Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Naked Violin

This is not technically a publishing item, but it is about the creative use of digital downloads. 

Tasmin Little is a gifted violinist.  She started her career, a child prodigy at 7.  As an adult she champion's not just her instrument, but "classical music" as a whole. 

This year she has a new project -- The Naked Violin. 

The Naked Violin is a series of recordings that feature the violin -- all by itself.  No orchestra, string quartet or other accompaniment.  Just the naked violin.

She is taking the project on the road next summer.  The tour and indeed, the entire project, was created with the express goal of making classical music available and accessible.  The concert tour has scheduled several unlikely venues -- a women's prison, an Oil Rig and some shopping malls.  She says that this project is about "removing barriers."

As part of the project, she is offering eight recordings along with spoken information as a FREE download on her site.  The entire CD which normally would sell for around $20 is there for anyone to download.  She wants you to download the CD and to take Tasmin's Three Step Challenge:

Step 1

Listen to my spoken introduction and download my CD.

Step 2

Take some time to listen and get to know these pieces. Then write to me and tell me what you like (or don’t like) about each piece.

Step 3

Go to a concert, buy a CD or write and tell me what barriers still remain to prevent you from wanting to do either! 

Email:tasmin at (You'll have to type this address as she wants to avoid SPAM as much as possible)

I took the challenge. 

Her spoken introductions are clear, interesting and very informative.  They really make the music come to life.  This is way better than any music appreciation class I was forced to take!

The recordings are awesome.  I have listened to all of the cuts a couple of time and most of the Bach ones five or six times.

I'm still thinking about Step 3.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

eBook Discounts for January 27, 2008

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This week's selections more or less leave me speechless. . .it's either self imporvement or escape; nothing in between. Use coupon code C3KL9 at checkout to get this weeks discounts. Happy Reading!!
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Losing It, And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time eBook edition
by Bertinelli, Valerie
Losing It is Bertinelli's frank motivational story -- from her complicated family life to her struggles to maintain a healthy self-image while coping with celebrity, her tumultuous 20-year marriage to rock star Eddie Van Halen, and her difficulties with depression. She takes us behind the scenes in her acting career and marriage, recalling the stress and concerns of being a rock star's wife, the joys of motherhood, her lifelong battle with weight, and her determination to let herself feel loved again.
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List Price : $16.99
Your price $13.07 (Using your 10% discount and $ .69points in eBook Reward points)
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One Night with a Sweet-Talking Man eBook Edition
by: Leigh, Ana
The Frasers are back! Bestselling author Ana Leigh continues her stirring series with brother Jed -- who's been taming the high seas aboard a China clipper. Briefly ashore in San Francisco to visit his family, Jed meets Caroline Collins and her eight-year-old son. Beautiful Caroline doesn't have a husband in sight and she seems surprisingly hostile toward Jed, who is used to being though of as quite a catch. But there's something intriguing about her and the boy, something that convinces Jed he should stay awhile. Caroline
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List Price : $5.99
Your price $4.61 (Using your 10% discount and $ .24 in eBook Reward points)
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A New Earth eBook edition
by: Tolle. Eckhart
The highly anticipated follow-up to the 2,000,000 copy bestselling inspirational book, The Power of Now With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived "in the now"? In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world.
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List Price : $14.00
Your price $10.77 (Using your 10% discount and $ .57 in eBook Reward points)
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The Mist eBook edition
by: King, Steven
The storm rolled across Long Lake in Maine with a fury, leaving David Drayton and his family with fallen trees, downed power lines, and no electricity. At his wife's request, David heads to the local supermarket to stock up on supplies, taking his young son and neighbor along for the ride. But the strange white mist that lingered on the lake has followed them to town, stranding them all in the store. Because something in the fog is taking people-and you can hear their screams...
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List Price : $6.99
Your price $5.98 (Using your 10% discount and $.31 in eBook Reward points)
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Women & Money eBook edition
by: Orman, Suze
Suze Orman investigates the complicated, dysfunctional relationship women have with money in this groundbreaking new book. With her signature mix of insight, compassion, and soul-deep recognition, she equips women with the financial knowledge and emotional awareness to overcome the blocks that have kept them from making more out of the money they make.
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List Price : $17.95
Your price $15.35 (Using your 10% discount and $ .81 in eBook Reward points)

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Read an eBook Week

First, a correction.  And I do NOT plan to make a habit of this. . . Read an eBook Week was noted with the incorrect dates. . .

