Monday, June 30, 2014

Everything You Wanted to Know About e-Books, Find Free e-Books, This Week

by J.Q. Rose

Image courtesy of ddpavumba /

The more you read, the more things you will know. 
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. 
--Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with my Eyes Shut!

As unusual as it sounds to many of you, some readers are not familiar with e-books and are afraid to ask about them. I decided to offer a little primer for information on e-books today to help dispel the mystery behind where they came from and how to get them. Even if you are an e-book reader, you may pick up some fun facts here. Please feel free to add more information so we can all help more people enjoy e-books.

What is an e-book?

An e-book is simply the manuscript of what could be a print book, but instead of being printed on paper, the story is tossed into a mystical place called a formatter so that the manuscript comes out as an electronic file or electronic book, hence the term e-book. This file, also known as a digital file, can be read on an electronic or digital device. Because of the size of the files, this allows a reader to carry an entire library in his pocket.

Just as Gutenberg’s printing press in 1440 revolutionized publishing and and made the Bible more accesible to readers in those times, the development of the e-book has made books more available and less expensive for contemporary readers.

The electronic book (e-book) was born in 1971 as eText #1 from Project Gutenberg, a
project created by visionary Michael Hart to publish electronic versions of literary works.
Thanks to the internet which appeared on the scene in 1974, the invention of the web by
Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, and the release of the first public browser Mosaic in 1993, forty
three years later, ebooks are a major factor in modern publishing.

They are readily available on our computers, mobile phones, smartphones, and e-book
readers by purchasing the e-books through booksellers online. The major player in the publishing business is Amazon with its Kindle reader and apps. They sell anywhere from 50%-70% of the e-book market. This figure varies depending on the reports you read. 

But even with this mega company, online booksellers and publishers are popping up all the time. Take a look at a sample of the companies where you can purchase e-books.
            Amazon US (Kindle)
            Barnes & Noble
            BooksOnBoard - Mainstream
            Bookstrand - Mainstream
            Coffee Time Romance
            Sony e-Reader Store
            Diesel E-books
            All Romance Ebooks
            Apple iBookstore
            DriveThru Fantasy
            DriveThru Horror
            DriveThru Sci-Fi
            Muse It Up Publishing
         Publishers/small presses

How do I get the e-book?
Choose the device you will be using to read your e-books. Then you will know what book
seller to use to purchase the correct format/file that is compatible with your device e.g.

E-book Formats
.mobi and .prc for Kindle devices and Kindle apps
epub- for Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)
Amazon (Kindle reader and apps) and Barnes and Noble (Nook reader}make it easy to purchase your e-book using your credit card. When you order the e-book you want using your account, the bookseller charges your card and magically your e-book appears in your reading device. Very convenient.
Sideloading--If you order from a different bookseller/publisher, you will have to sideload your book (digital file) by attaching the cord to the computer where you download and save the file, then hooking it to your reading device. Check your particular device for complete instructions.
 Why read an e-book?
Yes, that may be the most important question. Why bother with e-books when we have print books. Here's my list of why I love reading e-books. (In fact I still enjoy reading print 
books too!)
  • E-books are less expensive to purchase. You can also check with your local library to find out if they have e-books to check out.
  • Download a sample of the e-book, usually 15% of the total pages, so you can check it out before purchasing.
  • E-books are easy to carry with you when traveling, going to the beach, or sitting on your front porch.
  • The font is adjustable so I can enlarge or decrease the size of print
  • When I finish reading, the page is automatically book marked for me so next time I turn on the device, the page will be right there for me to begin reading.
  • Dictionary is available to look up the meaning of a word just by highlighting the word.
  • When I turn pages, there is no noise to wake up my DH
  • E-books take up no room on my already packed shelves

Free Ebooks links-

Find lots of free e-books online. A lot of them are the great classics.

            Free E-books
            Project Gutenberg
            20 Best Websites for Free E-books

            Promotions through the bookseller or publisher

When my first mystery novella, Sunshine Boulevard, was released e-book form in 2011, instead of selling the book at signings, I was introducing e-books to most of the folks who attended. When my second mystery/sweet romance, Coda to Murder, hit cyberspace, more people had reading devices and actually were anxious to check out the story. 

Book publishing is exploding with new authors, publishers,  and e-books. What an exciting time.

Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. 
You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. 
You bring your history and you read it in your own terms. 
                                                                        –Angela Carter

Thanks for stopping in today. Please leave a comment.  Do you read e-books? What do you like or dislike about reading e-books? Do you have a favorite site to download your free e-books?

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This Week:

Wednesday, July 2-- Insecure Writers Support Group IWSG page Join hundreds of writers for this amazing monthly blog hop to learn about writing, get tips, and help other writers with their insecurities. 

Thursday, July 3-- Because of the Fourth of July holiday this week, the How to Begin Recording Your Life Story series will resume on Thursday, July 10. If you're in the USA, I'm sure you'll be celebrating the anniversary of the birth of the USA! Stay safe...


Conda Douglas said...

Hey JQ,

Just wanted to mention that if you don't have an eReader, it's easy to download the free app to your computer, tablet or phone.

And I have a Kindle too, but I downloaded the app to my phone and always download to both devices. Now when I get stuck someplace I've always got tons to read on my cell phone! With Whispersync you can switch back and forth.

emaginette said...

You're right some people don't get the ebook or how it works. I've loved them for years and read on my phone, tablet and ereader. :-)

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

Leona~Author said...

I read on a kiindle app on both my computers. I get daily emails for free and discounted books from:Pixel of Ink, Kindle Books and Tips, Book Bub.and The Fussy Liibrarian.

Needless to say, my kiindle app has so any books, it's my own private library.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Conda. I only use my Kindle for reading so I haven't had any experience with using other devices. Heck, I'm just learning to text with my little trac-fone.!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi emaginette, thanks for stopping by today!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Leona, yes I forgot to mention all the free book sites like the Fussy Librarian, etc. We could spend 24 hours a day reading and never run out of free books!

Anonymous said...

Hi JQ, thanks for the list of free book sites. I'll check out the ones I hadn't heard of - thanks! I was given an e-reader for my birthday, and I must admit at first I was dubious. Could this device ever replace the delight of a printed book? Now I'm hooked. No more running out of things to read on the train; I can take as many books as I want on holiday; and if there's a book I want to start reading, I don't have to go out to the shops to look for it, or wait for it to be delivered.
I still read print books, especially for my favourites, but I'd be lost now without my ereader.
Thanks for a great post!

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