Archive for the “Kindle” Category
Please, allow me to introduce myself. I hope you guess my name.
If you don’t, it’s Simon Smithson. I’m a co-writer of Mr. Entrekin’s from The Nervous Breakdown.com, the online literary magazine that features authors from around the world. It’s a cool thing.
Will and I met on Myspace, originally, years back. We were part of a writing and editing group called Writers Who Don’t Suck, which, suffice to say, was a fairly ironic name. It was a busy hive of emo kids who wrote bad poetry about being tormented, misunderstood, and just waiting for the vampire who would see the real them, middle-aged sales reps who wrote bad fiction about assassins and snipers (so many assassins and snipers. You have no idea. If the assassin was a woman, it was a given that at some point she would survey her own breasts critically in the mirror), and twenty-somethings with a badly-disguised grudge against an ex or current (and soon-to-be-ex) boyfriend, girlfriend, or lover (and, on one memorable occasion, all three).
There was also, as a saving grace, a core group of writers who cared about literary merit, good editorial practice, and getting better at their craft. They were easy to pick, and Will was one of them. We tended to stick together, and one of the discussions we usually had was about the changing face of the business, and how the very existence of WWDS was something that would have been impossible in earlier times. This whole electronic world was undiscovered country, and the opportunities it yielded for networking, co-authorship, and writing groups were new and exciting.
Fast forward to 2010, and we’ve moved far beyond that. The Kindle and the iPad are grappling for a killer chokehold in the field of e-publishing, people are (once again, as they do every time anything happens in the world ever) predicting the death of the book, and the publishing industry, if reports are to be believed, is staffed entirely by a Keystone Kops-esque cabal of panicky idiots who are running shrieking through the halls of their golden palaces, terrified that Amazon is hiding in the closet and scrambling to steal all the computers before they go out of business forever.
In an era like this… two guys like Will and I can really clean up.
Which is why it’s my pleasure to introduce Sparks, the debut collection of stories by Messrs. Entrekin and Smithson from Exciting Books. Four pieces of short fiction, two apiece, available only on the Amazon Kindle platform, for six weeks only, from December 15, 2010, until January 26, 2011. It’s got a sale price of .99 cents. I think the stories are good, and if I were you and I had a Kindle, I’d pick up a copy.
Oh, and also, we’re going to be doing our damndest to sell 1,111,111 copies.
Why? Because we can.
The game has, officially, changed. Johannes Gutenburg never saw days like this coming; if he did, I would have asked him to write a foreword. These days, the role of the publisher is more dispensable than ever before. Authors can – and do – distribute their work directly to the reading public, because the delivery system has been put in place by Amazon, by iTunes, by this wonderful thing called the Internet. No one’s really sure which way is up at this point, but I believe there will always be a market for good fiction.
I’m also really curious to see if we can.
Our gameplan is this: the first day, we’re hoping to sell one copy. That’s it, that’s all, just one. The first week, ten. The second week, a hundred, and the third week, a thousand.
You can see where we’re going with this.
The stories are diverse in scope; music and travel and love and family are all themes, as is fate and choice and humanity. I’m proud of mine, as I hope Will is of his. What’s next is to see if we’ re right about the market – in this day and age where electronic dissemination has changed how we absorb music, news, TV, and gaming, what’s the next move for literature? Sparks is designed for the Kindle; the pieces are short fiction. Sparks is available only on the Kindle, and nowhere else. It’s the product of two guys who want to see what they can do in a world of exciting new opportunities, and we hope you’ll join us for the ride.
, short stories
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The presale for Meets Girl went so successfully for physical copies I thought I would do one for the digital ones, as well.
At first, I wasn’t sure how. The presale copies were signed (and, where desired, inscribed), and included a tarot card. But it’s not like I can sign a digital copy. And including a bonus poem, or something?
But then I started seeing all the Black Friday deals. The door-busting events. We all know people will start lining up at 4 am to buy socks at Walmart.
Is it just me, or does door-busting sound frightening? And heck, don’t forget, I’m the writer who likes to blow shit up. I will be avoiding retail locations from now until Christmas. I’ll purchase any Christmas gifts online.
And then Amazon announced it was giving people the ability to give Kindle books as gifts to anyone they’d like.
I’m sure you see where this is going.
So, you early adopters, you better readers who want to give the people you love great books this holiday season, now you can: you can buy it right here, from Amazon, for the insanely low price of 99 cents.
