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A hot, sexy read about second chances and six steamy nights… Six Nights Of Sin: The Complete Series (Books 1-6) by Ellis O. Day

No matter if you are a parent or a student – this book is for you… A Black Girl Once Told Me To Never Give Up by Verlisa Shanklin

Giveaway Time! Here’s your chance to win in the KND & BookGorilla giveaway where YOU pick the prize! And check out the great deal we have on Tamara Hughes’ Tempting The Pirate

Does the devil deserve a legal defense? SLUGGER by T.B. O’Neill

A powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated… Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

A proper lady. A scandalous lord. And a wager that could ruin them both… The Scoundrel and The Lady (Lords of Vice Book 1) by Robyn DeHart

For some people, rules are made to be broken.
 For her, though, it’s time to make her own rules… Deliciously Obedient by New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent

The story of small-town crime and second chances in the heart of the Rockies from USA Today bestselling author A. Gardner: Powdered Murder (Bison Creek Mysteries Book 1)

Giveaway Time! Here’s your chance to win in the KND & BookGorilla giveaway where YOU pick the prize! And check out the great deal we have on Grant Hallstrom’s Amora

Learn how to reduce food waste with quick tips and simple solutions… My Zero-Waste Kitchen: Easy Ways to Eat Waste Free by Kate Turner

Crimes involving murder and counterfeiting keep the team running in every direction in…. Greed: An Amber Monroe Crime Thriller Book 1 by C.M. Sutter

Hot, over-the-top, enemies to lovers romance to indulge your not-so-secret bad girl side… Her Dirty Rockers (A Men at Work Romance Book 1) by Mika Lane

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Publetariat Dispatch- Interactive Novels: Not So Much.

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, Publetariat founder/Editor in Chief and indie author April L. Hamilton explains her reservations about interactive novels, such as those offered for the iPad.

I love books, but I am not a particular lover of paper. For years now, most of my "reading" (where fiction is concerned, at least) has been done via audiobooks. I am also receptive to ebooks, and feel that certain books actually offer much more functionality in electronic form than in hard copy: travel guides, tech books, pretty much anything where the ability to easily jump to a specific topic of interest is desirable. With the advent of the Vook and book apps for the iPad and iPhone, I’ve looked forward to seeing what an "enhanced" novel might have to offer. The answer to that question—at the present time, at least—is disappointment.

For my first foray into the world of book apps, I decided to go with an award-winning, best-of-breed title: Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition, produced by Padworx Digital Media, Inc. I’d read many glowing reviews of this book app online, and since I’ve also read the book in the old-fashioned, paper-pulp format, it was an ideal candidate for comparison and evaluation.

First off, let me say the book app is beautiful to look at and the music is both lovely and entirely suitable for the subject matter. There are interactive elements on many pages. In one instance, you must move a virtual lantern around over a darkened page to read it. In another, you can bring a background illustration into better and brighter focus by touching it. In yet another, you must move a crucifix necklace about where it hangs over the page in order to see the text beneath it. Sounds cool, right? Well, these interactive features ARE cool, but they also pulled me right out of the story.

The experience of reading the book very quickly devolved into an exercise of hunting for "easter eggs", the term used for hidden bonus features in computer programs, on DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. You can’t always tell by looking at a given page of the app whether or not it contains interactive elements, so I found myself reading the text and then tapping all around on the screen to check for those elements. On the pages that don’t have them, all the tapping is for naught.

The experience ends up falling somewhere between playing a video game and reading an ebook, but it’s not a very good experience of either one. If the app were a full-fledged video game, I’d want interactivity on every page and I’d want it to be more extensive in terms of controlling my experience of the content. When I play a video game, I want my choices and actions to have consequences beyond causing formerly hidden images to display and being able to move objects around on a screen. Conversely, in an ebook, I want to feel immersed in the story world, to lose my awareness of the device on which the ebook is displayed; if you must tap or click all around on each screen to expose and enjoy the interactive elements, this is impossible.

 I thought this might be a case of this specific book app not being my cup of tea, so I also decided to check out another much-lauded title, the War of the Worlds book app from Smashing Ideas, Inc. Again, as a literary classic I’d read previously, it seemed a terrific pick. And again, I was disappointed.

With the WotW app, the interactive illustrations are not as numerous as in the Dracula app, though they are just as beautiful. However, I still had to tap around on them to find the hidden goodies, which was kind of annoying and again, took me right out of the story.

I’ve pondered how this issue might be overcome, and I’m stumped. Even if some sort of indication were given as to the location of the interactive elements (as is the case for some of the Dracula app content), the moment you’re tapping the screen and thinking, "Cool!" at whatever happens, you’re no longer gripped in the terror of Castle Dracula or an alien invasion, you’re admiring the technology.

The good news is, I think the book app is still very much in its infancy and publishers and developers just don’t know quite what to do with the capabilities of the technology yet. My prediction is that where novels are concerned, the book app will find its full flower in a sort of purposeful hybrid of book and video game. And yes, the words will no longer be the stars of the show in most cases, much as it is with movies. Every year there are those few, standout examples of films that are worth seeing for the sake of the whip-smart and insightful script alone. The Social Network is an example of that type of film. But most often, moviegoers are satisfied to be thrilled by action, wowed by special effects, or cracked up by comedy.

Such entertainments are largely disposable, and while it pains me to say so, I’m afraid this may prove to be the future of literature. Every year there will be a handful of new books that are worth actually reading, simply as words on the page, and for these the experience will be one of good, old-fashioned theater of the mind. But for the rest, consumers will come to expect the play to be delivered not only pre-scripted, but with the cast, costumes, sets, stunts and special effects already in place, with the reader empowered to act as director of the entire production via its interactive elements.

