Monday, February 7, 2011

A few questions for our bloggers (Part 2)

Continued from yesterday’s post, more E is for Book bloggers answer these questions:
1. Why are you writing or do you want to write for the e is for book blog?
2. Do you have an out of print (OP) title in mind you’d like to put into ebook or story app form? Tell us a little about it.
3. Do you use an ereader? Which one(s) and what do you read on it? Tell us what you like or dislike about it.

4. If you're thinking about getting an ereader, which one is calling to you and why?

Phillis Gershator

I don't know much about ebooks and zilch about fast moving e-technology, but I want to contribute as much as I can to any future collective efforts that help authors/artists in our creative, economic lives.

I have several out of print (OP) books that would work I think, using minimal effects and music, too (some of which is already available on a CD for kids we did). ZZZNG! ZZZNG! ZZZNG! won an Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice award. It features buzzy mosquito songs which would be fun with sound effects. PALAMPAM DAY has snappy dialog, and since it’s set in the Caribbean, the reader could be someone with a West Indian accent, with some background steel pan or scratch band style music. My books can be seen at www.phillisgershator.com.

My first priority with OP is actually to try to get the books which were still selling when they went OP, and which I still love, back in print for certain niches of the market—an effort in progress.
I’m having difficulties getting the rights to some OP books though. (I never should have let rights slide!) I’m also working on projects that have potential, trying to improve them and in some cases illustrate them myself, for an e-book future. I’m all for simple e-books copies of a picture book, as in the examples on the now defunct LookyBook website. I fear that people will now want more action and “interactivity”  but hope there will be room for both.

I haven't tried an ereader yet.
I’m a "senior" and my brain is definitely wired for [real] books. I've worked in the wholesale end of book selling, in publishing, and as a public and school librarian, so real books are absolutely my thing—though I am a computer fan, too. I do find reading on the computer causes eyestrain and I don't absorb the info as well. Maybe e-readers are better for the eyes though—and the apps ARE amazing.

If
I’m going to create my own e-books for kids, even tho I’m putting off an e-reader purchase, it’s inevitable. I’d choose the one with the best capabilities for picture books and one that offers the most access/selection. I’d probably end up with something with an “i” in front of it since I've been a Mac user since the very first Apple computers came out.

Elizabeth O. Dulemba
Before I am an illustrator or writer, I am a storyteller. My main purpose is to share my stories with the public, no matter the form of delivery, whether through storytelling, books, or technology. It's an exciting time to be a creator with so many new ways to share stories!

My first app was LULA'S BREW (click here for more info) and it's addictive having a fun book in this new format. Since then, I’ve been working to reassume rights on one of my first books which I think would adapt well to e-media, although so far it's been slow going. I’d also like to make my Coloring Page Tuesdays into an interactive app.

I have an iPhone, iPad and a Kindle and I use them all for different things. Obviously the iPhone is great out and about. The iPad is wonderful for checking emails, browsing online and playing, but I found it a bit heavy for reading. The Kindle is awesome for reading. And it’s so light and small I take it with me all the time. I’d love to see the NOOKcolor!

Laura Ruby

I've been tracking the changes in publishing for a couple of years, and doing a lot of research on my own. I started to wonder if self-publishing one of my own OP books as an ebook would be a good choice, but I was daunted by the idea of becoming my own publisher. (I've said it in an earlier post: I *like* traditional publishing and would hate to see it go away). When a friend—Katie Davis—told me about eisforbook, I wanted to join. I figured why not hash out all the issues with professionals in the same boat, and share our experiences online?

The first book that I will experiment with is my first published book: Lily's Ghosts. Since Lily came out nine years ago, I figure she's due for a new look anyway. Though I'm currently working on some projects that I intend to publish traditionally, I am pretty excited about this new venture, and I'm happy to be doing it with the support of friends. My books can be seen here:
www.lauraruby.com

Funny thing is, I don’t yet own a dedicated ereader. As a matter of fact, I'm distinctly unprepared for the “erevolution” in that I'm still learning how to use Blogger and Twitter, haven’t figured out how to hook up my email and Facebook with my smart phone, and can barely keep track of all my passwords. But I’d say that since I’m an Apple girl, I’d probably spring for an iPad. Pretty!

John Nez
Just like with digital art, I didn’t want to miss the boat. Now I do so many things with digital art, I actually had a panic attack when I realized there is a possibility I may not use real paints at all anymore. I don’t have any ebooks in print just now, but I do have a few OP titles that might adapt to an ebook or app.

I never talk about my book ideas in detail, but I can say I have some ideas for ebook apps that might be exciting. Luckily I’ve been too busy with paying work to even finish learning all that's in my new Adobe Suite CS5 that I recently upgraded to.

I have to say that the ebook makes real books seem very exotic and wonderful by comparison. Just having a physical book with a size, shape, texture & color is wonderful. I find my iPod e-reader to be woefully one-dimensional in comparison. 

I only have an iPod Touch at present. I was surprised how quickly I became bored with all the apps and gizmos, so I mostly just use it for the music when I go out bicycle riding (daily exercise) and reading when I arrive at the cafe (exercise destination). It's nice to look at photos with. But I find that most of the apps I've tried have been more trouble than they're worth to figure out and configure. I still prefer desktop computing with a mouse and Wacom tablet.

I understand there will soon be dozens of new Android tablets everywhere. They’re fun gizmos, but I have no plans on buying one. I am thinking about getting a new bicycle though!

