So You Want a Signed E-book…

You may be in luck! Thanks to my in-the-know writer friend, Suzanne Lilly (who coincidentally blogs as TeacherWriter) I found out about Kindlegraph.

Kindlegraph “lets authors send personalized inscriptions and signatures (‘kindlegraphs’) directly to the electronic reading devices of their fans.” A smart fellow by the name of Evan Jacobs came up with the idea, and it’s an application that’s growing every day. There are other applications out there, too. Autography is a service that allows ebook signing as well as photographs with authors.

Ebook signings will never take the place of that moment when you (or Cathy-on-a-Stick) gets to meet a real live author, gush about his or her book, and mug for a photo. But it can provide one more way to connect with readers. And I think that may be a good thing.

What a (Digital Book) Deal!

So after I got my Nook Tablet, it seemed like a good idea to download a couple of e-books onto it (so that the Beneficent Mr. Hall wouldn’t accuse me of just getting a Nook so I could play all those nifty game apps. ) Trouble is, I’m…oh, what’s the word?

Cheap. Yeah, that about sums up my spending habits when it comes to books. Which is not to say I don’t buy books. I most assuredly do. I buy my author friends’ books ALL THE TIME. And quite honestly, I need to quit making so many author friends. Anyway, the point is, I decided to look for e-books that were free.

And here’s what I found: a veritable treasure trove of sample books! What a brilliant idea! Publishers produce an e-book that includes 5 to 6 of their authors who’ve recently released books. Let’s see…there was Get Your Book On (Simon and Schuster Younger Readers), and Coolest Chapter Books for Kids and  Awesome Adventures for Kids ( Harper Collins Publishers), Hunger for Dystopian (also Harper Collins), and The Penguin Holiday Sampler (Penguin Publishing), and the list goes on and on.

These sample books are perfect for keeping up with what’s being written in your genre. And all that wonderful writing craft will sink in, and you’ll be a better writer! Or you could just read ’em for the pure joy of reading.

Of course, there’s always the risk that you’ll love what you’re reading and absolutely have to read the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey would say) right that minute. Digital books make that possible–and if you’re a publisher, that’s exactly the point. Giving away fiction samples may hook a reader who loves what he/she has tasted.

Which brings me to one of my favorite books that just happens to have one of my essays in it: Flashlight Memories (Silver Boomer Books). Starting at midnight January 16th till midnight of January 17th, the Kindle book will be free! So for 24 hours, you can get the whole book, FREE!

Now, don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle. You can download the Kindle app (also free) for your computer. And then you can read “A Pickle for a Nickle”  in Flashlight Memories. Plus, you’ll find lots of other wonderful essays about the joy of reading in your free e-book.

And if you happen to spread the word to friends–and they decide to buy Flashlight Memories, well, that would be great. And so much better than wasting money on game apps. Ahem.

Out With the Old, In With the New (Books)

I just came across the most amazing gallery of repurposed books! Books as sculptures, books as lighting fixtures, books as jewelry…well, you get the picture. If you want to see the pictures for yourself, take a look here (Courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald) to see these stylish creations.

I had to check out the featured This Into That Gallery‘s funniest works because I loved that artist’s sense of humor. And I even found something in my price range (okay, technically, the Beneficent Mr. Hall’s price range), as well as so very practical (always a plus when hitting up the Beneficent Mr. Hall for “artsy stuff”):

As much as I love repurposed book art, I can’t help feeling a little sad, seeing an orphaned Great Expectations or Complete Works of Shakespeare gutted or shredded or otherwise torn apart, especially when I consider the digital book takeover. I worry that someday, these works of book art may be the only honest-to-goodness books we have left. And I wonder if years from now, my grandchildren may consider books as antiques. Sort of the way we now look on typewriters. Even the electric ones.

Time and technology march on. And though I said I would never read books from an e-reader, that I loved the feel of a good, old-fashioned book in my hands, that nothing can beat the smell of a well-loved book, or that crackling sound when you open a hardcover book for the first time–I bought a Nook Tablet.

So far, I haven’t done any serious reading on it. We’re still getting to know each other. And I’m still sort of reconciling myself to the digital book explosion.  

I’m sure there’s still plenty of room in the world for e-books and hardback books. And really, I know that as long as there are books, in any way, shape or form, we’re going to curl up and read ’em.

Isn’t it wonderful that the written word, no matter how you read it, will never go out of style?