I’m iPod Touched

iPod

iPod Touch

I recently became the proud owner of an iPod Touch.  You know, of the iPod family from Apple?  Those little gizmos that play MP3 music files?  Yeah, that’s the one. I don’t listen to much music, and when I do it’s usually satellite radio.
So it was only about 3 months ago that I got my very first MP3 player.  Heck, my sons have put more than a few MP3 players through the washing machine, and here I am getting my first one.
The whole reason I bought it was to listen to Podcast audio books.  And I did listen to a few books, and I enjoyed the experience.  That little MP3 player kept me entertained on a few long and lonely drives.
But then, just a couple of weeks ago, I stepped up a level and got a new device that would play MP3 files – and a whole lot more.
Enter my iPod Touch.  A friend has one, and gave me the iPod Touch tour.  I was impressed.  I got one a couple of days later.  Now I’m out evangelizing about them.
It’s a Wi-Fi enabled computing device.  While in a wi-fi hotspot, I can go online and check my Facebook account, my Twitter account, my personal e-mail and a dozen other things.
I have downloaded some free “Apps” that allow me to check the weather, have my favorite blogs sent to my iPod, track my daily expenses, see what’s on TV tonight, and a bunch of other cool things.
Now for my favorite part – the ebook readers.  I have downloaded the Kindle app from Amazon that allows me to read Kindle content on my iPod Touch.  Clean, crisp, and responsive.  Highly customizable to fit my reading preferences.  I can hold it in one hand and turn the “page” by simply touching the screen.  I can set the font size, and even choose between three screen/font color combos as I prefer.  And the coolest thing – I can shop the Amazon Kindle Store and download free samples of any Kindle book.  Then, if I like the sample and want the entire book, it’s simply one click and about 30 seconds away.  Clean and simple.
I have also downloaded the Barnes & Noble eReader app, which provides a similar reader program, and allows me to shop their ebook offerings as well.  Very cool.
So aside from being very quick and handy for checking all my online sites and e-mail, it also a premium eReader device.
Oh yeah, it can play music too…

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‘Tis the Season…

Hi All,
It’s Christmas Eve, and I am getting prepared for my first family holiday event. Leaving shortly on this day where all of the trees are coated in about a quarter-inch of ice.
Even though it makes holiday travel more difficult for many trying to get together with friends and family, it’s actually quite beautiful outside.
In the spirit of this holiday, I would like to thank all of you who have made this year so special for me.  To all of you other authors I’ve met in this past year, to all of you kind readers who have read my book, and all of you who have come to my events – a heartfelt thank-you is in order.  So, thank you all and I hope you have a bountiful holiday season filled with good friends and family.
Please travel safe and have a glorious and prosperous New Year!

POD printers and pricing

Recently, I’ve been doing a good deal of research on POD printers – specifically in regards to distribution channels and pricing.
The very first paperback edition of my novel, “Dark Justice” was actually set up by a British ebook publisher who also wanted to offer paperback versions of the ebook titles they carried.  This publisher chose to go with Lulu.com, a popular POD printer.  I personally had nothing to do with that first paperback edition, as the publisher did all of the work to get it set up.
I was actually quite excited about having a paperback version available, was rather surprised when I discovered the publisher had priced the book at just over $16 USD.  Add in shipping and handling and any buyer would be putting out about $20 for the 6″ x 9″ trade paperback.  Quite expensive for a first novel by an unknown author.
Sales were dismal.  I knew it was too expensive, but since I did not set it up, I could only request that the publisher remove the paperback option, and the publisher graciously complied.
So I decided to set it up myself at Lulu.com.  I don’t know why the original publisher chose the 6×9 trade paperback option, but I ran the pricing on that and then compared to other format options.  I soon discovered that Lulu also offered a 5.5″ x 8.5″ digest size option and it priced out to be about 40% less expensive!
Okay – my entire point was to try to get a paperback offering on Amazon at what I considered a reasonable price.  I was a bit closer with the latest reduction in cost.  The price still wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but it was closer.
A few weeks later, I was talking with a writer friend who is very knowledgable in all aspects of publishing and self publishing.  He suggested another POD printer as an option, and I went to check them out.  Enter CreateSpace.com
I went to their site and began running the costing options.  For the same 5.5″ x 8.5″ Digest size book, same page count, the price was about 40% less expensive than the same thing at Lulu!  Not only that, but shipping costs were also less expensive than Lulu options.  Best of all, CreateSpace.com is an Amazon company, so all books have an easy tie-in to the Amazon website.
I got the CreateSpace version set up and ordered a proof copy (a requirement at CreateSpace).  Got the proof in just a couple of days and the product was great quality.  In fact, when compared to the Lulu version of the same book, the CreateSpace version was a bit thicker, which indicated that they must use a slightly thinker paper, as the page count was identical. In all other aspects, the quality was the same or better than Lulu, at a substantial savings.
Switching over to CreateSpace has now allowed me to price my novel very attractively on Amazon.com
It pays to shop around for the best pricing options.  I would suggest that you check out CreateSpace.com if you want a quality POD printed book at a very reasonable price.  I will write another article about my experience with CreateSpace.com as soon as I can.  Until then – go and compare.