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Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Stephanie Burkhart

Ebooks and Ebook Readers

Ebooks are a growing market, not just in the US, but worldwide. With ebook readers becoming more popular and affordable, I thought I'd take a look at the ebook industry in this last spotlight.

The Hungarian, my paranormal romance, is available as an ebook. You can find it in the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony ebook stores.

Pros to having Ebook reader include: saving space, you can have multiple books on them, they use EInk Technology with black printing on a gray background, and you can take an ebook reader anywhere. I have a Kindle and love it.

Cons – you can't autograph it like you can a print book.

A Kindle supports the Amazon bookstore. They have a wide variety of books which can be wirelessly downloaded on a 3G free network, at the touch of a button. They just came down in price to $189.00 from $259. They have a text to speech feature that will read the ebook to you. Personally I enjoy this feature very much and I use it on my way to work and on my way back home from work. The Kindle is avail through the Amazon website and is being tested for sales in Target stores.

A Nook supports the Barnes and Noble ebook store. You can buy it through the online site or most Barnes and Noble have the Nook available in the store. The WiFi model is $149. If you have wireless Internet, this model should be able to download books with a WiFi connection (but WiFi isn't everywhere). There is a 3G model for $199 and it downloads books at the touch of a button. The Nook also supports audio books.

The iPad is an ebook reader that Apple makes. They have a Kindle and Nook app you can use on it. They do have a bookstore supported through Libre Digital. It offers color and hosts other features such as allowing you to check email and surf the net. The lowest costing iPad is $499 and uses WiFi.

Sony has several different models of their ebook reader. The lowest model runs for $159 and it does not have WiFi or 3G. (But Sony does make more expensive WiFi and 3G models). For the $159 model you would have to download books from their store and upload to the ebook reader.

Borders has just opened the ebook store and is using the KoBo ebook reader to support it. KoBo became available on 17 June.

Ebook readers go around the world and they open up the international markets. Places like New Zealand and South Africa charge extra for print books to cover the shipping costs, but now books can be sold in those markets at an affordable price with an ebook reader.

I hope you got a "flavor" of what to expect from ebooks and ebook readers. If you're thinking about getting an ebook reader, research it well. There are other models then the ones I mentioned. Things to consider when buying an ebook reader include what does it do, price, and what do you want to use it for.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on ebooks and ebook readers. Let me know which ebook reader you have and what you like the most about it. If you have apprehensions about ebooks, I'd love to hear them as well.

Last 5 Books I Read:

5 – Prime Suspect by Melanie Atkins (Romantic Suspense)

4 – Thin Ice by Liana Laverentz (Contemporary Romance)

3 – Knight of Glory by Nicole Zoltack (Fantasy Romance)

2 – No Other by Shawna Williams (Inspirational Romance)

1 – Outcasts by Gail Delaney (Sci-Fi/Speculative Romance)


Link to The Hungarian book trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow

Find me on the Web at:

Website: http://sgcardin.tripod.com

Blog: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

15 comments:

Luziadovalongo said...

I have the least expensive version of the Sony Reader. I like it just fine and don't need any bells and whistles. I, myself, at this stage in my life am not travelling around and so I don't need wifi or anything fancy. One of the pros you forgot to mention is that you can download something new at 2 a.m. if you need a book right then. Another advantage, if that sort of thing bothers you, is that others cannot tell what you are reading. No embarrassing covers. I don't really care but some people seem to.

I like my Sony. The only other ereader I have seen in person is the Kobo and I didn't really care for the feel of it. It is plastic versus my metal Sony.
Jacqueline

Sherry Gloag said...

I don't have an eReader yet, so I still find it confusing that each outlet appears to have their own readers.
What would happen if I wanted to buy an ebook from another outlet, would that mean I couldn't read it on the Reader if it is not supported by the retailer?

As you can see I am still a very confused bunny!!

I've enjoyed reading your blogs this week and wish you good fortune with The Hungarian.

StephB said...

Good morning Jacqueline and Sherry.

Jacqueline - yes, those are definate advantages. I've seen a Sony and it looks very compact and easy to travel. I haven't seen a Kobo yet.

Sherry - I think that's the way the industry is trending - toward the different outlets having their own ebook readers - for them, it gives them busn because most of the formats aren't compatiable.

