Pub Rants

Read The Fine Print

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STATUS: If you have been reading deal lunch lately, then you’ll get a pretty good sense of what I’ve been up to. Deal after deal after deal. Love it. And even better? I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU is still at #4 on the NYT bestseller list. That’s 6 weeks and counting. Maybe it will become a permanent fixture!

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHO NEEDS LOVE (LIKE THAT) by Erasure

Sheesh. You probably shouldn’t have to tell a literary agent that! I spent this morning toying with my new Amazon Kindle. I have to be honest and say that before now, I hadn’t shown much interest in e-readers.

So what pushed me over the edge? When I read an article about the new Kindle that detailed that the owner could not only easily download books from but could also email documents to him or herself for reading on the Kindle. Oh baby, can you say “read full manuscripts” on a nice compact and light device instead of my big whopping laptop?

I can. I signed me up for that new device as fast as my fingers could fly across the keyboard. Then promptly waited a full month before my order could be delivered. They have back log of orders at good old Amazon.

Well, the article I read forgot to mention one little thing. Yes, you can email Word and PDF documents to yourself but here’s the catch. It’s Amazon’s wireless whispernet you’re using (in conjunction with Sprint Data Technology) You guessed it. They charge $0.10 an attachment to “convert” the file to their proprietary extension that is then auto downloaded onto the Kindle.

There really is no free lunch is there? Heck, I don’t care. At least there is no monthly wireless charge and I love the darn thing already. (And to be fair, Amazon does allow you to convert to the Kindle file, download to your computer, and then transfer to the Kindle via a USB connection for free but I’m too lazy for all that.) I’m even all excited to read my first requested full manuscript on it starting tonight.

And my tech person is setting it up so Sara can send sample pages from our submissions database to my Kindle as well.

I’ll never be bored in the grocery store line ever again. Have large purse; will travel in Kindle style. Of course, this may bring new meaning to the idea of never leaving work.

15 Responses

  1. Angela James said:

    You can just convert it to PRC (Mobipocket offers a free converter on their website) and then transfer it via USB to the Kindle.

    Though you could have done the same thing with any reader you bought, at least this way you won’t feel that you have to pay $10 to get personal content on it!

    This also works the same for transferring books you buy in the .prc format from sources other than Amazon.

  2. karen wester newton said:

    Interesting. I would never have thought that agents would be a prime market for the Kindle. But then most agents still insist on paper, so maybe that’s not a big part of the market for Amazon.

    What I am wondering is, when e-books finally catch on in fiction, will it have any real impact on publishing? I could see it simultaneously making it easier but less lucrative for writers.

  3. Just_Me said:

    Suddenly I’m glad I don’t live in New York (or Colorado). How horrifying would it be to spot your agent at the grocery store writhing in pain because of the aliens that arrive in chapter 14?

  4. Stephen said:

    You should consider (maybe get your tech person to look into it) using the mobipocket (prc) version of files. There is a free converter as mentioned earlier, but there is a better reason for doing it.

    The main reason is to use the desktop version of the mobi reader for synchronising, storing and managing the files. You can create a file into a watched folder, start up the reader, plug your kindle in, it will upload the file and away you go.

    The best part, though, is the next time you plug your device in, it will automatically synchronize all the bookmarks, annotations etc you made back to the computer, where you can access them for other purposes if you want.

  5. Angela said:

    [delurk] I still have no intention of purchasing a Kindle for myself–like others, I am bothered by its requiring you to purchase ebooks in proprietary format, and also, the 10-cents-a-pop for every file you email to yourself to put onto it is annoying.

    But it had never occurred to me how useful it could be for agents or editors, easing the task of reading manuscripts. Now that, I think, would make the device worth the investment. I’m glad to hear it has proven useful to you!

  6. Anonymous said:

    Thank you, Angela James, for your link to the amazon info about the Kindle.
    I notice it also accepts text (.txt) files readily. That’s very useful info!

  7. Anonymous said:

    Coming out of ultra-lurk to say huge congrats to you w/all of the sales — one deal in particular made me especially happy 😉

    You and Lucienne make a formidable team! Rock on…

    Michele Lang

  8. Trish Ryan said:

    I never thought of the grocery store/line at the DMV/waiting to get the oil changed angle for how the Kindle could improve my life…I’m almost sold 🙂 If only they could make it look and feel like a brand-new book…

  9. Ellyse said:

    Yes, I am very, very close to blowing 400 bucks on a Kindle. But like lots of people have pointed out, it just doesn’t replace that giddy new-book feeling…

  10. Anonymous said:

    You’re a traitorous skank. E-books are going to slay publishing and make it financially implausible to be a writer.

  11. Christine said:

    I never thought of how convienient that would be. I’m one of those crazy collector gals, so I doubt I’ll ever end up buying an e-reader, but I’m all for the idea of it – getting more books into more hands. If this is the next way to do it, awesome. Plus less paper, so woohoo!

    How do you like the screen so far? Is it easy to read or does it get hard on the eyes?

  12. hldyer said:

    If you email a document for the Kindle, does it keep formatting like the document map?

    So, if the document had chapter headings, etc., would you be able to jump to them easily?

  13. Sarah McCarty said:

    I love my Kindle. Just love it. And like Angela said, I just email to my laptop and then deposit over USB or else I upload to my kindle account before I leave and then just download from there. That doesn’t cost anything. So it is a free lunch if you can spare one more step.