Thursday, 8 October 2015

To ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME

One of those truisms trotted out at management seminars, to ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME has people scrabbling for their pens and noting the phrase so they can lay claim to it in front of future audiences. But I'm guilty of ASSUMING. After a few years in this e-book business I have assumed that everyone knows what an e-book is, where they can get them and how to read them.

The truth is lots of people do know all about e-books (they're electronic files e.g. type mobi or azw for Kindle devices, type ePub for Apple and Nook and Kobo and Android and others, or even just plain old pdf) and are familiar with e-readers (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, almost any Apple device, almost any Android device).

But a large number of people really don't know about the world of e-books and how to read them. They just haven't delved into e-books. They don't know how to grab an e-book for a few bucks instead of shelling out several times as much for a hard copy. They don't have a Kindle ("What the hell is a Kindle anyway?") and don't realize that e-books don't require a dedicated e-reader. The answer to reading an e-book without a dedicated e-reader is to use an app.

If you want to buy and read e-books from the behemoth Amazon then you'll find they have FREE apps available for PC, Mac and other devices and Android (see links in column right). They also have a neat page where you can just enter your email or phone number and they'll send you a link to your app.

If you have an Android phone or tablet then you can also grab a free app for your preferred store from Google Play. The same applies for the Apple Store but, not being too clever at that sort of thing, I've fallen down on the link for that.

What I tend to do is install all apps on all my devices (I have a laptop, an iPhone and an old Kindle) and keep my e-book purchasing options open. I do tend to buy from Amazon though and then read via the Kindle App. The great thing about that is all three devices are connected through Kindle and I can pick up from the last page read at any time via any device.

Once you have your app(s) installed then you can go shopping at your e-bookstore of choice. If you happen to come across an e-book as a file on your laptop or PC (for example if you sign up to my list and grab a free copy of my first in the zombie series) then you can side-load the file onto your device by simply connecting that device via cable to the computer. (The only vagary I've come across with this is that Kobo devices like an extra suffix of "kepub" before the filetype suffix, so the filename needs to be edited e.g. from book.epub to book.kepub.epub. I have a Kobo Touch reader too, which is how I found that out.)

So, I hope I've gone some way to remedying the ASSUME phenomena regarding e-books. All of my titles are available in e-book format but, if you're a staunch paper addict then they're also available in paperback too.

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