I got an email on Friday from Rita Toews:

Oh, Gigi! How embarrassed can a person be?  Extremely embarrassed!

I'm the one who registered Read An E-Book Week with Chases Calendar of Events several years ago.  I always had in my mind it was the second FULL week of March. 

In fact, this year it is listed in Chases as the second WEEK of March, so it is actually March 2 - 8th. 

So mark your calendars for Read an eBook Week as March 2-8, 2008.  Here are a few words about Read an eBook Week:

We're encouraged to buy, use and dispose with the environment in mind. While it's easy to recognize the negative impact of excess packaging and chemical content in many of the products we purchase, it's not so easy when it comes to books, magazines and newspapers.

We do have alternatives other than paper for our reading material. Many books, newspapers and magazines are created electronically. No trees are cut to produce them. No ink is used to put the words on the page. No fossil fuel is used to run presses or trucks to move the books around the country. Heated storage facilities are not required to warehouse e-books as they remain within your computer.

March 2nd - 8th , 2008 is Read An E-Book Week. The week is set aside to educate consumers about reading electronic books and other reading material. E-books are delivered to the end user electronically. They are read on devices such as the new Sony portable reader or Amazon's Kindle. They are destroyed with the push of a delete button, without ever taking up room in a landfill.

It takes 24 trees to produce a ton of printing paper, the type normally used for books, 12 trees are harvested for a ton of newsprint. Up to 35% of books printed for consumers (down from nearly 60% several years ago) are never read. They are used for window dressing in book stores, and eventually returned to the publisher for disposal in landfills. Given that a mature tree can produce as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year, a serious alternative to paper books, magazines and newspapers needs to be considered. That alternative is e-books.

Before purchasing your next paper book, magazine or newspaper, consider your carbon footprint commitment. Read electronically.

Read An E-Book Week, March 2 - 8, 2008. For more information please visit

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Spare Wife eBook edition

The Spare Wife by Alex Witchel is one of those books that I categorize as the perfect beach read.  Light and fluffy as a souffle and just about as substantial.

Of course I read every word.

It is an interesting quirk of the human psyche that we delight in reading about the folly of the ruling class. Thousand of pages are written (and read) each year about Princesses, Princes, Dukes, Ladies and Counts.  And most of us have never even seen one. 

In the US we have apparently substituted the ultra rich of New York as our own special brand of American aristocracy.  These thin, rich, powerful and presumably beautiful Upper East side denizen serve as the ruling class that we love to hate.  From The Great Gatsby to The Nanny Diaries we are alternatively amused and horrified by a rarified life style that has absolutely nothing to do with our daily lives. 

Most of us are not super thin, super rich or super connected, but for a few hours we can escape to a world that is exceedingly seductive. And there is something immensely satisfying in cutting them down to size.  After all, they may have all the advantages but, obliviously, they are deeply flawed.

Yes, the characters are self absorbed and shallow.  Yes, the the plot is trite and predictable.  So what? It is great fun. 

Take my word for it, this is a great read for a cold winter day!  You don't need to wait for summer.

The publisher tells all:

A sophisticated, witty, sexy story that exposes the world of upper-class New Yorkers and the media that perpetuate their myth. Ponce Morris is a beautiful, rich widow who's been dubbed "the spare wife" because she's the perfect companion to the wealthy, powerful couples she socializes with. She'll go to sports events with the husbands and throw elegant dinner parties and shop with the wives. She's cool and nonthreatening because the two things everyone knows for sure are that Ponce doesn't like sex and doesn't have a romantic bone in her body. Over the years, she has managed other people's lives--and her own--perfectly. Ponce has everything under control, exactly the way she likes it. Until...Babette Steele, an ambitious aspiring journalist, finds out that Ponce is having an affair with a socially prominent and very married man and decides to break the scandal in a juicy magazine piece.

