Tag Archives: Amazon Kindle

NaNoWriMo What?

You might have seen people (authors) talking about the magical mystical thing called NaNoWriMo recently and wondered what the heck it is. No it’s not text speak for something illegal or immoral, it’s short hand for NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth. Every November a call is put out to writers everywhere to stop, drop and write. Many of us are talk about that book idea that’s a guaranteed best seller, but until it’s on “paper” it’s just a pipe dream. The point of NaNoWriMo is to wake us up and get us to write the darn book!

To help motivate us and keep us accountable, the Office of Letters and Light has set up a website, nanowrimo.org. It’s a place to connect with other writers and track your writing progress. No, you don’t actually publish your writing – this is an honor system setup – but you do post how many words you’ve written.

Oh, did I mention, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days? That’s half a novel like Whirlwind.

Now that I have Book 2’s first draft just about finished, I’ll be working on getting Book 3 in the Whirlwind Series kick-started during NaNoWriMo. So if you don’t hear from me, I’ll be busy writing as fast as I can.

Are you a writer? Join me in this writing-fest – I’m blondieakarobin on the nanowrimo website. If you’re a reader, be sure and cheer on your favorite authors as they write their minds out. If you want to know how I’m doing, click on the link. I can use all the love and whipping–er–support I can get!

Reading by the (Kindle) Fire

What would be better on a cold winter night than a hot, new Kindle Fire filled with great reads? You can win just that, in time for Christmas* by entering the Reading Next to the Kindle Fire giveaway.

Entering is easy. Click on the image to find the entry form and the list of participating authors. 20+ books are also included in the prize, so check out the authors on the list.

And be sure and follow this and other participants’ blogs to get the latest info on the giveaways, the books, and more fun stuff. You can subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the box on the right.

Good Luck!

*Christmas delivery for US winners only. See the Rules below the entry form for more information.

Author! Author! Blog Bounce

Click here to check out the Blog Bounce

It’s Thursday, and that mean’s it’s time to 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!

All you have to do is click on the picture!

Leave a comment

Filed under giveaway, Holidays, Reading

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

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!


Filed under Reading

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


Filed under Reading

Kindle Goes to School

Amazon Kindle eBook Reader

This probably won’t be a surprise to many, but I love my kindle. I still read “real” books, but I love the convenience and selection I get on my ereader. It’s so great that I even loaded my high-school-age daughter’s summer reading books on it – the classics, like Dante’s Inferno, were free!

What I didn’t take into account was that when school started, she’d need to take her summer reading books to school.

Now, I trust my daughter. I warned her not to drop her backpack with the kindle in it, and keep it under wraps – I didn’t want prying eyes and sticky fingers to get any ideas. “YES MOM!” was her answer. But my main concern was her teacher. What if he took it? (Okay, I’m a little paranoid, but as I said, I LOVE my kindle!)

You see, the high school has strict rules about many things. No drugs. No weapons. No suggestive clothing. AND…no electronics. I knew the intention of the rule was to keep kids from playing video games or listening to their iPods during class, but would the school be discriminating enough to know the difference between an MP3 player and an electronic book? Luckily, the answer was yes.

In fact, the instructor’s response was “I was wondering when these would start showing up.” Another student also had her kindle in class, and everything was fine.

Now I’m left with a different dilemma. I know a kindle (or nook) is in both my kids’ futures. They’re avid readers, and would definitely use them. I’d also like to think their rooms might be a little cleaner without the piles of books everywhere (yeah, right). It’s just a matter of time.

My question to you today is, how do you manage a child’s ereader? Do they have their own amazon/B&N account, or do you connect them to yours? I wish amazon had a way to lock individual books or collections with a password – then I wouldn’t have to worry about my kids picking up my kindle and reading one of the hot romance novels I have on it.

If you have a nook, I’d like to hear from you, too. The library lending feature is something I think would be great for kids.

And, just so you know, Christmas is only 108 days away.

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.


Filed under Parenting, Reading

Happy Cyber Monday!

A woman typing on a laptop

Image via Wikipedia

Thanksgiving came and went…well, unless you’re still working on leftovers!  Did you venture out for Black Friday or are you online today, enjoying the now traditional Cyber Monday specials?  Me, I didn’t venture out until yesterday.  The sales before Thanksgiving were enough for me, and I didn’t want to get in the way of the ninja shoppers out this weekend.  Yes, I’m a shopping wimp!

It’s kind of ironic that we finish our look into eReaders with a mostly tongue-in-cheek look at hard-copy books today (the busiest internet shopping day of the year).  I’m not sure I can say that the traditional form of books, ink and paper, is still going strong, but it’s a long way from dead.  So why would you want to invest in one?  Here’s my take…and for the record, the last book I bought was a paperback, not an ebook.

Whirlwind available 12/21/10Which eReader hard copies do you have? How long have you owned it?

I’ve been reading print books for years, decades, actually.

What features do you like best?

Paperback books are my favorite – they’re small, portable, and durable.  I can share them with friends and their batteries never die.  I love to give books as gifts.

How do you load books on your eReader read hard copies? (wirelessly, connect to computer, other?)

One page at a time.  There’s nothing easier than opening a book.

What kinds of eBooks hard copies do you load on your eReader (formats – PDF, epub, other) have? Do you load them from sources other than the default bookstore? (e.g. amazon for Kindle or iBookstore for iPad)

I do have quite a few hard-cover books and magazines.  I pick up books from all kinds of places.  The market; the mall; the airport; and the library, just to name a few.

Where do you use your eReader hard copies? (in the car, outside, at work, at home, traveling)

All of the above. Books are tough, so they go everywhere.  A splash of coffee or being dropped on a busy commuter train doesn’t hurt them.  They may get a little damaged, but remain readable.


Image by masaaki miyara via Flickr

Does it have an annotation feature?  Do you make notes?

I generally only make notes in my non-fiction books, and dog-ear the pages. Otherwise, my notes are few and far between.

Can you read your eBooks hard copies anywhere else? (on your computer or your phone) Do you?

I love taking a paperback to the beach. The sand doesn’t hurt it, and sometimes the salty-sea smell lingers on the pages after I get back home.

Do you share your eReader hard copies with anyone?

I swap books with my friends occasionally.

What else do you do on your eReader with your hard copies? (browse the web, watch videos, read magazines, etc)

There’s no distractions reading a hard-copy book.  No beeping that you have email, no chat requests.  It truly is an escape for me.

How did you get your eReader hard copies? (buy in store, buy online, win it, receive it as a gift, other)

All of the above!

What accessories do you have for your eReader hard copies?

A book light is about the only accessory I use.  A book mark is nice, but any scrap of paper will do.

How many books do you have on your eReader?  How many hard copy books do you have?

I must have a couple hundred books, including several dozen ebooks.

Any other comments about your eReader hard copies?

My bookshelf is much more than a place to store information.  It’s part of my home, my life…something I look at everyday. It holds knick knacks, photos, games, and books.  My home would feel empty without it.

Meet an Author Monday

Click here to visit other sites on the Meet an Author hop

I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion of various eReaders.  There’s something for everyone…and avid readers I’ve spoken to don’t limit themselves to one format. Whether you escape into a paperback, a Kindle, an iPad or some other for of eReader or media, it doesn’t matter.  In the end, it’s only the READING that matters!

Keep reading!


Filed under Internet, Reading