Sony Reader: U.K. Buys 30,000!

January 15, 2009

Waterstone’s reveals Sony Reader sales

Waterstone’s has sold “almost 30,000” units of e-book device the Sony Reader, following its launch in the stores at the beginning of September. It is the first time the retailer has divulged the number sold.

Nice work!

I believe Waterstone’s exclusive arrangement has ended and other retailers are now stocking it. Aside from silver, the gorg-o-licious Red is now available.

eCub Adventures Update #1

January 15, 2009

It occurred to me that I should make a MobiPocket version of The People of the Abyss so I can look at it on my LifeDrive to see what it’s like.

Unfortunately, eCub failed when I told it to create a MobiPocket version. Of course, it was all due to human error, as the developer informed me:

If it just failed with no helpful message, probably the command line is not set up properly in Preferences/Helpers – you need to get mobigen.exe and tell eCub where it is.

Yes, that was the case. I didn’t have the needed file.

However, earlier yesterday I’d downloaded the necessary MobiPocket software.

And, eejit that I am (because veterans of that software will already know what’s coming next), I discovered that the MobiPocket desktop software could import ePub.

So I gave it the ePub file I’d created with eCub.


Here are some screensnaps of it on the desktop:

That cover is only temporary. I need to find or create a better one.

I dropped the font size on the desktop down to 12 to make it appear more book-like.

What’s interesting is that Mobi scales the photos depending on my LifeDrive’s screen orientation. In landscape, that photo gets bigger!

A pleasant surprise was the text was right-justified (something I’ve not so far been able to get the ePub version to do!) and has hyphenation. The hyphenation is sometimes spectacularly bad, however (I saw “pol-iceman,” for example), and there are still too many gaps between words to make it look book-like.

I also tried using the MobiType option. The type becomes nearly microsocopic unless I specify the largest one. And then, italics are lost in the process!

Abyss is still in pre-alpha form. I have to get the photos for it, format the text that opens each chapter, and tweak the tables. Tables aren’t handled well in Mobi, by the way, nor are blockquote and pre-formatted text.

But the Mobi version is just for me to look at.

It’s the ePub version that will matter.

R.I.P.: Patrick McGoohan

January 14, 2009

Prisoner star McGoohan dies at 80

Emmy-winning actor Patrick McGoohan, best known for starring in cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner, has died at the age of 80.

He died in Los Angeles after a short illness, his film producer son-in-law Cleve Landsberg said.

First episode of The Prisoner series, Arrival, unnamed secret agent played by McGoohan in the sanctum of Number One, and perhaps the first eBook ever envisioned:

— a dossier of the agent’s life, seemingly from cradle to the present, with each paper page turn synchronized to a corresponding image on the screen.

He has finally escaped The Village.

Hard Case Crime To eBooks!

January 13, 2009

Dorchester Publishing to Deliver Entire Frontlist and Selected Backlist in eBook and Digital Formats

Dorchester Publishing has published mass market books since 1971, making it the oldest independent mass market publisher in America. Known for its collection of romance novels, Dorchester also publishes world-class horror, thrillers and western titles, as well as the award-winning Hard Case Crime line of pulp-style mysteries, science fiction and fantasy titles from the award-winning Wildside Press. In addition, Dorchester is now distributing the bestselling Family Doctor series of health guides in the US and Canada.

Emphasis added by me.

I have waited and waited and waited for this!

For years I’ve been drooling over the Hard Case Crime series. Who wouldn’t, given their delicious classic pulpy covers?

… but they’ve all been on paper!

Now, e is coming!

I am going to go soooo broke buying these.

Free eBook: The Catholic Orangemen

January 13, 2009

The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known is in the center of a free speech dispute. The original print publisher canceled its commitment due to a legal threat. The author is giving the book away for free in PDF format and has self-published in paper to sell.

See this post and this post for details.

Why freedom of speech matters.

Quote: Dorothea Salo

January 13, 2009

The DRM Ponzi event horizon

Personally, despite my neverending love affair with the written word, I’m getting tired of owning print books. There, I’ve said it. They take up a whole lot of space, they clutter, and they’re obnoxious to pack (yes, I’ve moved twice in the last five years and that may not be the end of it, how about you?). For my purposes, with most books, ebooks would be far preferable both for one-time and many-time reads… if I could be assured of keeping my many-time reads.

Several New eBook Videos

January 11, 2009