For Ponce's circle, day-to-day existence quickly becomes a complicated game of social and professional chicken--whoever outsmarts and outmanipulates the other will win. And there is a lot at stake, not only for Ponce but for her friends, all of whom are in the midst of crises of their own: a philandering novelist who hasn't been able to write since his breakout Wall Street best seller, an aging billionaire who can't seem to resist young women (the younger the better), a legendary news show producer on the decline, a big-name political journalist looking to rebound from his wife's death, and an editor at a glitzy magazine that covers the worlds of politics, fashion, and Hollywood. As Ponce's life threatens to come apart at the seams, the author takes us into a world she knows intimately: a dynamic Manhattan filled with opinion makers and social fakers.

This is a vibrant, trenchant novel about ambition, love, friendship, and the intoxicating allure of getting ahead...and trying to stay there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

eBooks and Publishing News 2/21/08

First a correction!


I got email from Jenny Murphy at Guerilla PR. She wrote:

Thanks for writing about the “Plant a Tree” drive. I just wanted to take a moment to clarify the purpose of the $5 gift certificate to Our intention was to give you an opportunity to try out the site for yourself, before representing it to your readers. I’m sorry if that was unclear.

So, looks like I misunderstood and I stand corrected; they weren't trying to bribe me after all and I shouldn't have crumbed on them. My apologies to iChapter and Guerilla PR.

Keep up the good work!

Fairfield Research Make eBook Predictions


Publishers Weekly is reporting on a research report that estimates that somewhere between 6.8 and 16 million adults will download a digital book in the next few (?) years. I consider this WONDERFUL news!

The report also finds that 17% of current book buyers say that would seriously consider purchasing a digital book. 55% of books buyers are planning to stick to paper, thank you very much; but there are 27% who are "ambivalent"; they just might be persuaded.

The finding that fascinates me the most, however, is their of the profile of the most likely buyers: employed males ages 25–34 with income over $100,000.

I emailed for an executive summary and am anxiously awaiting it.

Heads Up -- It's almost here!

readanebook banner Read an eBook week is almost here. This particular week's celebration was created by Rita Toews. For some amazing facts about eBooks and pBooks visit her site -- Mark your calendar for March 9-15.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

eBook Discounts for February 20, 2008

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Politics and War seem to be on our minds these days; makes romance and thrillers more important than ever!
Remember to use coupon BAS27 at checkout to get your 10% discount.
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Reconciliation eBook edition
by Bhutto, Benzir
Bhutto recounts in gripping detail her final months in Pakistan and offers a bold new agenda for how to stem the tide of Islamic radicalism and to rediscover the values of tolerance and justice that lie at the heart of her religion.
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List Price : $19.95
Your price $17.96 (Using your 10% discount and $ .81 points in eBook Reward points)
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Frenemies eBook Edition
by: Crane, Megan
Just a few months shy of her 30th birthday, Gus Curtis finally feels like she has it all: a strong career, great friends, and a wonderful boyfriend. But all of this comes crashing down when Gus discovers Nate, her "Mr. Right," hooking up behind her back with her so-called "friend" Helen.
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List Price : $9.99
Your price $8.54 (Using your 10% discount and $ .45 iin eBook Reward points)
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Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 eBook edition
by: Luttrell, Marcus
Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive
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List Price : $16.99
Your price $13.07 (Using your 10% discount and $ .69 in eBook Reward points)
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Stranger in Paradise eBook edition
by: Parker, Robert B.
Police Chief Jesse Stone faces his most fearsome adversary in the latest addition to the celebrated series. The last time Jesse Stone, chief of police of Paradise, Massachusetts, saw Wilson ""Crow"" Cromartie, the Apache Indian hit man was racing away in a speedboat after executing one of the most lucrative and deadly heists in the town's history.
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List Price : $25.95
Your price $19.97 (Using your 10% discount and $1.05 in eBook Reward points)
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The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation eBook edition
by: Shenon, Philip
Philip Shenon investigates the investigation of 9/11 and tells the inside story of most important federal commission since the the Warren Commission. Shenon uncovers startling new information about the inner workings of the 9/11 commission and its relationship with the Bush White House. The Commission will change our understanding of the 9/11 investigation -- and of the attacks themselves.
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List Price : $18.99
Your price $14.61 (Using your 10% discount and $ .77 in eBook Reward points)

