In Which I Break Down & Buy A Kindle

I did it. I finally did it. I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. I looked at other eReaders but finally decided on the Kindle, which is unarguably the most popular eReader out there.

Why did I do it? I have nothing against eBooks, mind you. I think they are great and folks who have eReaders love them for their portability plus ability to carry around so many books at once. Also, eBooks are much more economical to buy than print books. I can relate to that. What I don’t care for, are the proclamations of the young whippersnappers who declare that print publishing is dead. Nothing is a good substitute for a real, live, hold in your hand, page turning book.

When I prepared 5 Acres & A Dream The Book for publication, I researched doing it in a mobi format as well as print. I learned that for as many photos and diagrams as I have, mobi was not a good option. Still, for personal use, what argument could I find for not having a Kindle? I was running into too many good free and discount offers for books I’d like to read. I started to consider it.

Also I was curious as to how 5 Acres & A Dream The Book would actually look on an eReader. How bad could it be? I have a pdf copy (downloaded from CreateSpace in an effort to convince me to make an eBook edition available too). I can convert this to mobi with Calibre.

Now my mind is wondering about ePublishing, even though 5 Acres The Book is not an option. I doubt that Critter Tales, my work in progress, would be a good candidate either, for the same reason. But, another book on my list of possibilities is a how-to type book, maybe, The Little Book of Homestead How-Tos. Possibly I could write these as stand-alone pieces, each as an eBook, although many of my how-tos rely heavily on photos. The collection could be published in paperback. Something to think about perhaps?

Of the Kindle itself, yes, I do like it. But you know what? I still like hard copy paper books better.

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8 Responses to In Which I Break Down & Buy A Kindle

  1. Alisa says:

    I’m not sure why you reached the decision that an ebook would not work for your book. A ton of the books I read on my kindle are even more picture and diagram heavy than yours, and they read perfectly.I actually put off buying your book for ages, because I would much prefer it in an ebook format. I really think you should reconsider; I think you’re probably missing out on a lot of sales. It’s too awesome of a book not to reach as many readers as it can!

    • Leigh says:

      Alisa, I appreciate the comment and encouragement. Not being familiar with Kindles I initially asked the opinion of several people who use them a lot. Each one told me that my book probably wouldn’t translate well because of all the images; I have 142 photos and 14 charts and diagrams. I took their word for it. You’re the first who thinks is could be done! I would love to know what books like that you’ve read on kindle, because I’d like to see how they look. I’m curious enough to look into it, especially now that I have a kindle of my own. I plan to do some experimenting, so watch this blog for what I learn!

      • Alisa says:

        Hi Leigh, Thanks for responding! A few books you might want to look into are “The Weekend Homesteader” by Anna Hess, “Little House in the Suburbs” by Daisy Siskins, and “The Edible Front Yard” by Ivette Soler. I wonder if those people you asked had the older b&w only type of Kindle? I suspect I might have given you a similar answer, when I had only my older Kindle Touch. Now that I have a Kindle Fire, however, pictures (and diagrams) are glorious on it. Really, because of space and portability, the only printed books I buy anymore are either books that are especially dear to me, ones I can’t get on ebook, or things like cookbooks. I’m still a little leery of cooking in close proximity to fancy gadgets!

        • Leigh says:

          Alisa, thank you for responding! I will definitely take a look at your recommendations. I hope to experiment this weekend, converting 5 Acres & A Dream The Book to epub and mobi formats. I’ll take photos and screenshots and post the results sometime next week.

          One of my original concerns and reasons for not going with an e-edition was fear that the book would look terrible and give a bad impression. Negative reviews can do more damage than the benefit of a few extra sales. From your feedback I think it would probably do well on the Kindle Fire. But I also think when publishing an eBook, an author should be careful to use the most universal formatting possible. Formatting only for high end products can result for an unsatisfactory experience for those with less expensive products.

          I got the plain, basic B&W Kindle, mostly because of price, but also because I want a dedicated, no distractions eReader. I know folks do love their Kindle Fires, but I know folks who prefer to stick with more basic models, including non-Amazon versions.

          Anyway, this discussion is very helpful for me.

          • Alisa says:

            I think that kindles have been out for long enough now that most owners are familiar with what they can do. And can’t do- it is certainly a valid point that you want your book to look great. When I owned just the black and white kindle, I did avoid ebooks that were heavy on graphics, as I knew I’d be missing out on the full glory. So I think if you converted yours to ebook, most of your sales would be Fire owners. But that’s a whole untapped market for you right now! I’ll be excited to see what the sample pages look like.

  2. Leigh says:

    The only thing I’ll be able to look at it on is my basic kindle. I looked at previews of the books you mentioned in the kindle store, and could see the previews are in color and would look good on the Fire. I downloaded one book, but the photos didn’t look that great. It gave me an idea of the problem.

  3. Garrett says:

    You know, I broke down and got a Kindle (Paperwhite) back in December, mostly for the same reason. I was publishing books and wanted to be able to really see what it would it be like for people who read my books in electronic form.

    Since then, I’ve grown to like my kindle (begrudgingly!).

    But to me the most interesting part is the way it’s changed what I read, rather than how I read it.

    I find myself reading so many “self published” books via the kindle. I find books for free or very inexpensive by unknown authors and give them a try.

    To be sure, I’ve found a whole pile of books riddled with errors and what I’d consider to be poor writing. But I’ve also found some real gems in there too. Not sure if it’s worth the effort… 🙂

    • Leigh says:

      Garrett, I have to agree about reading with the Kindle. It’s a fantastic way to read new authors. I also like it’s so portable; I can always have a book with me when I’m out.

      I know our library loans books for Kindle, but I haven’t tried that yet. I’ve also recently discovered Open Library where I can download classics for free on my Kindle. And I think the Guttenburg Project does too.

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