I love working with InDesign and Photoshop on my Mac Pro to create picture books.  I have dozens of dummies in that format.  As I understand it, all it takes is a bit of tweaking in the PDF export and it suddenly will become an ebook.  So once I find the free time, no doubt I'll try it out.

Ellen Beier
As a book illustrator for 25 years I have several projects that I can envision as ebooks and/or apps and plan to contribute to the discussion as these books are developed. And, as a current graduate student in book studies, I am particularly intrigued by the publishing dynamics in this digital “incunabula” as it relates to the first period of printing in the 15th century—changes in design decisions, copyright, pirating, distribution, use of technology—many of the concerns are parallel, surprisingly enough.

I have a couple of OP titles which I have requested rights for, which I can talk about when the rights are secured. But I have 2 other projects which are excellent candidates:
1. a middle grade/YA historical fictional biography for which I did the cover and some of the design, which was written by an award-winning author (who is also a friend)—this book was published in a limited run by a state-level historical organization, and would shine as an e-book. I am currently checking into rights.
2. a 24-page full-color book for very young readers, which I was hired to illustrate privately by the author about 5 years ago and she self-published on Booksurge (now Createspace). The book in that format had several broad problems: unusual format (24 pages), too expensive per copy, little distribution access. At 24-pages and minimal price this book could become an entertaining and educational app, as it involves a group of animals (sounds and movement). My books can be seen here: http://www.ellenbeier.com.

I am in the process of downloading Kindle for Mac to use on my laptop (per Loreen's article). Reading on a phone or iPod does not appeal to me—the Kindle, Nook, and iPad serve different purposes. By the time I am ready to purchase, I can imagine things will shift—some become more affordable (the iPad hopefully) or more multi-functional.

Amy Timberlake
Writing is the only thing I seem to do well. :)

I think it’s important for book creators to think about ebooks (and the new world that the internet and social media is bringing). Ebooks are a great opportunity. It gives us more control of our books, and you can reach people on all sorts of devices. Books are being read on smartphones, ipads, ereaders, as well as books made of paper. (I think of paper books as one “delivery system” among many.) No longer do you have to settle for your book being out of print! Yay! See my books here: www.amytimberlake.com

I'm also hoping to see artists starting to make a living wage from their work. I think there’s an opportunity for that as well with ebooks. I want to see artists make money! More arts in the world makes it a better place.

Also, if I can do anything to make this topic (and in fact all of social media) a little less fearful to folks that would be great. I sense a lot of fear among book creators, that we're afraid to step out and try stuff. I don
t think it has to be like this. If more people were taking little steps, experimenting and sharing their results (even if it doesnt work) it would be better for us all. Who cares if you fail? You tried! That's what this blog is for, right? A group of us trying stuff and sharing our discoveries?

I don
t have any books available on ereaders and I do not like it. I am missing a significant chunk of people by not having any ebooks.

I use a Kindle. Got it as a gift two years ago. But now that I'm used to it, I love it. I
m a big reader and I use it every day. Seriously. I love it for travel (I often travel with 2 or 3 books). I love its long battery life (a whole weekend on one charge). I love that I can read free sample chapters anywhere and they download to the device. Anything in the public domain is very cheap or free. (Though I dont mind the price of new books either—Im used to it.) I love the e-ink: I work on a computer all day and my eyes get tired, so I dont necessarily want to spend a lot of time looking at backlit screens. The e-ink has no eye strain—it's amazing. I like how light the Kindle is (sometimes hardcover books make my hands go to sleep if I try to read them in bed, but not the Kindle).

And here
s something I never expected: I actually am disappointed when books arent available on my Kindle. I prefer reading on this thing now. (This was a transition that took a couple of months, but it is now my go-to device for reading.)

So I
m a fan of the Kindle. But I'm not a huge fan of the way Amazon has been so restrictive with its device and the books on it—but thats been loosening a lot recently. And Im hopeful that this will all work out. It seems like it is….

I
m thinking of getting an iPad. (New generation coming out in April. Or so I hear.) I want to use it as a phone, a calender, a way to post to my blog when Im traveling, etc. So there are a lot of reasons Im thinking of buying this thing. But as a writer, Im thinking of it as a travel computer for times when the writing isnt too heavy, and a research device. Itll help me understand apps better, check out magazines (which I think will be better on the iPad than say, a Kindle) and to check out iBooks. As a writer, I dont think I can ignore this stuff much longer—so many people are using it now. I need to check it out myself.

Most of our current bloggers have appeared in these two posts...we hope to hear from the remaining authors soon!

3 comments:

  1. Hey, that was helpful to read! Thanks for sharing everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amy, I so agree with you. My Kindle is quickly becoming my reading experience of choice. It's so light and easy on the eyes (can you say 'enlarge text'?). I'm finding that I'm reading like a fiend all of a sudden. Although there are parts of the book experience that I truly miss. It will be interesting to look back six months from now and see how my reading/book buying habits have truly changed. e

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting Elizabeth -- Yeah, I don't know what's going on with me and my ereader, but I LOVE it. I think ereaders work really well for big readers like me.

    It IS wild because as a piece of beautiful tech? Well, it doesn't quite cut it. Not compared to the ipad, but that e-ink is a balm to the eyes (man, I stare at screens way too much.)

    I started getting worried about buying habits when I saw how I was disappointed if a book wasn't available. I can't be the only one . . . And I don't have a book available on the Kindle.

    And YES, the ENLARGE the TEXT feature. Nice! I'm with you there too!

    ReplyDelete