Sunday, May 11, 2014

eBook Review: Time’s Echo by Rysa Walker

Verdict: 5 Stars

Books like this one make me love digital publishing. Not only do I have something to read while suffering through the interminable wait between Timebound and Time’s Edge (book 2), but I get a whole new perspective on the storyline, thanks to author Rysa Walker self-publishing this novella-slash-teaser while we wait for Amazon Publishing’s Skyscape imprint to put out the next book.

Fans of Walker’s 2013 ABNA Award winning YA time traveling adventure will enjoy seeing this side of the story as Kiernan Dunne hops around looking for clues as to what happened to Kate at the end of the World’s Fair near the end of the nineteenth century. He has a few clues, but has to jump around without destroying anything–easier said than done in time travel, it seems–in order to seek the information.

The interesting thing about authors who release these novella-length or alternate POV stories is the readers’ reactions. Some are so involved in the original novel that any additional insight is welcome and sought after. On the other hand, purists often get frustrated with the alternate narrator or the shorter length, and end up feeling dissatisfied with the new title.

Fortunately, Walker brings her same level of detail and character development to this shorter work, meaning sure, it flies by, but it was certainly worth the time. Walker’s second full-length book in the CHRONOS Files series is due out in October 2014.

eBook Review: Time’s Echo by Rysa Walker is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Look at How Titles Sell Across Genres

A Kindle alongside some paper books
The recent furor caused by Hugh Howey and the team at Author Earnings helped publishers and authors rethink the concept of “secret data,” but unfortunately, it’s been slow to have a lasting impact on how publishers and retailers guard their sales information. But one author, Edward W. Robertson, published his own look at how titles were selling in different genres, not so much in terms of actual individual sales figures, but more in terms of how different publishing methods fared across several genres.

Robertson looked at the bestseller lists on Amazon and used those rankings to compare to the method of publication, and found some interesting results. According to his post on the genre bestsellers, romance, science fiction, and fantasy titles in the top spots were doing as well as or better than traditionally published titles, with typically half of the top titles having been self-published.

But when the titles moved into genres like mystery or thrillers, the number of self-published titles at the top dwindled rapidly. Only 11% of the titles in the top 100 for those two genres were self-published.

Robertson quite freely admits that he only looked at a very small sample for each genre compared to the total number of titles published, and unlike the Author Earnings report with its thousands of titles to base its report upon, the focus of this glimpse wasn’t sales, but how publishing method affected ranking.

One thing Robertson was kind enough to point out–apart from stating very eloquently that self-published authors do sell a lot of books–is that authors in the thriller and mystery genres may want to keep their options open when it comes to choosing to publish traditionally, with a small press, or by themselves.

Robertson’s full breakdown of how the genres fared for each publishing method, as well as how these figures related to total Kindle sales, can be found HERE.

New Look at How Titles Sell Across Genres is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Attacks Against Amazon’s International Expansion

Amazon bashing is nothing new, and it’s certainly a popular topic at events where publishers have an open format to discuss the state of the industry. But what does it say about a company when its current most vocal critic is himself called a string of names in the industry and is at the seat of controversy at every turn?

Literary agent Andrew Wylie of the Andrew Wylie Literary Agency is known as “The Jackal” in the publishing industry, and that’s when the people who are disparaging him are feeling generous. Long accused of “poaching” authors away from other agencies or publishers, Wylie has a decidedly unapologetic stance when it comes to offering his clients–and apparently, the clients of other people–a deal that allows them to continue to write and support themselves well.

But Wylie, who was in Argentina for the Buenos Aires Book Fair last week, brought a decidedly painful message to the country: Beware of Amazon. According to an article for the Buenos Aires Herald, Wylie spoke out at the event and to reporters on Amazon’s predatory behavior, citing specifically the alleged wrongdoing that five of the then-Big Six publishers were accused of. Those accusations led to most of the publishers settling out of court in order to avoid even more costly legal fees, a factor that Wylie says Amazon played a part in by providing documents to the Department of Justice at the time.

This is an interesting turnaround for Wylie, who launched a digital imprint in 2010 with the express purpose of selling titles strictly through Amazon’s Kindle platform. Of course, only last fall Wylie gave an interview to the New Republic that called Kindle users “fools” and warned publishers to take their titles off of Amazon so that fewer fools had the opportunity to read them.

But even if Wylie has a point and takes it upon himself to embark on a global mission to warn new markets of Amazon’s practices, will anyone listen? Or is it too little, too late for people who feel as Wylie does, that Amazon is seeking to destroy publishing in the same way that Wylie stated Apple destroyed the music industry? However the industry chooses to listen or not, no one can say the Jackal sat by and did nothing will Amazon marched forward on its global domination quest.

New Attacks Against Amazon’s International Expansion is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Onyx Boox i63ml Newton e-Reader has Google Play


The Onyx Boox i63ml Newton has just launched in Russia and has a few major competitive advantages against their competition. The device is running Google Android 2.3 and users will be able to download any reading or comic book apps they want via Google Play.

The Onyx Boox Newton features a six inch display screen with a resolution of 1024 by 758 pixels. One of the most exciting elements about this new device is the inclusion of e Ink Carta technology. The Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Tolino Vision are the only others on the market that currently have it, making the Newton cutting edge. The crux of Carta is faster page turns and the elimination of full page refreshing whenever you turn a page.

The Newton allows users to read in the dark with their front-lit display. I actually like the fact they bill it as “moonlight,” which gives them the ability to market it more effectively.

Underneath the hood is a single core 1GHZ processor, 512 MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.  This should store over 10,000 books, but if you feel like you are installing a ton of apps from Google Play, you can buy an SD Card.

Open e-Readers is becoming a major trend in 2014 with the core operating system switching from Linux to Android.  Sony and Barnes and Noble have always used Android in their e-readers but it has been a very locked down version of it, having no ability to load in your own apps. The Onyx Newton has Google Play built into it, which likely does not have official certification from Google, but hey, Onyx is a Chinese company after all.

Android 2.3 is quite limiting to be able to install all of the latest generation e-reading and comic book apps, since most depend on Android 4.0 to run effectively. Still, there are a ton of apps out there that will allow users to be able to craft their own e-reader experience, much like a stock vanilla Android tablet.

This e-reader is exclusively available in Russia for 6990 RUB, which is the standard for a top of the line e-reader. Onyx normally makes really good products, so this likely will be one of the best ones released all year in that market.

New Onyx Boox i63ml Newton e-Reader has Google Play is a post from: Good e-Reader