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rowdy in Paris eBook Edition

Rowdy Talbot is an American Western tough-guy – think the the Marlboro Man.  After reading Tim Sandlin's latest book I came to the conclusion that it is all about the hat and a descent cup of coffee!

The plot is pretty simple -- a bull-riding cowboy goes to Paris to get his stolen belt buckle back.  Within hours he finds himself up to his neck (or maybe somewhere slightly loser) in a plot to destroy both McDonalds and Starbucks.  The execution is much more complex. 

This is a delightful romp in typical Sandlin style.  Offbeat characters, spicy dialogue and great satire.  I found my self laughing (out loud) every few pages. 

Sandlin takes great delight in poking fun at pretty much everyone -- the French, the Americans, cowboys, poets, spies, intellectuals and women.  And so what if it stretches credulity to the breaking point?  I'm more than willing to suspend belief for a good laugh!

This is a fun read.  And if you haven't read his earlier books this is an intro that will leave you wanting more.

The publishers says:

A rollicking comic romp by the author of Skipped Parts and Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty. Rowdy Talbot isn't the world's greatest bull rider. Not even close. But he lives by the cowboy code, and he never forgets to take off his cowboy hat during the national anthem. When Rowdy wins the rodeo in Crockett County, Colorado, he celebrates his triumph with two young Frenchwomen he meets in a local bar. The next morning, when he discovers that the two have left for Paris with the championship belt buckle he won, Rowdy does what any true cowboy would: He hops on a plane to the City of Light to retrieve it.

What follows is a comic collision of cultures and personalities. In Rowdy in Paris, Tim Sandlin has concocted an unlikely but engaging m¿lange of characters: disaffected French revolutionaries, a turquoise-peddling CIA operative, and a middle-aged courtesan, all caught in a plot to destroy an American fast-food chain.

At the center of the chaos is Rowdy himself, who finds as he searches for the belt buckle that there's another world beyond the back of a bull. By turns smart and satirical, biting and engaging, Rowdy in Paris is a surprisingly moving story about what it means to broaden one's horizons by opening one's heart.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

eBook News Items of Interest

Adobe Digital Editions Release 1.5

This week Adobe announced that the Beta version of adobe Digital Editions 1.5 is available for download.

This release will fix some of the annoying DRM problems and FINALLY support the Mac Leopard operating system. The Adobe Blog has a long list of features and improvements.

I was very exited when I read about this and rushed over to the Adobe site to find out more. I followed the (broken)link with the intention of downloading and testing it. I'm an old beta tester. I was ready, willing and able. And then I saw the follow notice:

You should be aware that this beta release includes a new version of DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection. If you plan on using Digital Editions for mission critical work, we recommend that, if possible, you continue to use Digital Editions 1.0 until Digital Editions version 1.5 has reached commercial release status (at which time existing Digital Editions users will be automatically prompted to update).

Important: If you have already downloaded Digital Editions 1.0, you must first uninstall the application prior to installing the beta release. Running Digital Editions 1.0 and 1.5 simultaneously will cause issues with accessing and managing your content.

Oh well -- Never Mind!!

Saving Trees

The Standard had an eye catching report about eBooks in education and the Chinese government. It seems that "the government decided to supply 165 million students with an e-reader in order to avoid all the physical costs associated with textbooks."

That should save a couple million trees!

And if that's not enough, here is a way to save a couple million more.

