Tag Archive for e-books

Lie with the Dead now available for Kindle, Nook

The Pack Book 2: Lie with the Dead is now available in e-book formats, as well as in trade paperback at Barnes & Noble!

Get it how you want it!

Get it your way today!

Amazon Kindle Link

Barnes & Noble TPB/Nook Link

Whichever your pleasure, Evileye Books is ready for you. Lie with the Dead is now eligible for the Kindle Matchbook program, so if you purchase (or already purchased) the trade paperback, you can download the Kindle edition at no additional charge.

Winter Kill is also available in trade paperback at Barnes & Noble once more, now with the new cover.

Looking for additional formats or markets? Please let me know and I’ll see if I can’t make it happen.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

It’s E-book Week!

Lots happening. Things moving are moving so fast, my head is spinning. Unfortunately, none of it is of particular interest to you, so I’ll move on.

Word is this is e-book week, and folks on Twitter are recommending a lot of great books. Rather than toss out a few random selections, I thought it might be better to provide you with a quick list. Here, in no particular order, are some of my recommended e-books.

Choke on Your Lies by Anthony Neil Smith
I’m reading this book right now, and while it’s not an action-packed thriller like his Yellow Medicine, it is a strong, sordid drama filled with tension and great characters. A steal at only $2.99.

The Deputy by Victor Gischler
I read The Deputy just a few weeks ago, my third Gischler title after Gun Monkeys and Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse. Fun, fun stuff.

To the Devil, My Regards by Gischler & Smith
Come on. Two great flavors in one small package for one dollar. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s high on my to-read list.

Quicksilver by John Urbancik
Hot off the e-presses, John brings his dark fantasy work to the Kindle for the first time. I downloaded a copy today. You should, too.

Blood Feud by Cullen Bunn
Cullen is one of those writers who is about to break out in a big way. A few formatting errors aside, Blood Feud is a wild ride through a backwoods Ozark town plagued by vampires. The first-person narrative by one of the resident hillbillies really  makes the book.

The Pack: Winter Kill by Mike Oliveri
What, you thought I’d get through a post like this without plugging my own work? Guess again.

The Fever Kill by Tom Piccirilli
Another book vying for the top of my to-read list. I’ve been reading Tom since he started writing horror for Leisure, and now he takes that distinct, dark flavor into thriller territory. The guy can’t be beat when it comes to creating atmosphere.

The Blonde by Duane Swierczynski
This is one of those thrillers that demonstrated high concepts and science fiction aren’t out of the question. I started with his Severance Package (which for some reason isn’t available on Kindle), then tore through his entire catalog. That’s how good these books are.

That should keep you busy a while.

Also, a quick update: the To Fight With Monsters drawing has been extended! Response has been good, and the book’s still not quite ready to go to press, so the folks at Antarctic Press have agreed to extend the drawing deadline to March 22nd. Get your order in today!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

E-Books: Not Just a Fad

I’ve noticed the gripes about e-books have largely faded, and today I read Amazon has announced they’re selling more electronic titles than they are hardcovers. I suppose that shouldn’t be a surprise given they’re so much cheaper, but I also think the devices have finally gotten to the point they’re both useful and user-friendly.

Given I’ve got a book available for the Kindle, and I’ve watched my wife enjoy hers, I decided to take a crack at the iPad as a digital book reader. I noticed the iBooks store and Amazon are fairly close in price, but I decided to use the iPad Kindle app instead so I’d have the flexibility to read the books on just about any electronic platform.

Gone Mobile

Next month I'll have all of my purchased Kindle titles on an Android phone, too

I started with the Kindle edition of Gun Monkeys by Victor Gischler. The book itself is a great, straight-up crime thriller and a damn fine read. But reading it on the iPad? A pleasure.

I read it on a plane trip to Hawaii, and the iPad battery lasted the entire flight, including through a layover in Los Angeles. I even switched over to Pages for a while to work on some of my own writing with no problems. I liked that I didn’t have to hold it the entire time; I was able to set it down on the seat tray and keep reading. Quick brightness adjustments made reading easy on the eyes when the lighting in the cabin or outside changed, and I had no problems with glare even though I was sitting in a window seat.

