Do I Break up with my Books for a Kindle?

I’m having an internal fight with myself about whether I should buy a Kindle.  It’s been going on for some time now, even more so now I offer eBook formatting as a service.

I thought maybe by writing about my ongoing battle with this problem I will figure out whether I should buy one or not.

My love of books…

I used to have an addiction, I would buy books as soon as they were published by my favourite authors.  I would visit charity shops looking for bargains and come away with 3 or 4 books at a time.  When all my fellow book readers starting buying Kindles I couldn’t understand why they would want to give up the physical book, for me that’s the best part of reading, holding the book and getting lost in it.

So I didn’t follow the Kindle crowd, I kept collecting my books and filling up my bookcase.  It soon became apparent that I had far too many books and I would never get round to reading them all.

Before I moved to France back in October I had a bit of a clear out and gave away probably a third of my books.  I don’t tend to keep many books after I have read them, I either give them away to friends or family or put them on a website called Bookmooch.  So my bookcase only contains books I haven’t read, and I have a lot of unread books.

I don’t need a Kindle…

  • I have the Kindle app on my iPhone, any eBooks I download I can read on there (I have about 6 eBooks on there I haven’t got round to reading yet though!)
  • I have a full bookcase of real books that I haven’t read yet…
  • I don’t have much time to read these days, so a Kindle would sit idle most of the time.
  • I’m not keen on reading for long periods of time on a screen – although maybe it’s not the same with a Kindle?!
  • Do I need another electronic device in the house?

I want a Kindle…

  • The new Kindle looks great and the price is reasonable.
  • eBooks cost less than real books and there are a lot of free ones I could download.
  • There are some snazzy covers for the Kindle, and I do like colourful accessories for my gadgets!
  • I could test my formatting on my own Kindle instead of using the Kindle Previewer software I have on my laptop… that way getting the real experience.

You see my problem?

I would be interested to hear your reasons for and against having a Kindle or e-reader, you might just convince me it’s a good idea, or then again I might just stick with my real books and keep the eBook world within working hours while I’m formatting them for clients.

In the meantime, if you’re still interested in real books and you’d like a free one, check out my Social Media Book Giveaway, it’s very easy to enter!

Poll: How much do you pay for eBooks?

Update:  Thanks to a connection on LinkedIn, I have updated this poll to include some further questions which I hope you will answer for me.

I have been investigating the prices of eBooks recently and thought that running a couple of polls on my blog might be a useful way to see the general opinion on eBook prices and whether the type of book (a particular niche) makes a difference in how much you would pay.

I’d be really grateful if you could vote on these polls below and if you have any further comments to make leave me a comment below.  I would also be really interested in where you buy your eBooks from, such as Amazon, Smashwords, Apple…

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You can read about the results here – Poll Results: How much to you pay for eBooks?

If you’d like to read more about self publishing and eBooks please take a look at my recent blog posts How to Self Publish your Book on a Budget… and Self Publishing your eBook the DIY Way!

Self Publishing your eBook the DIY Way!

So you have written a book, you might have had it published as a paperback but now want to tap into the eBook market.  Well it doesn’t have to cost the earth, in fact I formatted my late Grandfather’s book by following the guidelines on Amazon KDP and Smashwords.  Of course the first time it took me many hours to get it just how I wanted it, but now most formatting jobs take me between 1 and 3 hours depending on the length of the book.

If you want to go the DIY route, these are the key points you need to follow:

1. I recommend going to Smashwords first and foremost and downloading their Style Guide – it’s very easy to find as it is at the number 1 spot on the Most Downloads section.

2. Read this guide from cover to cover and make notes on the key points you need to achieve for your eBook to be accepted onto the Smashwords catalogue.

3. Work on formatting your eBook… the first thing you should do before anything else is to clear all formatting from the document so you can start with a clean text document.  You can do this by copy and pasting the document into Notepad and then copying it back into Word (or whatever word processing software you want to use).

4. Follow the guide, it’s as simple as that!

5.  Set-up your account on Smashwords and upload your formatted eBook, if there are any problems with the file they will inform you so you can go back and correct them.

6. Once Smashwords have approved your eBook and it’s ready for distribution, use your formatted file and upload it to Amazon Kindle.  I found the formatting suggestions for Kindle a lot more complex than Smashwords, but my finished eBook looked more professional following Smashwords Style Guide.

There are some really useful tips on the Smashwords website, this document in particular – How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords.  I like the fact that Smashwords distributes your eBook to many different retailers, these are Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Kobo, Amazon and Diesel.

It does take time to get your eBook into the system, through formatting, setting up your accounts and then promoting.  Alternatively you can get someone else to do all this leg work for you.  eBook formatting is one of my specialist services and it doesn’t cost a lot, so if you’ve just written a book and would like a quick and cheap way of getting it published to the masses drop me an email so we can get started.

If you’d like to publish your book in a paperback version, then take a look at my previous blog post How to Self Publish your Book on a Budget.  For some marketing tips please see this great blog post by Stephanie Chandler Strategies for Promoting Ebooks.