Buy the new scanner from Atiz called the BookSnap aka as the "book ripper". image For a mere $1,600 you can purchase a book that will "let users convert physical books into ebooks at a blazing speed of 500 pages per hour. The magic of BookSnap includes unique V-shaped book cradle and V-shaped transparent platen that operate together like a V-shaped sandwich. It is extra easy on your books and ensure you always get scanned results with no page curvature."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentines = Romance eBook Sale

ebooks about Romance


Celebrate Valentines Day with a Romance eBook.

ALL Romance Titles are 14% off for the next week (until February 20). 

Use code BeMine at check out to receive this discount.

New titles for your consideration include:

Go to the New Releases Page and take a look.  They come up randomly.  Hit F5 to rotate the selections and see new ones.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

eBooks For Trees


Last week I got a very strange email.  It came from Jenny at Guerrilla PR and said: 

If you are interested in covering the “Plant a Tree” drive, or reviewing iChapters, then please let me know, and I can send you a $5.00 gift certificate to use on, in addition to an exclusive “Plant a Tree” badge for your site.

She included a link to a press release which explains that the I Planted a Tree drive is "a month-long green campaign aimed at emphasizing conservation, supporting reforestation efforts, and reducing the company’s environmental impact by planichaptersting trees for every eChapter or eBook purchased through their website, "

This is a great idea!  Anyone in the market for textbooks can buy a book or eBook from iChapter and save both money and trees.

The thing I have trouble understanding is why the company thinks it needs to  resort to "bribery" to get noticed. 

And even more curious is that there is no mention in the press release or email of the tree drawing contest.  I found out by accident when I stumbled on to their Facebook page.

I guess I expect a little more class from iChapters.  This company is an innovator.  They lease textbooks or chapters of textbooks to use over a six month period.  You can use the book online, download a .pdf version and print pages as needed.  Oh, and did I mention, that the cost for a text book is about half what you would pay for the printed version? 

This is a demonstratively innovative company. So why the dumb PR campaign? 

It is particularly absurd when you consider the name of the PR firm: Guerilla PR. Since when is handing out $5.00 gift certificates a guerilla tactic?  It is my considered opinion that Guerilla PR needs to rethink their name. 

I applaud iChapters for it's social consciousness and effort to help the environment.  The Plant a Tree campaign is a marvelous idea and stands on its own merit.  Why dilute the message with lame publicity stunts? 

For the record:  I am NOT accepting the $5.00 gift certificate.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Defense of Food (eBook edition)

It seems kinda silly to read a couple of hundred pages about something as simple as food.  But I did!  And Michael Pollan made it worthwhile. 

In Defense of Food is an engaging look at food and the food industry.  Pollan is a good writer and I was captivated within minutes.  For the record, I never intended to do anything more than skim, but I ended up engrossed and read every single word.  It was a journey that alternatively amused and enraged me. 

Pollan takes on the modern idea of diet with a full scale attack on what we call food and put in our mouths.  He exposes Agri-business, pseudo-science and "Big Food."   He doesn't spare anyone starting with the USDA and General Mills and ending with the consumer who would rather grab an attractive package of prepared "healthy" food than cook.

Pollan effectively argues that

  • Over the last 25 years food as been gradually replaced by nutrients
  • This emphasis on nutrients has actually promoted disease and obesity
  • To be healthy we must return to common sense eating both in the quality of our food and in the quantity we consume

Believe it or not adding "nutrients" to sugary, processed (starchy) cereal will not magically make it healthy.  Additives are not food.  Who knew?

Seriously, before you decide to go on a diet, read this book.  It is not only informative but interesting.

Like many good ideas, it is pretty simple.  Your body is only going to be as healthy as the fuel you provide it.  Cut the sugar and white flour.  Pick fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain.  Eat small meals. Eat often. Don't gorge yourself; stop when you feel 80% full. Take time to enjoy what you eat.

The writing is lively although the book could use some graphics.  Even if you don't learn anything new (which is doubtful), this is an entertaining reminder that food choices are more art than science.

Bon appetite!

