E-reading software…an update

 

 

 

 

 

Recently I accidentally pushed an old post griping about e-readers.  After quite a bit of research, my eventual solution was to purchase a nexus7:

I got this primarily for the form factor (it fits like a trade paperback in my hand),  and the price and performance are outstanding. The Nexus7 also has the added benefit of doing ALL of the things I usually do with my much smaller phone, which is convenient, as I’m mobile near wifi hotspots quite a lot.

After a few months of futzing about with different E-Book software, I finally came up with Moon+Reader Pro as my go to e-reader.

I love the fact that it is extremely customizable. Everything from font to page color/texture to…well just about anything you want to make the experience “yours” is available with this software

Its ONLY drawback is that occasionally (and I do mean this in the strictest sense of the word) it will come across an epub or other format that it mis-handles. For these situations, I have a choice of e-readers to fall back on.

My second favorite e-book software actually surprised me a bit. If it weren’t for moonreader, my main choice would be the NOOK reader from Barnes and Noble. While not as full featured, it handles all of the basics beautifully, and I’ve yet to see ANY book not render properly with it.

The next choice in line is the KOBO reader which isn’t at the top of my list for readers, BUT it has online store capabilities that I like.

Another okay selection is the Aldiko reader. This isn’t nearly as customizable, BUT its online store has access to multiple sources such as Smashwords  and  Oreilly. Another feature that is aces here is the ability to add your own catalogs/stores. I just wish this reader was just a bit easier on the eyes.

My last choice on this list is Amazon’s Kindle software. While a very efficient reader with some nice customization options, my WORST complaint is that it natively only works with the Amazon proprietary ebook format (AZW). I prefer epub and non-drm formats for portability and access.  (You CAN convert other formats to AZW, but its a pain, and if the book is DRM”d (Digital Rights Management)—a fancy term for encrypted, its an even more hackish mess.)

I CANNOT STAND PROPRIETARY FORMATS. There. I feel better now.

 

A big reason for that mini-rant  (besides hating vendor lock-in) is that my entire e-book library is handled by this doozy of an application that lives on my main desktop PC..behold Calibre!

This was an absolute godsend from the coding deities as it allows me to store my books, edit metadata, back the books up to the cloud AND serve the content to any device I want.

(Another feature of MoonReader+Pro is that it has native calibre functionality, which is nifty if you don’t have or want the calibre companion application.)

I also use Calibre Companion for connecting to Calibre.  This picture is a default view on my tablet:

I’m not a big “reviewer”, but these are the choices that work at this point in time.

Hope that helps if you’re hunting about for e-reader software, as I think it is a very good start.  There are TONS of e-book applications out there…these are my choices.

 

The writing process evolves…for me.

Screenshot from 2014-04-12 05:18:04When writing “After the Burning: Princess“, I was in old school mode where every page was printed out. When revising/editing I would take a red pen and mark the crap out of the pages with corrections/notes/etc.

Now that I’ve moved to the self publishing game (and with my old printer having bitten the dust), I’ve had to think of new ways to do this…and so far what I’ve come up with is working pretty well.

At certain points, (every few chapters) I save the document as a pdf file. Then I convert that to the epub format (my preferred e-book formatting standard) using Calibre and then content serve the result to my nexus7 and my e-book reader(s). I usually use Moonreader Pro, but also check the work on the nook and kindle software for consistency.  Now I can see the work as a reader would. At each point I spot something, I just look up to the manuscript on the screen in my word processor…and make the change.

The picture I’ve attached shows my Archlinux desktop with my workflow setup. You can see the desktops/windows on the right side of the pic.
Web (research/cat vacuuming) on the top, then a music player in the second desktop(window).
The third window has all of the outline/backstory/overview documents tiled for easy go-to. The fourth window is the manuscript.

I love technology.

p.s.
For those curious, I do NOT use microsoft products. My work is always cobbled together in Libreoffice Writer, and if a MS word document format is needed, I just use a “convert to .doc file save as xxx”.  Writer can save in multiple formats including PDF.

For novels/manuscripts/etc., without a lot of weird formatting issues, this is a snap, and I’ve found no consistency errors using Libreoffice.

Ahh Language!

I was opining in another thread on FB about writers and cursing, and realized I really needed (well, wanted anyway) to stick this here as well.

—From my paying job, some people ONLY cuss. It’s a whole nuthamuthafuckin language. So as a cabbie, I have learned to speak drunkican, cusslish, dopese, and allmixedtagethan. It’s a skill.

As George Carlin once opined, “On TV you can say you prick your finger, but you can’t say you finger your prick.” Gotta love the English language.—

Writing plans ongoing!

So the ‘what’s up on the writing front’ is:

I’m going to take a few days this week or next and do a buff on the first book, reformat for pdf and put it up on createspace (amazon’s print on demand service).

Also I’m thinking about doing a Michael Bunker / Hugh Howey and serialize the release of the 2nd volume instead of the entire thing at once….with an omnibus for volume 2 when it’s done. Gotta think about this a bit, but as I’ve not really done any marketing at this point…pulling it back and re-releasing it in the serial format is probably doable as well.

(No marketing as I didn’t want to put volume one out, blab it up, and then wait forever for volume 2. Having a few folks mad at me for delays is one thing, but having a LOT of people mad at me…well screw that. )

Originally it was my intent to wade into the traditional publishing world, but 3/4 way through Princess, I decided to go my own way after a TON of research on the industry, but at that point hadn’t seen what some of the more successful indie authors had been doing by putting out chunks of the work instead of all at once. -go figure. (Murphy lurks there, I’m thinking.)

Brave new world out there in publishing land.

I only mention this stuff, as feedback from the first book has been uniformly awesome, and gives me hope to make a success out of this passion of mine.

It’s NOT the money.

I keep seeing this statement around the internets and elsewhere anytime someone has an issue with XY or Z (usually the government or some powerful conglomerate plotting evil death for its customers):

” It’s about money and NOTHING else.”

This annoys me to no end.

This is one of those memes that has been said so often, by so many, that now it’s assumed to be truth…when it is actually complete and utter tosh.

Money is merely a measuring stick for value. THAT’S ALL IT IS. The more you have, the more value you possess/control. It is POWER and CONTROL that should be eyeballed. Use money as a barometer of those two things, yes, but without money, the measure of control and power would be bullets, rifles, tanks, guns, whips and chains.

With money as the measuring stick and limited governments reined in from excesses, we are spared a 5,000 year span of REAL “haves and have nots”, slavery and agonizing death at the hands of others.

This irritation of mine applies even more so when applied to governments…who already control every aspect of currency. The only concern about money for a government is how much they can take from the governed to further their power and control over said governed without being reined in.

If you are having heartburn over an issue, and you stop and focus on “money”, then you haven’t reached the root cause of the issue, whatever that issue may be.

Makin’ change

#FROMMYBACKSEAT:
Drunk guy gets in the cab.
“uh, home…uh…” blabs address.
Me:
“yessir.”
Off we go.

On the way:
Drunkguy:
“canyabreakahunnert?”
Me:
“no sir”
Drunkguy:
“damn. Stop at 7-11. I’ll break it.”
Me:
“yes sir.”

So we do that.  He spends 10 minutes in the store, while the meter ticks away.
He buys 7-11 pizza, drink, smokes.
Gets back in the car, and off we go to his place.
We get there.

Drunkmoronic guy:
“Canyabreakahunert?”
Me:
“WTF?”
Drunkmoronic guy:
“Uh..uh…”

So I look at my bag o’ change.  I look at the meter. (14$)

“All I’ve got is 70$”

“k.”

I love drunk people.

Break a leg, they said.

Things writers do to drive themselves batshit:

So a character in my novel has suffered a very bad compound fracture of the femur (thigh). In a scene I’m currently writing, said character (female) has to relieve herself…and suddenly I’m out of the narrative scratching my head…just how in the HELL can that be done? So first step: google “compound fracture: femur”.

I will NEVER EVER EVER be able to unsee the horrifying images from the result of THAT search. ‘le-sigh.

Second, after posing the question to a female friend, it appears that the logistics of the scenario becomes pretty awkward because assistance is going to be required…and no I’m not having said character just cut loose, as tempting from a “get it out of the way” perspective as that might be.

Yep, the things writers get themselves into. gads.