That’s a full-length novel for less than a dollar.
The Kindle sample includes the first two chapters (or so).
The chapters so far posted are collected here for your convenience.
So seriously, what are you waiting for? For one dollar, you can give a copy to everyone you love, resting assured in the knowledge that it’s a high quality, professionally edited, optimally designed novel written by a guy who knows prose well enough to have taught it in colleges. For, like, a third the price of a cup of coffee, you can give someone a book they’ll never forget.
Heck, for that price, you can buy a copy for everyone you know and not even feel bad about treating yourself to one, as well. Because it’s been a long year, after all, and you deserve it.
Tags: Black Friday
, Door buster
, Meets Girl
Because that’s the way you’ll get it.
I’ve spent the past week coding Meets Girl for Kindle.
(I think more writers should be able to say stuff like that, but that’s probably another discussion entirely.)
I’d originally considered making it a Kindle exclusive. Given that publishing for Kindle doesn’t actually restrict one to the device because Amazon’s app is available on pretty much every platform (PC, Mac, Android, iOS, etc.), I thought just going with Kindle was easiest for everyone.
But I’m rethinking that. Because I started thinking, wait. What if I were a reader who’d bought a nook because I liked Barnes & Noble?
In terms of digital distribution, exclusivity doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense.
Plus, Barnes & Noble’s Pubit platform went live last week. And you know the first thing I did when I got that particular email was sign up for a publisher account.
I’m not going to promise ubiquity to start with, but I am going to make as much available as I can as soon as I can. Meets Girl will go live on Lulu and Kindle on November 29th. I will begin serializing it four weeks before, on November 1st. I haven’t yet decided how much I’m going to ultimately post. I think the first nine or ten chapters, which will basically carry through into 2011.
More to come in the next few weeks.
Like, oh, I don’t know, maybe a contest?
Meets Girl: Sometimes the Greatest Love of All Is Unrequited.
I think I forgot to mention, here, I posted a new essay over at The Nervous Breakdown. In which I fawn hyperbolically over the new Kindle. In an era of totally undeserved hype (I’m looking at you, Jonathan Franzen), the Kindle is a magical device. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now.
First book: Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, which was a little like Harry Potter Goes to College, and started crazily strong, but then flopped in the final act, sadly. Disappointing, ultimately.
I like reading on it, and after a couple of weeks, I’m very glad I chose it over the iPad. It wasn’t merely a financial consideration. I just already have a laptop and a phone, and I wasn’t sure what I’d be using the iPad for. I need a keyboard to write (and I know I can get a bluetooth attachment, but that’s beside the point). Still, I understand why the iPad is overtaking the netbook category, mostly.
In terms of a dedicated digital reader, however, so far, the Kindle has been excellent. I like that it’s dedicated, too, like a book or a novel; when I’m reading a book, I’m reading the story. Not clicking around, not opening apps, not tweeting and Facebooking.
In the spirit of making Meets Girl available on it, I’ve been doing the necessary formatting and lay-out. It’s not difficult; Kindle mainly uses html. I’ll explain more about it at some point, when I’m done experimenting and learning it.
I think you’ll agree it looks fairly good already, though:
I should note that first image is not actually the Kindle file; it’s a PDF. Which the Kindle can display, natively. In terms of lay-out, though, the pagination and formatting both leave much to be desired.
Today, I woke up to an email from Barnes & Noble. Pubit, a program they had announced several months ago with the intention of going live over the summer, was finally implemented today. I’ve already signed up for an account and can start uploading files.
I’d originally planned to make Meets Girl a Kindle exclusive (given that Kindle is cross-platform and available, as an app, on pretty much anything), but then I started wondering why I wanted to limit choices. The whole point is to make the story available to anyone and everyone who wants it, including all the people who are getting a nook anytime soon.
So it will be. It may be a little while longer getting to the nook, but I’ll have it there, too.
, Barnes & Noble
, Meets Girl
“Once upon a time, I fell in love with a girl who didn’t love me in return.”
New York City, circa 2006. A young man lucking into any temp job he can while following his dream to be a writer. A dream girl and a bad case of unrequited love (is there any other kind?).
If the story ended there, it wouldn’t be extraordinary. It would be just another tale from the big, bad, glorious city; just another romance that never was; just another friendship that never got the chance to be anything more.
But the story doesn’t end there.
Read the rest of this entry »
, Meets Girl
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