The Publisher says:

What to eat, what not to eat, and how to think about health: a manifesto for our times ""Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."" These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, the well-considered answers he provides to the questions posed in the bestselling The Omnivore's Dilemma. Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not ""real."" These ""edible foodlike substances"" are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by ""nutrients,"" and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Michael Pollan's sensible and decidedly counterintuitive advice is: ""Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food.""

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Buying eBooks in the The UnVending Machine

This photo of the new Sony Machine is in the New York Times.  If you live in Atlanta, Boston or Santa Rosa you can check it out personally.

BTW -- this is not a vending machine.  Oh no!  It is "robotic store."  Funny, it looks like a vending machine to me, but what do I know?

OK, back to this thing, whatever you call it, that sells Sony Products:  batteries, cameras, cassette taps, CDs, DVDs, memory sticks, and MP3 players.  It seems obvious that eBooks will be offered as well.

Get that credit/debit card ready.  Pick the product, swipe the card and wait for the robotic arm to put it in the tray for you.

You can relax about using that card because "remote sensors will confirm that the product has been retrieved by the kiosk's robotic arm and removed from the tray before the credit card is charged."

The only fly in the ointment is returns and repairs. . .you have to box and ship it to a 3rd party (Zoom).  Will be very curious to see how that works.

I remember Kodak taking about something like this 15 years ago, and here it is.  Not by Kodak (remember them) but by Sony. 

Gadget junkie that I am, I can hardly wait to see and use one. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

eBook Discounts for February 6, 2008

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Sex, Politics and Psychology top the non-fiction list while humor and bad boys are favorite fiction themes. Use coupon code A9JG4 at check out to get a 10% discount on any or all of these titles.

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us.

REMEMBER all Best Sellers and New Releases are always discounted by 10% -- no coupons needed (ever)!
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Great Sex eBook Edition
by: Wilson, Elisabeth
52 ways to find that lovin' feeling. Sex isn't the highest priority in many long-term relationships, but the world might be a happier place if it were. Whether starting from scratch or simply looking to spice things up, lovers will find inspiring, imaginative, and practical ideas for lighting-or relighting-the flames of passion.
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List Price : $15.95
Your price $12.28 (Using your 10% discount and $ .65 iin eBook Reward points)
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Rowdy in Paris eBook edition
by: Sandlin, Tim
A rollicking comic romp by the author of Skipped Parts and Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty. Rowdy Talbot isn't the world's greatest bull rider. Not even close. But he lives by the cowboy code, and he never forgets to take off his cowboy hat during the national anthem.
More Info
List Price : $24.95
Your price $19.20 (Using your 10% discount and $1.01points in eBook Reward points)
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A Bound Man eBook edition
by: Steele, Shelby
Steele maintains that Senator Obama is too constrained bye elaborate politics to find his own true political voice. Obama has the temperament, intelligence, and background -- an interracial family, a sterling education -- to guide America beyond the exhausted racial politics that now prevail. And yet he is a Promethean figure, a bound man.
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List Price : $16.99
Your price $14.53 (Using your 10% discount and $ .76 in eBook Reward points)
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The Black Sheep and the Hidden Beauty eBook edition
by: Kauffman, Donna
They're back-the boys you go out looking for precisely because your mother warned you not to-the bad boys every good girl needs at least once, if not twice. Raphael "Rafe" Santiago may have left the streets years ago, but the street has never left him.
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List Price : $12.00
Your price $10.26 (Using your 10% discount and $ .54= in eBook Reward points)
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Gestalt Graphology eBook edition
by: Klein, Felix
Founder of the National Society for Graphology, Felix Klein began his study of graphology in his birthplace, Vienna, Austria, at the age of thirteen. He was a practicing graphologist all of his life and lectured and gave seminars throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Germany, Israel and Mexico.
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List Price : $6.00
Your price $5.13 (Using your 10% discount and $ .027 in eBook Reward points)

Beacuse you asked for it: Biographies and Memoirs are in the Spotlight this month.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Literacy and eBooks on Cellphones

Over the last couple of weeks I have come across these interesting factiods:

  • Half of the best selling novels in Japan last year were originally written on cellphones.   
  • In the first eight months of last year Goma Books sold over 1,000,000 copies of it's two most popular titles: The Red Thread by Mei and If You Could by Rin. 


