clue if you are buying a short story or novel. Also, your reading progress is shown as a percentage rather than pages...I don't like that.

Ereaders have plenty of room for improvements, so I'm sure we will be seeing better and better models in the future.

I believe print books will be around for quite a while yet but the ratio of print books to ebooks will gradually change.

I still read print books and will continue to do so but I do love the fact that ebooks take up no space in my house! On the other hand ebooks have lesser value to me because I can't do whatever I want with them like I can a print book (sell, trade, loan, donate). Since I don't re-read, it basically becomes a disposable product. It either eats up space on my hard drive or I delete it...that's all I can do with it.

There are pros and cons to both print and digital, but I am enjoying the best of both worlds right now! :)

8:39 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Thanks so much to everyone for all the great comments! I appreciate all your helpful input!

May W: Thank you so much for telling me you read (and liked) my books! You made my day. It's great of you to write. I'm working on the third book in the series and will hopefully be able to get the book published!

Thanks again, Michelle, for your help with the formatting question. I turned the info over to Mark at Smashwords and we'll figure something out! Thanks for buying my book! I hope you like it.

7:45 PM  
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