In fact, after just a few minutes, I forgot I was reading an electronic edition at all. I just read, swiped, read, swiped, read, swiped, all without thinking about it. I had no troubles with the font, developed no eyestrain with the backlit screen, and never lost my place even when going in and out of the Kindle app. I did use the bookmark, but going back to the same book every time made it unnecessary.

Next I’ll try reading it in bed. My wife reads her Kindle in bed, but she tends to prop herself up against the headboard in a sitting position, while I like to lay flat. I can’t imagine the Kindle will be any worse than doing so with a hardcover, but I’ll find out. I’m already planning on purchasing another Kindle book, probably Gischler’s Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse.

I’d also love to start building a reference library on the iPad. Not just dictionaries, encyclopedias, or a thesaurus, but technical manuals, programming guides, and even martial arts books could all be handy. For example, it would be nice to have Kodokan Judo and my karate school’s curriculum videos available on one portable device rather than lugging a laptop and book(s) around. This would even make them readily available in class, not stashed away in a gym bag in the locker room. (Now I just have to wait for some of those books to show up on Kindle…)

While on vacation, I started looking at the folks who accompanied us on the trip. Some of them were avid readers, and they packed along several books. They were very curious about my wife’s Kindle, with the obvious advantage being they can cut down on the weight of their luggage. If they needed to pick up another book while on the trip, they could just download one instead of picking up one at the bookstore.

One of those avid readers has poor eyesight. I showed him the Kindle and iBooks apps, and we learned he could read from the iPad much easier if he switched to white text on a black background and zoomed the text a bit. He didn’t read from it for any length of time, but at least we now know it may be an option.

The next step for me will be carrying it around more often. I still haven’t convinced myself it will replace my trusty Moleskine (I can still write much faster with a pencil than I can on any keyboard, and I type almost 100wpm on a standard keyboard), but for writing outlines or making edits that I’ll need to share with other people or push to another computer, I have no problem using the iPad.

Heck, with Dropbox, I have all of my documents available on all devices just like I do Kindle books. I dropped three or four PDFs into Dropbox before the flight, all of them comics I’m reviewing for other folks or needed to look over for Evileye (including Big Bad Wolves), and the resolution and clarity were great, even on a color book. I pushed an outline I was working on from Dropbox to Pages with no problem, though I do wish I could export from Pages to Dropbox just as easily, instead of having to go through iTunes.

I’m not convinced it will ever replace my laptop for day-to-day work, but for travel and short road trips I could easily get by with it instead. Having just a camera bag and the iPad on a flight made things so much lighter and easier, and I could have had several books available should one have been disappointing or just not what I was in the mood for. I still have a pile of dead tree editions waiting to be read on my nightstand and I won’t be completely replacing my library any time soon, but I do think I’ll be making more digital purchases in the future.

Back to my original point, I don’t think e-books are going away, nor do I think it’s fair to assume they’re just a fad anymore. The major bookstore chains have their own readers and stores now, and every time I run into someone with a Kindle they can’t wait to show it off.

Bibliophiles love their paper books, but it would appear the average reader just doesn’t care. It’s LPs vs cassettes and cassettes vs CDs all over again. Paper books will be to future generations what vinyl is to our generation: novelties and collector’s items.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Digital Craze

The digital publishing market has just exploded over the last couple of months. I’ve hardly worn the newness off my iPad and now we’ve got Barnes & Noble entering the e-reading app fray, Borders about to drop their Kobo ereader (which Wired is already calling a possible Kindle killer), and even a new device called the enTourage eDGe (their ridiculous use of caps) that looks something like a Kindle strapped to an iPad.

It doesn’t stop there. Amazon may keep their sales figures quiet, but it’s clear they’re enjoying a fair amount of success and it was only a matter of time before Barnes & Noble responded with their own e-publishing arm. Realistically they’re more digital distributor than digital publisher (individual authors and small presses like Evileye are technically the publishers), but that line gets fuzzier when they sign exclusive authors.

Now I wonder how long before Barnes & Noble — maybe even Borders — jump into the POD market, too. It appears Amazon will be the first with an official Android reading app, though, and as the first to understand the store is the real killer feature, they’re just going to keep pushing the envelope. You don’t stay the leader by waiting to see what the other guy is going to do next.

