15 June 2009
The fourth Twilight Book
I still can't quite believe I read 4 Stephenie Meyer e-books. In the end I read them all within a week, with Breaking Dawn finished late Thursday night the 4th June.
This was an interesting experiment with ebooks. I picked Twilight purely from the bestseller list. As far as I knew, it was a novel for teenage girls. There was very little chance I would read the bugger! Even when I started reading I thought the writing was poor, basic, unimaginative but I kept going. What "got me" was the Bella & Edward story. Yes hidden beneath this tough (cough cough) exterior is a soft mushy romantic. And of course let's pretend for a minute we aren't talking a vampire love story! I'm still trying to come to terms with all of this!! Somehow I just got sucked in (yes, couldn't resist the pun)....and really enjoyed it.
So to sum up my first ebook experience: Interesting choice. Resulted in 3 additional sales (4 if you count the Twilight DVD, 5 if you count the movie soundtrack, 6 if you count the piano score....). Yes, tragic isn't it. Consumerism gone mad.
But back to ebooks. The purchasing process was just like Apple's iTunes portal. You choose your ebook and purchase with a simple click or two. The site uses the credit card details stored from the previous purchase as per your profile. On completion of the sale, an email notification is sent but not an invoice like Apple's iTunes. I would have preferred the formal invoice but that's a personal choice.
Another downside is that you can't view before you purchase on the Sony ebook site. We are all used to sampling music tracks, why not sample ebooks in the same vein? Not having the preview functionality is a shame and I would have thought Sony had enough negotiating power with publishers - plus the technology - to do this effectively. Afterall Mobipocket's ebook site allows a demo to be viewed, stored, downloaded to your portable device - why hasn't Sony offered the same? Browsing is an important part of the ebook purchasing process and I trust they will add that to the portal in the near future.
STOP THE PRESS! I've just gone back into the Sony ebook portal and good news! They have "excerpts" as Coming Soon. They already have 20, 18, and 12 books featured for June, July and August respectively. At this stage they don't appear to be incorporated into the main functionality, but as a side bar. Hopefully the preview button will be part of the purchasing process in the coming months rather than having to navigate separately through the portal...
The last downside was reading on a computer. We spend all day on the blasted contraptions - email, websites, databases, spreadsheets, documents etc. Why on earth would we read a complete ebook as well? Well I have and I will again! I just have to position my body appropriately with better lighting. That may stop the headaches. I haven't had them since I stopped reading from the laptop, so I'm assuming the two are linked.
As to the handheld e-readers, I'm not liking the HanLin but will review that separately. The Sony ebook reader is enroute from our head office in the U.S. and I'm getting very excited about seeing it. (Particularly when my colleagues from the U.S. sent this email:
We have your Sony reader. If you ever want to see it again, place $10,000 in unmarked bills behind a certain convenience market in NW Portland ....!
I will post again once it's arrived and I've successfully downloaded the other ebooks I plan to read on the device. Stay tuned folks.