Friday, September 28, 2012


The author has made available a partial sum of his book Yardrof, in allowing readers to get a glimpse of his science fiction work.

As his providing he has produced a freely sharable and downloadable version of the eBook Yardrof. Set in the town of Yardrof, the story takes the reader to the future along with some visits to the past, but then suddenly breaks away from those now familiar bonds by his captivation to someplace so very far away,
and yet--so near as to then be brought back again, within the reader experience to join the partaken
in some new Earthly insights imagined by the author. Yardrof is the author's first novel.

YARDROF_Chapter-One_FREE can be freely downloaded here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kindle vs. Nook

Many people ask me, "Kindle or Nook, which should I buy?" It seems to be an easy question, but coming to a conclusion is not that fast as several factors have to be taken into account. I actually recommend different titles to different individuals due to their specialized demands. We not only buy readers, but also need to make our reading more convenient and enjoyable.

Here I do not plan to talk about anything like Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7, which are never created for reading. A cloud of people use their versatile tablets to play games as well as read eBooks, well, that's what they like and I don't care. I write this article for people who seek for something like Kindle, not Kindle Fire.

Supported formats
Kindle exclusively supports Kindle formats (AZW/TPZ/PRC/MOBI) plus PDF while Nook Simple Touch supports PDF and the most popular eBook format, EPUB. Both have format limits and that constitutes the primary problem. You are sure to find out which eReader you should buy according to your specific requirements: price, battery life, screen type and backlight supported.

Apparently, if you need a cheap gadget for reading, Kindle is the optimal pick. E-ink screen allows you to read eBooks for quite a long time without too much strain to your eyes. You can even read in the Sun as you like. Here are several tricks provided for saving money on reading eBooks. One disadvantage of Kindle comes to its screen, which might be less attractive than Barnes & Noble's touch screen.

Battery life
I came across a girl who was looking for an eReader for her boyfriend a couple of days ago. Her main demand is long battery life as his boyfriend works as a sailor and it's fairly inconvenient to charge. I recommend the Kindle Paperwhite (with a battery of two months wireless off) for her out of its better display as well as its glowlight function. I do not recommend Nook Simple Touch (with a battery of two months wireless off) for its marginally high price and Paperwhite offers a better performance-to-price ratio.

Glowlight supported
There are two titles support glowlight: Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Some people do like reading books at night. Although B&N released its Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight this March, this new title hasn't help to tout success for its owner. One of the principal causes might fall to its price. Amazon has also released its eReader with glowlight in Sept, which is known as Paperwhite at a price of $ 119. Paperwhite brings a huge surprise to Amazon patrons as well as several revealed limitations.  

All in all, people prefer to buy Kindle over its competitors. Of course, there are other eReaders with better performances from Amazon, such as Kindle Touch and Kindle Keyboard. Once you are unsatisfied with Kindle's style, Nook's eReader serials would be good substitute.

How to save money on eBook reading

1. Device
The cheapest reading device should be Kindle ($69) if you have no extra demands. Personally speaking, touch screen doesn’t mean too much and it isn't worth the extra money. 

2. Free eBooks + Calibre
Most free eBooks provided on the Internet are EPUB. Many people who are fond of reading and do not prefer to pay for books are inclined to do so. Here is a list of more than 30 sites to download eBooks of various genres for free. Calibre can help you convert EPUB to MOBI for reading these books on your Kindle.

3. Borrow eBooks through Lendle (for Kindle users)
Lendle is an easy-to-use eBook lending service based on Amazon Kindle, which is totally free and we can get heaps of prime books as well as bestsellers there. People don't have to own any Kindle device but to borrow and read Kindle books on Kindle apps (for Android/iOS/PC/Mac). One restriction is that we have to possess at least one Kindle book (free Kindle books are OK).
How to use Lendle to get Kindle books for free.

4. Kindle + Ultimate Converter
Sometimes we need to purchase eBooks. In all probability, we have to purchase these books from Sony, B&N or other stores other than Amazon out of diversified reasons. Calibre might fail to work under such a case. Purchased books are typically protected by DRM, which are not supported on Calibre. Thus a converter supporting DRM removal will be a must. I recommend Epubor Ultimate Converter for you as I myself use it and it does deliver a good deal of convenience to me. Kindle ($69) plus Ultimate ($46) is approximately $115, just $15 more than Nook Simple Touch, while the trouble it subtracts from our reading is significantly more than the extra bucks.