But this raises another, and I think thornier issue: in the case of a completely original interactive book app (as opposed to the re-imaginings of literary classics examined here), assuming a team of people were involved in creation and production of the app, who is actually the Author? I’m not sure that title will be apt for anyone involved in such a project, since the consumer’s eventual experience of the content will not be limited to the written words, but driven just as substantially by the multimedia and interactivity of the app. I suspect it’s more likely that the person we used to think of as the author will be given a "Written By" and/or "Story By" name check in the credits of the app.

If I’m right about that, it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there should be more and better opportunities for writers to see their works produced and brought to an audience; maybe aspiring authors should start querying book app companies like Smashing Ideas and Padworx right alongside agents and publishers. But on the other hand, those writers won’t get quite the same level of recognition and prestige as in the past. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? As of yet, I’m uncertain.


This is a reprint from April L. Hamilton‘s Indie Author Blog.

Free Direct eBook Downloads to Your Kindle: Get Over 23,900 Free Books For Your Kindle at ManyBooks

Want to enjoy great, well-formatted reading on your Kindle, but beginning to feel like you are contributing a little too much to keeping the wolf from Amazon’s door?

Don’t want to fool around with transferring ebooks to and from your computer via USB connection? You may be amazed at how easy it can be to download free books directly to your Kindle over the Whispernet, without any need for a computer!

Try ManyBooks, one of the favorite websites used by Kindle owners to find and transfer free books for their Kindles. As you can see with the image above at the right, ManyBooks and its current catalog of 23,905 free books is also nicely optimized for viewing on your Kindle or on any other mobile device.

Just follow these steps to make ManyBooks a regular part of your Kindle browsing, all at absolutely no cost:

  • Use your Kindle keyboard to type mnybks.net from your home screen or from within any content you are reading on your Kindle. This is the ManyBook mobile URL. If you are reading this piece as a Kindle Nation daily blog article directly on your Kindle, you can go to the ManyBooks mobile site directly just by clicking here.
  • Push your 5-way (Kindle 2 or DX) or scrollwheel (Kindle 1) to the right to select “go to” or “google” to enable the Kindle’s web browser to bring you to the ManyBooks website or a Google listing of ManyBooks links.
  • No need to type a prefix such as http:// – the Kindle will take care of that.
  • Use the category links or keyword search feature at the ManyBooks mobile website to find a book, and click on it to begin downloading it directly to your Kindle via Whispernet.
  • Click on the “Mobipocket/Kindle” download option from the next screen, and you will see the screen prompt above, at right. Click OK to continue, give the book a moment to download, and you should find the title on your Home screen when you check for it.


A must-read piece on independent publishing

About ten years ago Michael Pastore wrote this thoughtful, detailed piece which was published widely around the country under the title, Publish Your Book Yourself: Some Simple and Sensible Advice. He has published it again over at ePublishers Weekly and, although there are some obvious things that have changed, it remains well worth reading.

As for the changes, they are in many ways for the better. But the most dramatic of these is that it is no longer necessary to lay out $3,000 to $5,000 up front for short-run offset printing. The speed and pricing offered independent publishers by a quality POD printer such as Amazon’s CreateSpace now make it possible for indie publishers — even those who anticipate sales of over 5,000 copies — to handle all their printing needs without ever laying out more than a few dollars in advance. This, of course, changes everything, and allows for indie authors and publishers to make smart plans that accomodate both print and electronic publishing.

Michael Pastore is author and publisher of 50 Benefits of Ebooks, available in ePub format for just a dollar.

Scribd Beta DIY Launch for eBook Authors and Publishers Looks Viable


San Francisco-based startup Scribd has just launched the beta version of a potentially exciting new opportunity for authors, publishers, and readers. I hesitated before including the DIY label in the subject line because it may be misleading, given that Scribd has done some business with major publishers such as Random House, according to today’s New York Times piece, “Scribd Invites Writers to Upload Their Work and Name Their Price.” But Scribd’s roots are all about document-sharing and a Youtube-like DIY approach for those who understand that uploading is the new downloading.

Scribd stands out among innovators in the arena of connecting digital text authors and publishers with digital readers, because (1) it offers some compelling reasons for faith that it could actually work; and (2) it is not Amazon.

By “actually work,” I mean that it could actually lead to significant sales and exposure for ebook authors and other content providers. By “not Amazon,” I am getting at the notion that, if it proves viable, Scribd could actually provide authors and publishers with an effective counterbalance in a marketplace where Amazon currently threatens to establish such hegemony that the rest of us could end up feeling as if any effort to influence pricing, royalties, sales, and important issues such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) and copyright is utterly ineffectual.

Scribd will allow authors and publishers to upload their content, establish their own approach to DRM, and keep 80 per cent of the proceeds from content sales. That’s not a bad start, and these claims from the Scribd site go even further:

  • “Tens of millions of people visit Scribd every month; your work could be discovered by the world.
  • Every document on Scribd gets frequently indexed by Google, which means better audience targeting for your work.
  • Your documents will be viewed the way it was meant to be – with its unique fonts, graphics, and other details.
  • Check out detailed stats on viewers, ratings, downloads, and more.
  • Take your document anywhere; just copy the embed code and insert it into a blog or website.”

The site also provides user-friendly uploading tools for Mac as well as PC users.

Naturally, I’ll want to have my cake and eat it too: to upload content to Scribd and to be able to read it on my Kindle. No doubt there will be a number of ways to do this, and we’ll be posting more about them in the future.