Friday, July 20, 2012

Finally Going eBooks

I've fought it for a while now, but I finally went ebook.

I still love physical books, especially since they are way more convenient to lug around (especially paperbacks) than my laptop.  Though to be fair, some of that would probably go away if I was willing to put out the cash for a real ereader, but that's not really an option, at the moment.  

But I've read so much about ebooks as the way of the future and so on, so I figured I should look into it.  I wanted to get a feel for the medium, since if my books will eventually be published in it, I better understand it.

So I downloaded the free apps for my laptop and now have Kindle, Kobo, and whatever others I could find for free.  I've tried them all, and have to admit I keep going back to the Kindle app.  I think part of that is because I have more books for Kindle than anything else.  And that (I hate to admit) is because Amazon seems to have the best shopping interface of any online bookstore I've found.

Okay, sometimes I hate their list of recommended titles.  I often find ones there that are WTF?-inspiring.  Other times the recommends are based on stuff I looked at more from  morbid curiosity than actual desire to purchase.  But otherwise, it is a very intuitive set-up, very easy to find a book I'm looking for, or even a book I didn't know I was looking for.  It is by far the most browse-able site I've found.

Anyway, for the first few months, I stuck to free ebooks, since I couldn't/ didn't want to invest any  real money in this.  After all, I've lost so much data (documents/ files/ pictures/ etc.) over the years due to crashes, power surges, or just advancing technology, I am leery of investing much in a book that I can't hold in my hand.

But during our recent move, I found some of the old hardcovers we'd packed away were in boxes that had gotten wet at some point without our realizing it, and had to be pitched because they were moldy, had large chunks of pages stuck together, or both.  It made me realize that not even physical books were really all that permanent.  Also, having to haul all those boxes and boxes of books, even the paperbacks, was back-breaking.  And it occurred to me I could have carried all those books and a lot more on just my laptop, if they were ebooks.

Yeah, sometimes it's the visceral lessons that stick with us.   

So I finally took the plunge and actually bought an ebook the other day, one that is only on ebook format.  And it turned out to be pretty good.  I even reviewed it on Amazon.  Gave it 4 of 5 stars, mainly because it's a first novel from the author and everyone starts off a little rough.  I may copy my review over here and expand on  it as a later post.

Anyway, looks like even I can learn something new.  But than that's part of the joy of being a writer, learning new things and getting share them with others.


Okay, my apologies to anyone that was actually following (or at least trying to follow) this blog.  It was something of an experiment for me, my first attempt at really keeping a blog.  And it was pretty damn erratic.  

And that was before I just up and abandoned it.

So I'm going to try this again.  Think of this as A Walk in the Shadows 2.0.  This time I hope to get some regular posting done.  I want to shoot for at least weekly posts, though I'd like to get them more often.  I know myself well enough that daily probably won't be sustainable long term.  In fact, I figure I'll still be pretty erratic, but I want to keep to at least once a week.

I think this blog is important for many reasons.  The biggest, I feel, has to do with a remark I once read by Piers Anthony.  He said that, unlike many other writers, he responded to every piece of fanmail he received, and he knew only one other writer (can't remember who now) that did that.  He also noticed that they were the only two writer's he knew that never suffered from writer's block.  He felt these facts were related. 

I think he may have had a point.  I think it has to do with keeping to writing goals.  So I want to make this blog one of my writing goals, to make at least one worthwhile post a week.  That shouldn't be that hard.  And maybe keeping this writing goal will help me to work on keeping more discipline in my writing in general. 

For anyone's still stopping by, thanks for your faith in me, and I will make it worth your time to keep coming back.  And please feel to comment on what you like, what could use improving, or what just flat out sucks, whether it's the posting style, the content itself, or just the layout of the page.  I'd like you to keep me honest here, call me out if I can't keep my promise to make the trip here worth your while.

Thanks again, and see you around the interwebs.