Okay, so you’re a rabid defender of the traditional paper book and you consider the E-book an anathema. Well, that’s nice and peachy, but if you let go of my throat I’ll tell you how you can benefit from the E-reader revolution, even though you look like ready to douse me in gasoline just for suggesting that thing.
First, embracing the technology (up to a certain point, of course, so you can hold your matches) will allow you to save a lot of money while it allows you to blow wide-open the doors to the brave new world of self-publishing.
Imagine this: having access to hundreds of thousands of new authors and their great (and not so great) books. You’ll be able to sample their work in the comfort of your own home, quickly perusing the samples most e-books distributors provide. If you like the sample, which would be about 30 pages (aprox.) from every book you want to try out, then you can do your homework online and see what other people are saying about it. Then maybe you’ll be able to decide about buying a paperback from this new writer you just discovered.
Still unconvinced? Lots of new authors are putting out a book or two for free, so you to get acquainted with their novels and/or short stories, especially if it’s the first book in a series. Go on, give it a try; maybe you’ll meet your next favorite author this way.
Okay, the guy/book you want to test out isn’t available for free, but most indie authors are either selling at the 99 cents promotional price or at $2.99, which still beats paying $11-$15 for a paperback you may end up not liking. This time, the odds are in your favor.
Now, I understand you don’t want to plunge over $100 in an e-reader just to scope out this brand new territory. You can still take advantage of all this with just a brief investment in time and some real estate of the hard disk inside your computer.
How can you start?
Most probably, you already have some sort of Adobe Acrobat-like PDF reader installed in your computer, which is a great first step; most authors use this format to distribute free samples of their first book. But the top players are the PC versions of the Kindle and Nook readers. You can easily download the Kindle4PC software at this link (I’m guessing you have an Amazon account, if you’re such a rabid reading fan).
But there are a lot of other e-book formats out there vying for your attention, so you may be better off downloading Adobe’s Digital Editions software here.
Ok, so you’re set in the software side. Where to get samples and/or free e-books? Well, if you have an Amazon account, just search for “Free e-books” and you’ll be promptly offered a wide array of free e-books for you consideration. Also, you can sample e-books like as if there’s no tomorrow. Go. Get crazy. Sample away.
Problem is, Amazon only allows you to sample 10% of each book, so you may end up with 28 pages of reviews and praises over that particular novel and only 2 pages of actual text. If you don’t think this is enough (and it isn’t) you may want to consider joining Smashwords, another e-book distributor, which allows the writer to set the limit of the allowed sampling of their works. Some only allow 10 %… other more generous writers allow 20% or 30%. Myself, I believe in giving all what’s reasonable to let the buyer decide if my books are good for him or her, so I generally set the sampling percentange to 40%. You can download 40% of my own short story collection Cuentos right here.
Well, I hope all this will get you interested enough to participate in the E-reader revolution in some sort of half-assed way (to say the least) and perhaps even lead you to use it in your advantage at making the final decision of buying some great paperbacks from some of the great indie writers languishing out there (namely moi.. Ahem!)
Happy Hunting errr… Reading