For those of us with Kobos, I've put together a guide on how to increase the storage space on 'em. It's mostly geared towards the Kobo Mini, but I'm told it's basically the same with all of them.

Tahdah! Link goes to my blog.

My method uses 100% free software: any cost comes from getting a new SD card. My total cost was £15, which included a new micro SD, a set of tiny screwdrivers and a micro SD converter.
I had no idea this existed, but if you have old ereaders sitting around gathering dust, Amazon runs an electronics trade-in program.

Search results for Kindle.

Search results for Nook.

There were also results for Sony and Cybook.

Apparently the way it works is that Amazon acts as the middleman between yourself and a third party, and you receive an gift card as payment. Check out the FAQ for more information.

I thought I'd pass it on as some people are bound to have old ebook readers sitting around, and older electronics are hard to sell. Given the flexibility of the gift cards, it's certainly possible to use it on things like digital music if one doesn't prefer to buy ebooks from Amazon.

edit - As noted in the comments at [community profile] unclutter, markets like Craigslist are likely to yield higher amounts of money, should one sell directly to another buyer. Amazon definitely does not have the top dollar value for one's trade-ins. :)
I'm now working with a digital publisher, which means I get to see a lot of ebook covers and overhear a lot of discussion about ebook covers. So I went looking for info (I'm the web-research person, because my Google-fu is good and my skim-and-read rate is phenomenal) and came up with a roundup of posts about ebook cover design, ranging from technical to artistic to commercially-focused.

What I concluded:
  • Every frickin ebook store on the web wants different shapes of ebook covers. Find a good compromise, and expect to make a few variants anyway.
  • Readability, or at least recognizeability, at thumbnail size (about 150 pixels high) is crucial.
  • Covers are not part of the story; they're part of the advertising.

Jan Marshal at Tips For Authors: eBook Cover Design Advice from @Jan_Marshall
"• Aim to create three covers, then choose the best. You don’t have to stick with these; you can wander off at a tangent as you work.
• Look at covers in your genre and analyze how they work. Sticking with genre conventions, make something about your cover better or more striking. (Easy to say!)"

9 (or 10, depending on how you count) more blog posts about ebook cover design )
Last year, Steven Saus, who is a digital first publisher and has done the e-book conversions for Jim Hines, among others, wrote a book about writing ebooks, which he published first on his blog and is now selling for $9.99.

The version on his blog is not really collated, it's under his ebooks tag, which includes a lot of other entries about the business of ebooks. So, I am collating here, in approximate order, his So You Want to Make an Ebook entries to date. (Since the original publication, he's added some entries for version 2.)

So You Want To Make An Ebook )
jumpuphigh: Dreamsheep in front of bookshelf with text "Books make everything better" (Booksheep)
([personal profile] jumpuphigh Jan. 6th, 2012 01:35 am)
I just used squee!Book to translate a fanfic to epub format for my ereader and noticed that it now accepts Dreamwidth links for stories. My life has just gotten much better!

If you've never used it before, you plug in the title, author, and link to the story or the text of the story and it will create a book for you to save on your computer. It looks like you can use a photo to create a custom cover as well but I haven't played with that yet.

According to the site, it accepts links from ", Livejournal, Dreamwidth & AO3...[and]text from other URLs will need fixing...."
It will create a book in these formats: .txt .html .pdf .rtf .fb2 .epub .mobi

ETA: The About page made me laugh. It's also full of other good information that I didn't know and thus, did not share with you.
Archive of Our Own is an excellent source for free eBooks. Every single story posted on Archive of Our Own is free, DRM-free and is available for download in four formats: mobi, EPUB, PDF and HTML.

'But wait,' you say, 'Archive of Our Own is an archive for fanfiction. I don't read fanfiction!' Well, you are in luck, because Archive of Our Own has a very broad definition of fanfiction and thus a number of stories which may appeal to non-fanfiction readers. For example, do you like Regency romances or reinterpretations of fairy tales?

Try Lord Wolfe and the Ape-Leader (30887 words) by faviconwho_la_hoop: The sensible Flora Pilkington is delighted to be asked to accompany her cousin Emily, a wealthy heiress, on a sojourn to Bath – even if seventeen-year-old Emily is something of a ninny-hammer. However, when the dashing but mysterious Lord Wolfe rescues Emily from Terrible Peril, causing her to fall quite in love with him, Flora becomes deeply suspicious. Just who is this Lord Wolfe? Why does he persist in winking at Flora in such a deeply uncouth manner? Why does he refuse to attend all evening engagements? And what is the insufferable man's dark, awful secret? (For she is quite convinced that he has one.) Flora determines to find out, whatever the danger to her reputation...

