Monthly Archives: September 2011

Kindle Catches Fire

Kindle Fire

Image by Dekuwa via Flickr

Amazon has finally announced it’s joining the tablet race with the color, touch-screen kindle fire. Designed to take on the iPad, it’s smaller and cheaper. And even though there’s still a lot of questions about it and it’s not available until November, the kindle fire is already a top seller on Amazon.

As I look at my “old” e-ink kindle, I’m finding I relate to those clinging to paper books much better.

I love my old kindle. Its battery lasts forever, and I can read it almost anywhere, no matter the light. I don’t surf the web on it, don’t read email, and don’t play games. But now that everyone has color tablets out, I have a feeling my black-and-white friend will end up as a speedbump on the electronic highway.

Are all our gadgets racing to the same end? I can read books on my phone, I can make phone calls on my computer, I can surf the web on my TV, and I can watch movies on my e-reader. Is it just me, or are all these things pretty much the same?

Makes me want to turn off the electricity and read a book. A paper book.

Author! Author! Blog Bounce

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What’s the Author! Author! Blog Bounce?? Well, it’s a fun way for readers to find new authors and for authors to connect with their readers!

Authors, all you have to do is click on the link, grab the icon, grab the link, make a blog post (don’t forget to include the link!), and enter your blog on our list. Easy peasy!

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E-Autographs

The one downside to e-readers is the autograph. Getting a personalized signature often requires having something for the author to actually sign – be it the cover of your e-reader, or an autograph book, or bookmark, for example. Now there’s a way to get an electronic signature that you can store right on your kindle (other readers coming soon).

Meet kindlegraph.com.

Kindlegraph is a free service for readers to request an e-signature. What you receive is a PDF that includes the image of the book’s cover and a personalized message and signature from the author. You may have heard about kindlegraph before, but the developer, Evan, recently upgraded the service, making it much easier for authors to create great e-signatures.

Users can have the e-sig sent directly to their kindle (that part’s not free) or you can have it emailed to a different address, whether you have a kindle or not.

If you’d like to give it a try, you can request a kindlegraph of Whirlwind HERE. I’d love to hear from you!

Author! Author! Blog Bounce

Click here to check out the Blog Bounce

What’s the Author! Author! Blog Bounce?? Well, it’s a fun way for readers to find new authors and for authors to connect with their readers!

Authors, all you have to do is click on the link, grab the icon, grab the link, make a blog post (don’t forget to include the link!), and enter your blog on our list. Easy peasy!

Readers…you have the easy job. Just follow the bounce and visit the authors. Leave a comment and let them know that you were there.

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Looking to the Future

A crowd of college students at the 2007 Pittsb...

Image via Wikipedia

Even as I look to the future of my writing, and work on getting book 2 done, a much bigger event is taking center stage this week. My daughter is starting her college search.

Tonight she and I are hitting the first of a couple college fairs so she can start narrowing down where she’ll apply. Her list is long and varied, and involves campuses all around the country. Yup, my husband and I are quaking in our boots…out of state tuition is…holy smokes…

When I look at where I am now, compared to when I went to college, I have to laugh. I was all science and math back in the day – and was not into romance novels. Reading outside of school was rare, and if it happened, it usually had some kind of an engineering spin on it. Who knew I’d end up here?

What I tell my daughter, though, is that even though I don’t really use the technical side of my major anymore, the confidence, independence, and experience college gave me is priceless. I can’t wait to see how college will mold her. Like every mom, I have very high hopes, and judging by her enthusiasm toward school, I expect her to thrive.

If you attended college, what did you take away from your experience? Was it what you expected? What surprised you about the experience?

Happy Monday!

Meet an Author Monday

Check out what other authors are chatting about today. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great stories out there!

Meet an Author Monday

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Filed under Parenting

Musical Mischief

A little musical humor for your Thursday (you may have seen this floating around the net):

Pachelbel is following me, too. When my daughter composed the music for the Whirlwind book trailer, she also turned to the Canon in D:

Go Pachelbel! Now I’m on the search for classical music related to baseball for Book 2…

Author! Author! Blog Bounce

Click here to check out the Blog Bounce

What’s the Author! Author! Blog Bounce?? Well, it’s a fun way for readers to find new authors and for authors to connect with their readers!

Authors, all you have to do is grab the icon, grab the link, make a blog post (don’t forget to include the link!), and enter your blog on our list. Easy peasy!

Readers…you have the easy job. Just follow the bounce and visit the authors. Leave a comment and let them know that you were there.

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Filed under Just for Fun, Ranting

Instant Feedback

Not really.

Image via Wikipedia

As a continuation of my kindle saga, I bring to you Amazon’s newest feature: @author. Billed as a way to connect readers and writers, it allows kindle readers to message the author from within the book. Neat, huh?

I know some authors see it as more work, and at first, I couldn’t see that it’s really that different from someone tweeting or emailing a question to me while reading. But after looking at Amazon’s description of this new tool, I can see how it could have its drawbacks, from my point of view:

Posting a question from the Kindle:
1. Place the cursor at the beginning of the passage you’d like to ask a question about using the 5-way controller, then press down to anchor it
2. Highlight the passage using the 5-way controller
3. Enter your question about the passage you highlighted, beginning with the phrase “@author”…
4. Select “save & share” from the options at the bottom of the note window when finished

So the reader can highlight an excerpt while reading and ask about it (and everyone will see it). Um, can you say “spoiler”?

My first reaction is to wonder who would use this. I have read books where I really wondered where the author was going, or if they’d ever get around to closing a loop they started early on – but I wouldn’t stop reading to ask them. If I really wanted to know, I’d just skip ahead. The answer should be in the book in my hands, right? All I have to do is read it.

If I do have a question for the author, there’s usually umpty-seven ways to reach them – if they want to be reached. But right in the middle of a book? I don’t know.

What do you think? This feature is still in the testing phase, and hasn’t really been touted by Amazon (yet?). Would you stop in the middle of a story to send the author a message about the story? Do you see another benefit to this feature as readers or writers that I’m missing? Or is this just a different version of twitter/facebook/forum?

Meet an Author Monday

Check out what other authors are chatting about today. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great stories out there!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

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