A Romance Buyer’s Guide to eBook Readers
Tara Marie pointed out that my blog posts on Sunday rarely make any sense. I thought it might be helpful to write up a buyer’s guide for the Romance Reader in what I hope is plain, non tech language. The short answer is as follows:
- If you want a backlight, are concerned about cost and can run a fairly simple computer program (i.e, you can drop and drag with your mouse), get the eBookwise device. There are devices for sale on eBay. My neighbor bought one there and she has never had a problem. Or you can buy them from eBookwise for about $10.00 more.
- If you are concerned about the LCD flicker and are afraid a computer like screen may bother your eyes and can live without an integrated light, get an e-ink device like the new Baen Bar (registration required).
- If you want more versatility, a color screen, a backlight and can install a program without much assistance, get a PDA, preferably one with the biggest screen size you can afford. This is what the DearAuthor girls use.
Now, to the long answer or why I recommend the above three devices.
First, a Romance reader wants to read all the books available at e-publishers like Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, Liquid Silver, Triskelion, and Whiskey Creek Press and so on. These books are available in many formats. My preferred formats would be either “html” or “lit.”
Second, a Romance reader wants to read all of the books released by NY publishers. These books are called “secure” because they have a lock on them like iTunes songs have. iTunes can only be listened to from your computer or an iPOD. Similarly, these secure books can only be read using the right kind of software or the right device. For example, a book bought from the eBookwise store can only be read on the buyer’s eBookwise or computer. A book bought from eReader.com can only be read on the buyer’s computer or handheld device that runs its reading software program.
In order for the Romance reader to be able to meet both needs (the epublished and the NY published books), she will need either a device that can run a number of reading software programs (only a PDA can do that) or she will need a conversion program such as Convertlit GUI or Amberlit.
If the reader buys the eBookwise, she can buy her NY published books from eBookwise.com. To read the epublished books, she can take the html file and convert it using either the online converter (Free!) or by using a $14 conversion software program.
If the reader buys the Sony e-ink device, she can buy her NY published books from the Sony store. To read the epublished books, she can take the html file and copy the contents to Microsoft Word and save as an RTF file.
If the reader buys an e-ink device like the one that Baen Bar is going to be selling, she will need a conversion program such as Converlit GUI to take her “secure” MS Lit files and make them html files. To read the epublished books, the html file just needs to be copied to the reading device.
If the reader buys a PDA, she can buy her NY published books virtually anywhere and can use a number of software programs such as Mobipocket, eReader, or MS Lit. She can read the epublished books using one of the above programs or buy installing still one more program such as gowerpoint’s ubook reader.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do posts about conversion with step by step photos.
As a side note, I was going to blog about the Baen Bar ebook reader, but there are alot of details that are up in the air. I am waiting until the Baen folks get an evaluation copy and clear up some questions.