5. Other methods to remove DRM protections for free
There are actually free ways to remove Kindle DRM and Adobe DRM. But the solutions are a bit difficult to carry out, that's why I choose Method 3. To strip Kindle DRM, there are Kindle plugins available for Calibre. And you can write Python scripts to remove Adobe DRM for free.

I do hope we get more happiness from reading on less money. Leave a comment below if you have any fresh ideas to share with us. 

Technical Specs for primary Kindle and B&N eReaders

Product Price Dimensions Weight Display Storage
(on device)
Battery Supported Formats
Kindle $69 6.5" x 4.5" x 0.34" 5.98 oz(170 grams) E Ink Pearl
(5-way controller)
2GB 1 month with wireless off AZW3, AZW,
Nook Simple Touch $99 6.5 " x 5.0" x 0.47" 7.48 oz(212 grams) E Ink
2GB 2 months with wireless off ePub5, PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP
Kindle Paperwhite $119 6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36" 7.5 oz(213 grams) Paperwhite Built-in light(touchscreen) 2GB 2 months with wireless off AZW3, AZW,
Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight $139 6.5" x 5.0" x 0.47" 6.95 oz(197 grams) E Ink
2GB 2 months with GlowLight off ePub5, PDF,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google: progress or keep up?

A connection between eBooks sand tablets has been gradually established at present. In the meantime, we have seen an embarrassment from the business of eBooks and eReaders: the eBook market does a perfect job while the eReader market is not that satisfactory. What's more, diversified tablets have begun to occupy a predominant position in the mobile devices'market. Ebook giants like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo have launched their tablets one by one. However, these leading companies'sales has not marginally improved according to their latest financial reports. With the new term's coming, what actions has Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google took aiming at the tablet market?  

Amazon pronounced to have sold out its popular Kindle Touch (both Wi-Fi and 3G) weeks ago. Soon the Kindle Fire was reportedly sold out. Amazon released a range of new products including two versions of Kindle Fire (7" and 8.9"), Kindle Paperwhite and upgraded Kindle on 6th Sept. There is no doubt that Amazon will expand its tablet market with the amazing titles. It is a bit unexpected that Amazon has finally determined to launch an 8.9" Kindle Fire (4G and Wi-Fi), which might bring some impact on the sales of iPad with an addition of 4G data package. Furthermore, the 16G Kindle Fire ($199) has come as Nexus 7' strong competitor with an HD display, the exclusive Dolby audio, dual stereo speakers and the affluent resources from Amazon.

Barnes & Noble

Compared to Amazon, Barnes & Noble put up a poor show in the battle of mobile gadgets. The product released in March, known as Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, did not act as a remedy as expected but to make things worse. On 12th Aug, Barnes & Noble was eventually pressed to lower the price of its eReaders as well as tablets. But it doesn't retreat with the shrink of domestic market. Barnes & Noble has declared to launch two E-Ink readers (Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight) alongside its digital entitles in the UK next month and the collaboration with John Lewis, the UK's favorite retailer is worth looking forward to. Barnes & Noble might say goodbye to tablet market for the time being but it is sure to breathe new life into the UK eBook market. In addition, Barnes & Noble has launched Nook Study platform which provides textbooks for college students at lower prices but it is limited to a handful of OS right now.  


Apparently, Google has won a striking victory in the tablet market. Google Nexus 7 has become people's favorite tablet among so many 7-inch picks with its android 4.1 OS (Jelly Bean), Quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1280x800 HD display and bargain price. The price of $199 (8G) and $249 (16G) brings Nexus 7 a remarkable advantage over its opponents. Under the immense success of Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi), Google is rumored to launch Nexus 7 with 3G in October.

On the whole, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google haven't chosen to keep up but to expand their business in their separate ways. From the aspect of tablet, we have seen the Google's good momentum for the moment. In all probability, Amazon Kindle will get a considerable piece from the action. Regarding Barnes & Noble, we do hope it will maintain its competitiveness in new area (including in the UK).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Another candidate for eReaders & tablets

It seems that we have placed a cloud of emphasis on Amazon's new titles since 6th, Sept. Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD are on our lips thus we decrease the chances to talk about Nook, Kobo and Sony. Amazon has turned out to be the No.1 choice when it goes to eBook readers. But there actually exists something else that's worth our consideration when we look for eReaders & tablets. Don't you forget Kobo? Kobo has launched its all-brand products along with Amazon, which might become another candidate for your eReaders & tablets.

E Ink Readers: Kobo mini

5-inch Kobo mini comes as the smallest eReader in the world. Compared to Kindle, Kobo mini delivers a lighter body with a touch screen and you will not be bothered by any ads, which constructs an excellent reading environment for you. In addition, if you frequently go out, the Kobo mini will be all that could be wished for. Well, we cannot catch a glimpse of the legendary iPad Mini and there is no Mini of Kindle, either.

eReaders with glowlight: Kobo glo

After Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, we ushered in Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo's Kobo glo, both of which take on the glowlight function just as B&N. Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite has been remarked as an immensely innovative gadget with 62% more pixels, 25% better contrast for text, plus some other advanced features.

However, there are some advantages on Kobo glo which Paperwhite is not endowed. Kobo is famous for its social communication and people have access to sharing their feelings and thoughts with their friends. From the angle of eBook formats, more eBooks especially free eBooks are provided in EPUB, which is exactly supported on Kobo. Although Kindle books can't be read on Kobo as well, Amazon makes an enemy of everybody of its own accord to some extent as Kindle titles don't deliver support EPUB, the most widely used eBook format,but bring up its proprietary Kindle formats. Furthermore, the design and appearance of Kobo glo is significantly prettier than Kindle Paperwhite, isn't it?

Tablets: Kobo Arc
Compared to Kindle Fire HD (7-inch) and Nexus 7, Kobo Arc markedly lacks the thrills. What I would point out is that Kindle Fire HD is based on customized android 4.0 regardless of its excellent configuration. That will make you feel troublesome when you intend to download free apps from your tablet. As we know, sometimes we cannot download specified android apps (.APK) on Kindle Fire. But this won't happen on Kobo Arc, which is based on true android 4.0 other than a customized version.

Just don't confine ourselves to Kindle titles. We'd better compare the merits and demerits of similar titles when contemplating buying an eReader or tablet. Figure out what is the most important to you from a selection of candidates and make the right choice.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Is free strategy practicable in eBooks promotion?

Compare to traditional paper books, eBook publishing's marginal cost can be ignored because of it doesn't need the practical paper, it needn't to be printed out, there is no transportation and warehousing costs, while eBook publishing has a very high marginal revenue. These are the reasons why eBooks are much cheaper than traditional paper books.

Small profit by quick turnover is the simplest rule in business game,  eBooks publishers obviously know this well, they enter the game with those cheaper eBooks to take advantages in publishing market, and the long-tail strategy works perfect on eBooks marketing.

The birth of eBooks direct publishing platform has given authors much more rights to control their works, like how many copies the books are going to be published, with how much price, lock the works with or without DRM protection, etc. Based on the fact above, if the author has the willing to give up his vested interest and lower the price or even make it free for a limited time, will he get more revenue by such a promotion campaign?

There is an author called Tim Hawken, his copy got 4,000 times downloading in 5 days on Amazon by making it free on KDP Select, while the same book failed to be downloaded 4,000 times in the entire last year. Even if the limited time free finished, his book's downloading amount is 4 times more than last month.

Seems that this case has proved the free strategy works well in eBooks publishing, can it be widespreaded  in the burgeoning eBooks market?

First of all, the principal issue for self-publishing eBooks authors is how to catch eye-sights, Hawken's success owed to Amazon's recommendation, his book ranked #1 in Amazon's Fantasy category, but there is only one "#1" in one category. And with the extensively use of free strategy, to get the triumph is more and more difficult.

Let's face the truth, according to NY Times' data, the majority of self-publishing eBooks can only sell 100-150 copies. After getting a considerable sale amount with a low price, many authors turns back to traditional publishing channel. A reverse for digital publishing, isn't it?

Even if the marginal cost for digital publishing is less than traditional publishing, a lower price for eBook is not  necessary. The fundamental difference between two kinds of publishing channels is the material, paper or screen, but what readers care most is the content, which won't change no matter you choose paper book or eBook.

In another word, are we buying the content or buying the material?

Reading is nothing but a habit, for the REAL readers, they won't buy your book just for a low price. What they care about is your content,  is it worth buying?

If you are going to hold an eBook promotion campaign, there is a link called "20 Sites for authors to publish & promote eBooks" in the right sidebar. I believe it is helpful for you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Another impressive price for new Kindle and new Kindle Fire HD

Early today Amazon updated their entire product line, including new Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, new Kindle Fire, and two sizes of Kindle Fire HD.

Amazon gave us some surprising prices

Kindle                                                           $69
Kindle Paperwhite (WiFi)                              $119
Kindle Paperwhite (WiFi + 3G)                     $179
Kindle Fire                                                    $159
Kindle Fire HD (7-inch 16GB)                      $199
Kindle Fire HD (7-inch 32GB)                      $259
Kindle Fire HD (8.9-inch 16GB)                   $299
Kindle Fire HD (8.9-inch 32GB)                   $369
Kindle Fire HD (4G Network 32GB)            $499    (Same as the New iPad WiFi 16GB)
Kindle Fire HD (4G Network 64GB)            $599    (Same as the New iPad WiFi 32GB)

All the present media had hands on the Kindle Fire HD series, The Next Web thought that the Kindle Fire HD looks better than original Kindle Fire, which looks like a Blackberry Playbook. And the dual-speaker design is nice, but if in a loud and crowded place you may feel the volume is not enough. While the Gizmodo had a review same as TNW's.

To be honest, for a $199 or $299 tablet, you cannot demand too much, Bezos emphasized that "Kindle Fire is a service, not a gadget". Therefore what the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD series can bring to Amazon is the entrances to Amazon's content channel. Like my previous post said, Jeff Bezos is a CEO that always thinks long-term.

Obviously the $199 Kindle Fire HD is a response to Google's Nexus 7, but I don't think it is the highlight of the conference. Customers are all brainwashed by overwhelming "Quad-Core", when we look at the word "Dual-Core" on the data table of 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, we are not that exciting in actual.

But it is different for the $299 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, Bezos put it directly against iPad. The only advantage of Kindle Fire HD is the price, but it is the PRICE, not some illusory concepts like "NFC", "Cloud" or something else.

We are customers, we care about the price at first when we are buying anything, a lower price is more appetizing to us, of course the premise is that the cheap one also gets a solid quality.

Today Amazon launched 3 lines of tablets, they are offering more choices for tablet buyers, the cheaper tablet, the cheaper 3G tablet.

One more time, Amazon impresses us with the PRICE.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

6 lifestyle books give out for free

Everyone in the world hopes to live a simple but happy life. However, we are inevitably haunted by a cloud of trifles when we are young and stay in healthy conditions. We are apt to get angry, lose confidence or even plunge into despair for various reasons. And one day we might surprisingly find ourselves not sunny or optimistic anymore. I had such an experience when I did a fairly awful job at a vocational school. I eventually made up my mind to have a change and I quit.

I love reading although I don’t read much due to a lack of time. Good books are like good teachers and confidants who never refuse to listen to our heart and give us guidelines. Here I collect 6 eBooks on lifestyle for free download and I indeed hope that you would get something useful.

1. Creating the Perfect Lifestyle by Oli Hille

I haven’t completed this book yet but just started with it. 3 cute children, a full-time wife and the author, Oli Hille, constitute a happy life. I actually had a deep feeling of happiness when I spent half an hour on it just now. There are 38 parts covered in this book ,including “Goals”, ”Your Career”, “To do lists” and so forth. You are sure to get new ideas in terms of your own lifestyle through Oli’s emotional words.

2. The EveryGirl's Guide to Life by Maria Menounos

Maria unveils her everygirl’s secrets from the angle of a young lady. How to arrange our life properly? How to ascend the ladder of success? How to keep from tasty food and lose weight efficiently? So many things remain to be tackled and you will gain not only lifestyle knacks but also relaxation and joy after finishing this book. As Heidi Klum puts, “She has some great tips that are easy to apply and help make your life better".

