Thursday, October 27, 2011

Write Right

Everyone wants to write, right? And, it’s why you’ll see some offerings in e-books that aren’t quite the best. OK, there are some horrendous offerings out there. While we can all be wonderful storytellers, getting it all on paper is the easy part. Getting it right, not so much.

The truth is, however, that traditionally published books also pack a few typos and grammatical errors here and there – even with a team of proofreaders and editors. Some bestselling authors even go against all the rules and litter their works with all the bad things we’re warned not to do. (Namely, the overuse of adverbs – those words ending in “ly.”)

It’s never wise to point fingers, though. Because sooner or later, even the best books get a low rating. In many cases, it’s simply because readers picked up a book that they didn’t “get.” Perhaps it took a turn into territories they don’t care for; it might have been for the use of a four-letter word(s), too much gore; shocking descriptions, and so on.

Should you depend on reader reviews? Probably, but not always. Consider the source. As in art, the story's quality is often in the "mind" of the beholder.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Page Count v. E-Reader Tick Marks - How Big is that Book?

Readers are often confused in determining the length of an e-book. I know I have been. While authors may have a grasp of "word count," it means nothing to others. You can't count on the size of a download, either, as you don't know if a cover is included and graphics may vary in actual file size.

For those who want to make a comparison, the general rule of thumb is a printed page equals about 250 words. Just divide and you'll have an approximation of size.

In addition, while printed books tend to have a higher word count, the trend with e-books is often shorter. A book that's 50,000 words and higher is now generally within the classification of a "novel" (although some will argue this could technically be a "novella"). There are also novelettes (about 10,000-49,000 words) before you reach short story lengths.

Authors should include the page count in their product blurbs to avoid confusion.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Paper or Plastic?

Traditional books aren't going away any time soon. A majority of readers still enjoy the feel of paper in their hands. We have bookcases full and a stack still to be read waits in a nightstand.

But, when I received a Kindle in all its white plastic and glass-screened glory two years ago, it was like magic in my hands. From almost the minute I turned it on, it became an exciting device to explore, along with the extensive collection of e-books at Amazon. The first thing I did was look through the classics - so many were free, even! It started with The Picture of Dorian Gray, then moved on into more recent reads.

With so many offerings, I could very well be 150 before getting to all of them, but it's a wonderful sense of security. Sure, paper is nice, but having a complete library in the palm of my hand is just purely amazing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Making It All Official - Jackson Debuts

We're Live! Jackson's Neighborhood is now available at Amazon. Additionally, it's in the Smashwords system (available on their site), which will put it in Premium status for distribution to Barnes & Noble (Nook) and the Apple app store.

Here's a promo banner I'll be posting around the 'Net.