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Speaking of “Other Commitments”…

One of the other things on my plate right now is putting the novel through one final edit, prior to publishing it on Kindle. We’ve tried (oh have we tried) to find an agent, but none seem interested in the genre right now…which is to say, every inquiry gets rejected out of hand, unread, with the explanation that the agent isn’t taking on new clients right now or is looking for other types of stories.

So, a few weeks back, I bought a Kindle 3G to test out the platform.

So far, I like it. It takes a little while to get used to it, but it grows on you fairly quickly. I had seen previous versions owned by friends, so I had an idea of what to expect, but I was still pretty impressed with it. The first thing that wowed me when I took it out of the box was the thinness of the thing — I was almost afraid to handle it, for fear of slicing my fingers off. The second thing was my mistaking the default display image for a printed shipping overlay — I had to look very closely at it, from several different angles, to convince myself that what I was seeing was really on the screen, such is the visual novelty of “electric paper” displays.

Turned it on, set it up in short order (added my home wifi info, which is actually optional with the 3G version), and it was ready to go. The only other setup I had to perform had to do with uploading of documents, and involved simply adding my personal email address to a list on my Amazon account so that the conversion server would accept documents sent to it from that address. With only one false try (using PDF format, which produced unsurprisingly dodgy results in formatting) I was able to upload the manuscript to my Kindle flawlessly. I had expected it to require a lot of online fussing and fixing to make it look right, but it digested the native .docx file with nary a burp.

One thing I have not yet done is paid to download any new books (for lack of time). I did download a few freebie classics I was familiar with (Machiavelli’s The Prince and Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations…not kidding about the “classics” part), and have been poking around in them as time permits since their short, self-contained chapters make them more amenable than novels to reading in small increments. The feature whereby passages highlighted by other readers are highlighted on your own screen is a nice touch — it’s like a social-media version of buying a used book at the college bookstore, with the importance of a passage indicated not merely by the electronic equivalent of underlining or a highlight pen, but also by the number of other people who thought it significant>

One thing I didn’t like about it is the way the screen flickers when you “turn the page”, but this is where that “getting used to it” thing comes in — after a few minutes, you don’t notice it.

Time permitting tomorrow, I may be able to start posting sample chapters as an appetizer for the full novel, which we expect to have available via Kindle in the next two weeks or so.

2 comments to Speaking of “Other Commitments”…

  • Sandie

    I downloaded kindle to the new laptop–kind of like a trial as the appeal of having a kindle is growing on me. The download of free content went great–I found some great titles–but reading was another matter. The program has been really flaky and unstable, to the point I’ve abandoned reading via kindle for mac. Glad to hear of your positive kindle experience; I think I’ll see if Santa can deliver one…

  • Yeah, the Kindle proper is easy as can be, and so far has been perfectly reliable.

    One nice thing is that it gives me a more workable alternative for reading the web when I’m away from home or the office. Haven’t tried blogging from it yet (doubt it would be practical, given the rudimentary nature of the keypad), but assuming the built-in browser actually works with the software I’m sure it would suffice in a pinch.