Have you been enjoying (or enjoying panning) the recent zombie apocalypse fiction trend? Or perhaps you like your C. Wright Mills and Michel Foucault-centric sociology with a slice of humor?

Try Many Forms of Resistance (2323 words) by faviconamalnahurriyeh: No one had ever expected a critical theory conference to end so poorly. The worst you could usually expect was that someone would get wine thrown on them.

There are many short and longer stories in fandom categories at Archive of Our Own which, if they were to be published, would simply be considered fiction. You can browse the shelves of any US bookstore and find fictionalized history about real historical people, and re-interpretations of Shakespeare's plays, Jane Austen's works, or the Odyssey. You can also find all those categories at Archive of Our Own.

A list of fandom categories for non-fanfiction readers, a guide for how to browse AO3, and how to tell what's worth reading. )

Archive of Our Own is well worth everyone's time because it's chock full of great free (and DRM-free) eBooks. Take a chance and try it as non-traditional publishing source for free eBooks; you might be pleasantly surprised. Have fun browsing and happy reading!

Note: If you've found some great stories on AO3 which you feel might appeal to someone who wouldn't consider themselves a fanfiction reader, please feel free to leave it in the comments! More recommendations are good for everyone.
By popular demand (I said "I should make a list" and four people said "I'd read that list"), I put together a list of 10 great publishing blogs, with recent sample posts. These are not "the 10 best publishing blogs on the net," or at least, not necessarily so. They're not necessarily the most accurate, and they're certainly not unbiased. But they're all active and cover many aspects of publishing and ebooks, and perhaps the most important message they push is "find out what's really going on, so you can make the decisions that work best for you."

I worry about giving these too much weight; I'm sure that I've left off some excellent wonderful blogs. These aren't "the ultimate list of ebook publishing blogs;" they're "blogs Elf watches and thinks about."

10 recommended ebook/publishing-related blogs )
Does everybody know about this feed on Dreamwidth? [syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed 

The author of the blog does post a lot but occasionally the posts are for books that look really interesting.  There is sometimes a very heavy emphasis on Kindle books but lately, B&N, Sony, Kobo and other booksellers are being included more and more.

I've never ordered from Decal Girl but I really like their skins and so I am thinking about it. Right now, they are offering 5% off with 20% of your purchase going to Globalgiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. They ship to 85 countries. The discount code is SKINS4JAPAN. I don't know when this offer is ending.

Has anybody here ordered from them? If so, do you like their product?
 is there a simple way to turn articles I am reading online into epubs?  Right now, I can copy them into a word doc, which I save as a pdf and then transform into an epub using this site.  I am always shocked to find out that I already had the tools at my disposal to do something simpler so I thought I'd check!
So, has everybody heard about HarperCollins gouging libraries for ebooks?

Library Journal:

In the first significant revision to lending terms for ebook circulation, HarperCollins has announced that new titles licensed from library ebook vendors will be able to circulate only 26 times before the license expires.

Smart Bitches blog:

In other words, the publisher sets a limit to the number of times a digital book can be lent, then when that limit is reached, that library must purchase another copy.

But wait! There’s more! That mysterious “publishers” referred to in the OverDrive email also says they want access to patron information.

[emphasis mine]

Cory Doctorow @ BoingBoing:

I've talked to a lot of librarians about why they buy DRM books for their collections, and they generally emphasize that buying ebooks with DRM works pretty well, generates few complaints, and gets the books their patrons want on the devices their patrons use. And it's absolutely true: on the whole, DRM ebooks, like DRM movies and DRM games work pretty well.

But they fail really badly. No matter how crappy a library's relationship with a print publisher might be, the publisher couldn't force them to destroy the books in their collections after 26 checkouts. DRM is like the Ford Pinto: it's a smooth ride, right up the point at which it explodes and ruins your day.


Hashtag #hcod
HarperCollins tweet regarding the mess:  We're reading your posts-and listening to our authors. If you want to share longer thoughts with us, email

Feel free to post additional links in the comments.

ETA: Courtney Milan, author, "On Eating Your Seed Corn":

Publishers, if you make it impossible for young people–those in the “under 25″ category–to support a good reading habit on their own dime, these people are not going to start magically spending money on books when they start making a decent income. No; at that point, they’ll already have started spending their time haunting hulu instead, where they can actually get free entertainment. And when they start making money, they’ll be buying iTunes streams of those shows they watched for free.