In that regard I would think outlets like Books on Board, All Romance ebooks, and Smashwords, who offer the different pub formats, might be a good outlet to buy from. Also, keep in mind there are "coverter" programs like Mobi Pocket and Calibre and can convert PDF's to a file that will appear on the ebook reader.

Smiles
Steph

Keena Kincaid said...

I have a kindle, and I love it. I was stuck at the airport last night, so i went to Amazon, found a book I liked and downloaded while waiting. The cost is half that of what I would have paid at the airport bookstore and my luggage didn't get any heavier.

Keena

Linda Acaster said...

Hi Steph, good post, thanks for putting it together for us.

Across in the UK Sony have the edge, with the I-Pad just out (the Kindle has to be imported direct from Amazon USA, there aren't any to test anywhere), but they are all still fairly rare.

Instead, I've downloaded the free applications for my PC from Amazon reading Kindle ebooks and from Adobe Digital Editions reading ePub format used by Nook/Sony, so can read true ebooks rather than just static pdfs on my laptop. Oooh, they are so much better. I can't wait for the prices of ereaders to drop a bit more, and then I think there'll be a big take-up.

Cherie Reich said...

I have a Kindle, and I got it last year for Christmas. At first, I didn't use it much, except to read Stephen King's Under the Dome, which reading that thick heavy book on a Kindle is so much easier. *laughs* Right now, though, I'm reading most of my books on a Kindle, although I still purchase print and ebooks alike.

Linda Banche said...

I have the SONY touch edition, the one that's now selling for $159. I bought it for the price, and also because I have a lot of PDF files that I bought, and I want to read them. I also don't care about bells and whistles, especially since the reader is too big to carry around casually. I read my books while I'm lying down on the couch, and the SONY will do just fine for me.

liana laverentz said...

Oooh! Thanks for the mention of my book! I have yet to switch from print book to e-reader. I have so many books here, and suppose I'd feel like I'd never read them if I switched now. I still like the feel of a book in my hands, though. Have a great weekend, Steph!

StephB said...

Keena - wasn't that convienent? I take my Kindle everywhere with me.

Linda - thanks so much for sharing your experiences - I've heard that ereaders have opened up international markets, but It's interesting to learn that Kindles aren't quite as popular. I can see the appeal of Sony because it's an international brand. I heard the iPad had a strong international opening. I would recommend it.

Cherie - do you usually buy from the Kindle store or do you order from another place and upload it?

Steph

StephB said...

Linda - the Sony is very portable, Is the touch like an ITouch?

Liana - for those books I want to treasure or have autographs for, I get the print copy, but I really enjoy the ereading experience. If you do venture into it, there are plenty of options. Do a little research and make sure you get the one for you. I enjoyed "Thin Ice" very much! I love hockey. hehe

Celia Yeary said...

STEPH--I'm still reading pdfs on my netbook. Granted, there are disadvantages to the netbook if you do like did and load all kinds of things on there, including mail programs. Everytime I open it to read--that's all I want to do--it has to update, scan or something. Finally, I got everything off or on manual if I want to run a cleaner. Still, it's a handy little thing to have and it has a ten-hour battery life. But I will get an eReader one day--I want the dust to settle before I choose one. If I had to buy one today, I'd buy the Kindle. Good posts this week. Celia

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Steph!

I made it over here, finally. I have a Sony e-Reader and I use it mostly for travel. When I'm at home, there are always print books laying around that get my attention first.

I enjoyed your post and it is a nice layout for someone who is thinking of which kind of reader to purchase.

Maggie

Rebecca J Vickery said...

HI Steph,
Fantastic week of posts and thanks for the comparison on ereaders. I am still reading on my laptop for now but am hoping Santa will be bringing an ereader down my chimney this year. LOL Just hope I can decided which model to request in my letter.

Joy said...

I hope to purchase one soon, so your article is helpful. For now, I'm leaning toward the Nook.

Hywela Lyn said...

Just catching up with you here, Stephanie. EBook Readers still haven't caught on very much in the UK and there isn't a lot of choice. I treated myself to the least expensive Sony Reader last year. It was in a discount sale at Smiths, and although it still cost me about $200 I think its worth it to be able to read an e-book anywhere, and to be able to carry as many books as I like with me wherever I am.