3. Bragg Healthy Lifestyle Vital Living to 120 by Partricia Braqq

It appears that a fair number of people have been shaped by Partricia Braqq’s Bragg Healthy Lifestyle guide. They have regained a better life by eating organic food or following other healthy tips and they showed great appreciation to Partricia, which was cited at the prelude of this book. Toxicless food accounts for a large portion of healthy lifestyle, along with the full use of sunshine, exercise, breath, etc. From this book, you are bound to get enlightenment on how to adjust your personal life.

4. 365 Tips for Healthy Living by Joseph Then

365 tips are conductive to your healthy lifestyle. This free book covers a full guide concerning drinks, fruits, disease, exercise, weight, hair and other practical aspects. Follow these steps and get into good living habits. Take your time and take a look at how your life perks up with the aid of these tips.

5. 5 Golden Keys to Slow Aging by Nancy Hearn, CNC, EFT-ADV

We instinctively resist aging thus this light manual will more or less deliver some help to you. Proper diet and adequate exercise contributes to physical health while good mentality determines the quality of your life. Act on the 5 tips given and let them fit into your daily life.

6. Secrets to A Younger You by medindia

Secrets to A Younger You also comes as an anti-aging guide. You might be young at present; nevertheless, you probably get inspired by it since aging is related to every person an no one has the exception to get rid of it. From this elaborated guide, you will learn the how and control of aging, how to anti-wrinkle, how to take advantage of natural resources to counter aging and so forth.
The 6 books put forwarded might share some similarities as all of them aim to help people build a healthy lifestyle. Just select one to your taste and make a change. Please don’t hesitate to comment below if you have good lifestyle eBooks to share with us.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Prospects to the Amazon Press Conference

I love this September! Nokia, Microsoft, Motorola and Apple are all going to hold a conference to launch their new products. With one year's preparation, Amazon takes part in the battle is no exception.

Unlike the Press Conference last September 28 at California, this year all the Amazon's rivals have made huge progress: B&N has the Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light, and they are cooperating with Microsoft; Google's Nexus 7 is dominating the Android tablet market; and there will be (maybe) another killer from Apple, the iPad mini.

Amazon has lost their advantage in device and price, they need the new product line to enhance their position in eReader & Tablet market.

The E-ink Kindle comes first, Amazon has gathered enough experience in E-ink eReader for both hardware design and user experience, it is difficult to make another huge break through in E-ink eReaders. For this time, I think they are going to improve some practical features, like the add the glow light, improve Kindle Touch's infrared quality. And the new E-ink Kindle may be launched with a cheaper price or even "free", for instance, if you subscribe the "Amazon Prime" for two years, you can get the new E-ink Kindle for free.

Then the Kindle Fire, it dominated the Android tablet market since its birth until Google released Nexus 7. As the device integrates all the contents and services of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has no reason to let it left behind. There must be an important update for Kindle Fire, such as a thinner and lighter body, add a camera, improve the screen resolution, etc. And the rumors about the 10-inch Kindle Fire has existed for months, I believe this is not a fake news, Amazon owns the strength to cover all the product lines with its huge contents.

The hottest rumors at the moment is the Amazon Phone, according to Bloomberg's report, Amazon is cooperating with Foxconn on their own smartphone. To be honest, I am very much looking forward to the battle between iPhone and Amazon Phone. Amazon has got the AppStore, Kindle eBookStore, Audible, MP3, Prime Stream, etc. What a huge online content warehouse! Amazon controls the contents while Apple controls the user experience, this is a very interesting battle.

As the biggest online retailer in the world, Amazon must have gathered a huge number of client data, data is the most important thing in the information age. With the data, Amazon can promote their content through the  terminal devices (eReader, tablet and smartphone), also from these terminal devices, Amazon collects more data to help them perfect and improve their service.

All in all, for Jeff Bezos, a CEO always thinks long-term, he knows it clearly that he has the trump card, LOW PRICE.

The Verge has got the leak photo of Kindle Fire
Also for the new E-ink Kindle