If you are into RPG's, RPGNOW has organized a charity event in response to the NZ earthquake.  You can get almost $340 worth of RPG books for $20.  The books are all watermarked PDFs and they don't indicate how much goes to the Red Cross but if this is the same group who has done this in the past, I believe 100% goes to charity.
De and I will be doing two ebook related panels at Escapade:

eBook Hardware: Show and Tell, Upcoming Toys: Kindles, nooks, Sony Readers, iOS things, Android tablets, etc. What do we have, what are we looking at getting? Whether you’re thinking about getting started or you’ve been reading for years, join us to talk about tech toys. (Friday at 2 pm.)

eBook Software: Primarily an introduction to Calibre, but let’s talk about some other software that we might be using. We can talk about exporting from archives, choosing file types, that kind of thing. What helps you get the most out of your ereading device? (Saturday at 5 pm).

In the hardware panel, we'll be focusing on the different features of the various available devices and how they compare (e.g., e-ink vs. LCD screens; multifunction tablets vs. dedicated readers.) At the Software panel, in addition to highlighting Calibre, we'll also be talking about DRM, and what it means to you.

If you're coming to Escapade, we hope to see you there!
Hi guys, I thought I'd mention this here because I know a lot of you are m/m readers and the current plugins for Calibre often have a hard time finding metadata for those books. (Also I kinda pestered the developer into writing this plugin and I told him lots of people would love it. I hope I'm not wrong about that.)

Anyway, there's now plugins for Calibre that will fetch metadata and covers from Goodreads. You can find them here. If you find them useful, a thank you to the dev might not be amiss. He was a rockstar for helping with this when the Calibre creator said he thought it would be pointless and that Amazon and Googlebooks were enough.
jumpuphigh: Dreamsheep in front of bookshelf with text "Books make everything better" (Booksheep)
([personal profile] jumpuphigh Feb. 6th, 2011 08:21 pm)
If you use calibre, you may have noticed the comment when you fetch metadata regarding signing up for a free account in order to get access to that database for metadata as well as GoogleBooks.  If you are unsure about whether that's something that you want to do, I'm offering a key under my account for you to use to try the database with. It has a limit of 100 look-ups per day.  My only request is that you sign up for your own account if you decide that this is in fact something useful for you and if it isn't, delete the key from your copy of calibre.
This is the key:  WRP8AE5G
When you look up metadata, you'll get that pop-up screen that gives you options of different versions of a book, or different books if it isn't quite sure what you are searching for.  Enter the key in the text box at the top next to "access key", click "Fetch", and you'll be ready to go.
Following various links for the piracy debates, I came across this blog entry.  It tells you how to combine some scripts with calibre to strip DRM off of your books purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc.  It doesn't work for LIT books or iBooks with DRM.  I've installed it and used it and it is quite easy.

ETA: If you don't enter the correct information for the plug-ins, you will have to remove the books that still have DRM, fix the information for the plug-in and then, re-add them to calibre in order to remove the DRM. 
Here in the US, this week starts our bargain shopping season.  I thought I'd throw up a post for people to post any ebook-related deals that they find.

I'll start.

Best Buy has the B&N Nook Wireless on sale for $99.99.  They are already sold out online but the ad says that each store is guaranteed to have at least 10 in stock to start.

ETA:  Best Buy has these in stock online.
Pandigital - Novel Digital Book $139.99
The Sharper Image - Literati Digital Reader $119.99
Velocity Micro Cruz Digital Reader $159.99

CVS has the Shift3 LookBook Wireless Read on sale for $118.88.  It looks like they still have them in stock online.

Blogs that cover ebook topics a lot (a.k.a. find out what's going on in the psychotic world of copyright law before Disney owns your brainwaves):

Teleread: Bring the E-Books Home
Possibly the oldest ebook-related site on the internet. "The TeleRead proposal for a well-stocked national digital library system goes back to the early 1990s."

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing
by author J.A. Konrath, Mr. "I've gone from paying my mortgage every month on Kindle ebooks, to paying almost all of my monthly bills."

One Writer's View of the World
author Maya Reynolds, who gives warning tips to authors: "If the agent demands an upfront fee, RUN. No matter what they call it--retainer, reading fee, advance--RUN."

Nate's Ebook News
..."covering ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for the last year or so as a part of MobileRead Forums."

My Kindle Stuff
"I originally set out only to list all new books for the Kindle by week. ... Then I ended up adding Kindle items for sale, Book Reviews, Kindle News…you get the picture."

I skipped:
Dozens of blogs about "how to write & publish your own ebook!!!" (Skip those; visit Mobileread's forums instead.)
Finding free/cheap/non-DRM ebooks blogs (which I intend to post some other time)
Copyfight-only focused blogs
Corporate-sponsored blogs
Tech-focused blogs that post about ebook readers because they're popular right now
Archive blogs that are no longer active


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags