Monday, February 7, 2011

First Monday With Robyn: Ebook convenience

Convenience, Convenience, Convenience

By Robyn Gioia

Newsflash: Amazon reports selling more eBooks than paperbacks [article].

My hands-on experience with eBooks has skyrocketed since writing last month. And that’s because I received a Kindle for Christmas. Seems my husband was eavesdropping on some of my conversations with my writer friends because I don’t remember discussing eBooks with him. I’m glad he did.

As you probably know already, Kindle is Amazon’s eBook reader. The major bookstores have split up into different groups when it comes to eBook readers. The Nook belongs to Barnes and Noble, and Borders is featuring several readers such as Kobo, Velocity Micro Cruz, and Sony. And that’s important to know, because they are not the same.

For instance, my Kindle can not download eBooks from the library. Since libraries have embraced the digital age and are loaning out a bigger and bigger selection of eBooks all the time, that’s an important thing to know. Seems that Nooks and Sonys are library compatible, but Amazon has not given the libraries permission to make their eBooks available to Kindles yet. A librarian friend said Amazon will send you a patch that allows you to download library loans, but only if you request it. To be fair, there is a link [here] where people loan and borrow Kindle ebooks.  I have not ventured into these areas yet, but I will let you know when I do.

I started a series called The Alchemyst by Michael Scott with my students. We all read book one. I, like many of my students, wanted to continue on in the series. I checked the price of book two on my Kindle. Its live bookstore link takes you right into the cyber store where a book can be downloaded within moments. By the end of the week, I had purchased and read book three and four, too. The reader’s convenience was evident. No driving to the bookstore, or the library, where it might have been checked out. In fact, there was no waiting at all. When I turned the page from book three to book four, I didn’t even get up off the couch. And Amazon has kindly offered to cyber zing book five to my Kindle the second the download is hot off the press. Or should I say hot off the wire.

But that also means I don’t have a paperback to share with friends. I, like many authors, am a collector of books. I LOVE my books. I loan them out, discuss them with friends, sticky note special passages, flip through pages for quotes, and compare story lines. I revisit books that catch my eye, and admire the different styles of cover art. That is something the eBook reader won’t be doing anytime soon.

* * *

Robyn Gioia, teacher and children’s author. She is the author of America’s REAL First Thanksgiving, St. Augustine, FL, September 8, 1565. The book can be purchased here. You can visit her web site at:


  1. "Love Is Murder" was all abuzz about eBooks and the 'end of the printing press,' as Joe Konrath's session was called. Authors surely have many more options today than the traditional route of centrally-controlled publishers and distributors. They won't disappearm but their role will change. It just isn't clear yet what the change will look like.

  2. Let me echo John’s comments. I’ve been going to Love Is Murder for at least ten years now and there was more talk about ebooks at last weekend’s event than for the ten previous years combined. In fact, I have an upcoming author interview with Stephen Brayton, a new author with a two book ebook deal with Echelon Press, quickly becoming one of the leaders in the e-publishing field. It’s nice to see Robyn ahead of the curve on this!