Got a few minutes to spare?

2013finalist-tinySix weeks ago, I announced that my novel The Brevity of Roses had been named a finalist in the Best of the Independent eBook Awards. Now, I’m reminding you there are only four days left to vote. But not only am I asking for your vote, I’m giving you a pictorial to show you how to do it. (Images courtesy of author Lisa Regan. More about her at the end of this post.)

Have you already voted for another book? No worries, you can vote for one book in each category! My book is a finalist in the General/ Mainstream Fiction Category.

STEP 1. Go HERE and register.

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Tips:

The Captcha thing–hit play and a phrase will come up along the bottom of the video after 2-4 seconds.  Type that in.

After you agree to the terms and hit submit, you’re actually DONE.  It will take you to a page that says, “You’re almost finished . . . ”  THAT’S AN AD.  You don’t actually have to do anything there.  So close out the page.

IGNORE THIS SCREEN:

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INSTEAD, GO BACK TO TOP AND CLICK PORTAL, LIKE SO:

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STEP 2.  Then go HERE to the Awards Hall to vote. Or after you click PORTAL, look for this and click on the words AWARDS HALL:

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brevwidgetTIPS:

The General/Mainstream Fiction category is the second listed in the Awards Hall and if you click on it, you’ll see THE BREVITY OF ROSES as the first entry. Just click beside it to vote. Thank you very much!

41Dx9SyihRL-199x300BUT WAIT, while you’re there, why not vote for another book? Since Lisa Regan graciously loaned me her screen caps, but mostly because her book has 73 reviews on Amazon and 63 of them are 5 stars! please consider voting for Lisa Regan’s suspense novel FINDING CLAIRE FLETCHER in both the Best Novel and the Best Hero/Heroine categories.

I hope you’re enjoying your last days of summer … or winter if you’re on the opposite side of earth from me.

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Hot August Nights Book Giveaway

Do you need more books to get you through the rest of summer? Would you like to get them free? Would you like to win a $150 Amazon gift certificate? Then the Hot August Nights Reads Giveaway Event (August 2 – 4, 2013) is for you! More than 40 authors have donated books for this event. If you want to see how to enter to win any of these books and join in the fun and games, visit the Facebook Event Page. And while you’re there, don’t forget to look for the pinned post where you can “vote” for me as the one who invited you, so I might win a prize too.

You’ll notice in the image below that both my books are part of this event, so if you want to enter to win An Illusion of Trust specifically, go to Dana Mason‘s blog or to enter to win The Brevity of Roses specifically go to Dana Delamar‘s blog and leave a comment telling them which book you’d like to win. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, which means you have multiple ways to increase your chances of winning, so read the entry instructions carefully. Good luck!

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Print books are dead!

“Print books are dead, Mom,” said my son in a recent phone conversation. Lest you think this mother raised a fool, Daniel is Dr. Lewis, with a PhD in English, and teaches that at college level. He loves books. He begged me to teach him to read at the age of three.

Daniel and his wife, Sarah, in Ireland.

But he’s also a member of the first generation to be raised with video games, which led to personal computers, CDs, DVDs, cell phones, DVRs, and eReaders . He’s fully ensconced in the digital age. As my son says, “Digital is faster, easier, and cheaper.” I can’t argue with that. I have a Kindle and I read a lot of books on it.

That’s not to say I don’t still love the feel of a “real” book in my hands. And I confess that print books still seem more substantial to me. More important. As I said in a previous post, once again I’m dependent on public library borrows for most of my books, and though they have access to some eBooks through Overdrive, most of the books I’m looking for are not among them.

So print books are still very much a part of my life. But are they a part of yours? Will print books be less important to the current generation of children and mere old-fashioned curiosities to the next? What form do you favor now?

I’ve taken a poll on this topic twice before, so let’s update again. If you’re reading this through email or a blog reader and don’t see the poll, PLEASE click through to vote.

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The Necessity of Free Books

The day I got my first library card was a 5-star day for me. Even when I moved to Germany, while my husband was in the Army, one of the first things I did was get a card for the base library. As a child, I couldn’t afford to buy books at all, nor did I buy more than a few books during the years I raised my sons. But as our family income increased, I bought just about any book I wanted. Now, as a retiree, that’s over.

library_signI’ve always used the public library to check out the books I didn’t necessarily want to own and to try new authors. And now I’m back to using it almost exclusively. But in this digital age, I have another option—free eBooks. Like most of you, when I got my first eReader, I loaded it up with free books, most of which I’ve never looked at since.

I’m more selective now. I read the descriptions and download only books I think may appeal to me. Not all of them end up drawing me in, of course, and I delete them. But I’ve read many good books I wouldn’t have been able to read if they hadn’t been offered freely.

Part of the drawback of self-publishing is that most of those books will never make it to a library—not even on the digital “shelves.” That’s why I make limited free offers of my books. I know there are others out there like me who are pitifully sad without books to read.

So, to those authors who’ve made it possible for me to read their work freely either by contest, free download, library availability, or by allowing me to beta read, I say THANK YOU.
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How do you use your reading device?

The topic of this post came to me as a question while responding to a comment on my last post. I confess, I rarely learn all the functions of my electronic devices, and sometimes, even when I know about them, I forget to use them. It doesn’t help that most of these devices no longer come with print manuals. Having to access an online manual annoys me.

Anyway, the electronic device in question today is the e-reader. I have a Kindle, a Kindle 3 to be exact, the one with the old-fashioned button keyboard. I’ve used it for almost two years, but I’ve not used it fully. I know how to open and page through a book, of course. I’ve tried the read-to-me feature, but the robotic voice drives me nuts.  I even know how to send documents to my Kindle by email.  But there are other features I’ve never used.

I’ve used the Menu button mainly to access the Wireless function and the “Go to” function, but only to go to the beginning or end of the book. I have never used: Search This Document, Add Bookmark, Add Note or Highlight, etc. Until two days ago, I didn’t even realize the progress bar that appears at the bottom of the screen as you read shows tick marks indicating chapter beginnings. And then I found out you can skip forward and backward through these chapters by clicking.

Yeah, I’m an electronic doofus.

The thing is, I read e-books differently than I do print books. I prefer the print version of reference books and books I will likely read more than once—like those of my favorite authors. Those are the books I add bookmarks or notes and highlights to. I use my e-reader mostly for easy, quickly read fiction. I don’t believe publishers will cease printing books in my lifetime, though I do expect to see a steady increase in books published in digital format only.

Now, here’s my question—rather, series of questions—for e-reader users. How do you use your e-reader? Do you use all its features? Do you add notes and highlights the way you do in print books? Of the books you’ve read in the last year, what percentage were digital? Do you read all types of books on your reader or do you prefer to read certain books in print? If you’d like to answer an e-reader question I didn’t ask, have at it.