Which reminds me of the Sony Digital Reader. There are several ideological and some technical advantages to being open, but it just doesn’t have the convenience of Amazon’s WhisperSync. Sure, my wife’s a bit bummed she can’t loan a book to her mother or her sister, but to her it’s hardly even a nuisance as it’s far outweighed by the system’s advantages. (It also doesn’t help that, in my experience, the Sony reader is slower on refreshes and somewhat awkward to navigate.)

This eDGe thing is technically interesting, though it strikes me as more prototype than product at the moment. Here’s their intro video:

They obviously have the best of both worlds in mind. However, why do I care about being able to scribble on the eInk display if I’ve got the tablet right next to it? In watching the usage, it doesn’t appear it has an accelerometer, and the interface seems slow compared to the iPad’s (which to me suggests it will be underpowered). For my taste, a touchscreen has to be instantly responsive to be worthwhile (a test the Nook also failed). Ommus called it ugly, but what really bothers me is you can’t use a simple protective sleeve on it and hope to flip it open, and when it is flipped so the screens are back-to-back, you’re always going to have one screen face-down when you put it down. How rugged are the surfaces of their screens?

I don’t know. I’m sure this is more subjective opinion than objective, but I really don’t see the need to carry a two-in-one device. I’d be content to carry one device that nails it’s job than something that, for the moment at least, may be playing catch-up in two categories. Battery life and outdoor reading are the only real advantages of eInk, and the iPad’s battery life is long enough to make the eInk advantage negligible. So now I’m paying the same price for what may be an inferior device just so I can read outside? No, probably not.

I’m sure there are more in development, and we have yet to see what some of the iPad competitors will bring to the table. Anything with a reading app — be it Kindle, B&N eReader, or something like Stanza — is now an e-reading device. Battery life is getting longer, processors are getting smaller and faster, storage is getting cheaper (or is effectively replaced by cloud storage in Kindle’s case), and displays won’t be far behind.

We can call it a craze for now, but I’m thinking soon this will be the status quo. I still don’t believe they’ll replace paper anytime soon, but I do see a future where paper books become more about collectibility and nostalgia. They’ll be to the next generation what vinyl records are to us.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Why Enhanced E-books Will Rock for Students

Penguin has put together a video demonstrating a collection of possible apps for Apple’s iPad and similar tablet devices with touch input and e-book capability. This is very cool stuff:

Once again, I think devices like the iPad will be the best way to go 1:1 with students rather than laptops or netbooks. The simple interface can be manipulated by all age groups, even before the required development for mice and keyboards. They may not be cheaper than netbooks, but they’ll be easier to manage, deploy, and replace, and that may make up for the cost.

We haven’t preordered an iPad at the school I work for yet, but we’d like to see one in action soon.

(For a previous post with a longer rant on why tablet e-books are going to rock, click here.)

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Kindle in the House

I bought the Wife a Kindle for Christmas. She’s only had it in her hands for about an hour, but she’s already fallen in love with it.

And shes reading The Pack: Winter Kill, of course!

And she's downloaded my stuff already, of course!

I debated waiting, but with reviews iffy on the Nook and both the Wife and I already hooked into Amazon, it made sense to go ahead and pull the trigger. I think the only thing that may trump the Kindle at this point would be the much-rumored Apple tablet/iSlate, but I seriously doubt the price point will be as low as the Kindle’s. There’s a good chance I’d be able to purchase a tablet/iSlate at work for evaluation anyway.

I think my wife will be a good test of the true usability of the device. She’s not tech stupid by any stretch, but she’s also not a tech enthusiast. Technology is a tool to her, nothing more, and if it’s a pain in the ass to use, she’s not going to mess with it. She’s also a voracious reader who will sometimes go back and re-read books simply because she hasn’t had time to visit a bookstore or hasn’t bothered to place an Amazon order. She reads on the couch, at the kitchen table, and in bed, so she’ll test it in a variety of environments.

Her initial reactions have been favorable. She’d only seen the Sony reader’s screen in the past, and she immediately noticed the Kindle’s has better contrast and faster response times. She’s found the interface intuitive, she hasn’t once come to me to help her find or do something, and she’s already downloaded two books (including The Pack: Winter Kill, of course) and explored how bookmarking works.

In fact, she’s been coming up with potential problems and has been attacking them, only to discover the folks at Amazon have already anticipated these problems. She probably knows more about the Kindle than I do at this point.

Next we’ll see how she feels about it after using it for a couple of weeks.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.