  • The New York Times reports  that many cellphone novelists had never written fiction before, and many of their readers had never read novels before, according to publishers.
  • According to the novelist Rin:  “They  (young Japanese readers) don’t read works by professional writers because their sentences are too difficult to understand, their expressions are intentionally wordy, and the stories are not familiar to them.”
  • The CIA World Fact Book reports the rate of literacy in the US is 99%.
  • The NEA reports that the percentage of 17-year-olds who read nothing at all for pleasure has doubled over a 20-year period. Yet the amount they read for school or homework (15 or fewer pages daily for 62% of students) has stayed the same.

I use the word literacy often but if you asked me to define it I would probably stumble around and make a vague statement that about reading. I really think about it vague and somewhat academic terms. 

On impulse I went to the dictionary and looked it up.  My Dad would be so proud!.  Here is what I found:  Literacy is the ability to read, write, communicate, and comprehend words. 


I don't see one word about reading books in that definition.  What I see is that literacy is about communication. 

There are millions of teen who text message every day.  Even my aunt tells me that her eight year old granddaughter texts her so often that she has had to learn how text back. 

These messages are written communications using words.  If you think about it, the text messagers are  by definition literate.  Who knows, that might even be as literate as a PhD who writes a thousand page tome on Henry James. 

Which brings me to the conclusion that the problem for publishers is not reading ability or lack of it.  It is more simply a case that most of the books produced aren't doing the job of communicating.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Middle Place (eBook Edition)

The Middle Place is one of those books that will stay with me for a very long time.  I identified at  a deep level:  I  had a larger than life Father. I was  a "Daddy's girl". My Dad had a long and lingering illness.  During his last couple of years we got the chance to redefine our relationship.

Kelly Corrigan weaves together three compelling stories: her childhood, her fight with breast cancer, and her father's illness (cancer). 

This is not a "disease of the month" memoir. This is a vital and honest account of family with all of it's divisions, loyalties and alliances.  Over the course of the book you get to enjoy and know the entire family:  Father, Mother, siblings, husband and children. 

Kelly Corrigan is a graceful writer with a wonderful sense of the absurdity of life and family.  After all who else can make you that mad even while you depend on them?

Corrigan captures the joy of childhood and the angst of the teen years.  She expresses the frustration of watching your parent rely on the familiar and trusted when better medical help is available.  The pain of being told to butt out after all the hard work of finding a new therapy, medication or physician.  The anger at the "well spouse" (her Mother) as they try to hide how bad things really are.

Her story underlines the importance of family, friends and laughter in the process of acceptance and recovery. 

Read this book!  It doesn't matter if you are an Easterner from Philly, a Californian or an Irish Catholic.  You don't have to come from a large family.  You don't need to have cancer or have someone in your family who has cancer.  This is a story with the universal themes of hope, healing and letting go. 

The official book information:

"The thing you need to know about me is that I am George Corrigan's daughter, his only daughter." So begins this beautifully written memoir, in which Kelly Corrigan intertwines her own story with that of her larger-than-life, Irish-American, born-salesman father's, and illustrates both an unbelievably powerful and healing father/daughter relationship and the unbreakable bonds of family. Writing with candor and a surprising amount of graceful humor, Kelly alternates the tale of growing up Corrigan with her life and her father's today, as they each-successfully, for now-battle cancer. Throughout, she explores the framework of illness and what it means when the one person who has been your source of strength is in need of some himself. Uplifting without shying away from the realities of life with cancer, this highly personal story ultimately examines the universal theme of family, both those we create and those that created us. The Middle Place is about the bittersweet moment between childhood and adulthood-when you're a devoted wife and mother, but you'll always be daddy's girl. In fresh, insightful prose, Kelly explores and ultimately embraces that "middle place," bringing to light the wonderful opportunity of coming to know who you are and where you truly belong.


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