Tag Archives: ebook

iPad Vs. Books

This is a guest post written by Adrian P..

Ive been using the iPad for five months now, and I find it to be a very useful device. The video, apps, music, and the browser make it a worthwhile purchase. Its really nice to have the Internet at your fingertips without having to boot up your machine every time that you want to check out something on the net.

I have found that while many websites/blogs have reviewed the features mentioned above, I haven’t found a lot of salient information regarding the iPad and how it compares to paper books. Sure, everybody knows that you can download and read eBooks on the iPad, but its other features tend to eclipse the ebook experience. If, however, the ebook feature on the iPad is reviewed, its almost always compared and contrasted with Amazons Kindle. I have not seen anybody review the iPads efficacy as a reading device vis-a-vis actual paper books. Being an avid reader of paper books and now having had experienced reading on the iPad for five months, I think that its time I did a review of how the two compare.

Before I begin I think it would only be fair to say that I am a big fan of standard paper books. With that being said, I hope that I can separate my love of books in order to give a fair assessment of the iPad reading experience.

The iPad has some great features:

  • The ability to look up words using the iPads built in dictionary.
  • The orientation can be changed (landscape or portrait).
  • The animated graphic for each page turn mimics page turning in a standard paper book.
  • The paper color can be changed to a yellowish to mimic discolored paper.
  • The typeface can be changed and the font size can be increased or deceased.

The ability to instantly look up unfamiliar words is truly a handy feature. When reading books I normally keep my iPod touch close by to look up words using a dictionary, or I will simply look it up in a book dictionary. This can become irritating as it distracts you away from the subject matter of the book that you are reading. The iPad definitely scores a big win with the built in dictionary.

The orientation and page turning animation graphic are nice touches, but ultimately this makes no difference to me. I find that this is something that is more a novelty that you would show your friends in order to impress them and say: Hey look how my iPad can mimic paper books the future is now! Blah blah blah. The ability to change the color of the pages to yellow from the bright white is an essential feature. When I first started reading on the iPad I used the white colored pages (the default setting), but I found that this really strained my eyes after a long reading session (even with the screen brightness turned down really low). With the screen brightness turned really low and the paper color turned yellow, this can definitely mitigate eye strain, but it isn’t a panacea.

Another feature that effectively mitigates eye strain is the ability to change the font sizes and typeface. This makes reading on the iPad superior to books. It is superior because the only way to enlarge text when reading a paper book is to move the book closer to your face or wear reading glasses.

So far it seems that I would prefer reading on the iPad to books, but this is not the case. I’m not sure if its because the culture of paper books is so firmly entrenched in my psyche, but books just seem to be a more natural method for reading. As you turn the pages you get a feeling for the texture of the paper that the iPad cant even dream of being able to recreate. Another issue that adds to the books experience is that each paper book has a smell that adds to the reading experience. I cant take credit for this observation. I saw an interview with poet/writer Nikki Giovanni on This is America with Dennis Wholey where Wholey asks her opinion on technology/ebooks/ebook readers. She responds by saying that The ebook wont work until they can find a way; well we already know how to turn the page now[sic], but were going to have to find a way to bring the smell of paper and ink. This was something that I hadn’t thought about until I heard Giovanni make this statement, but now I do notice the smell of books. I think unconsciously I was noticing the smell of books all along. However, after reading on the iPad where no smell is emitted, you do start to miss the smell of paper and ink as Giovanni claims. I suppose smell is one of the most under-appreciated senses always being relegated to a subordinate position to sight and hearing. Giovanni’s explanation is far more robust than this; Ill embed the video of the interview at the end of this article.

One thing that can get irritating on the iPad is that after the 9 hour battery dies you have to plug in the device for recharging. This can be irritating because it interrupts the flow of reading during a long session. I know that this seems like an insignificant point. Im sure many would argue that after 9 hours of reading having to plug the iPad in is not a big issue. However, this can be more irritating than it sounds. Suppose you were reading in a comfortable position on your couch and there is no power outlet near you. You would have to get up from that position and find a spot near an outlet where you can plug in the iPad and continue reading. Now if you cant achieve the same level of comfort in that new spot, you will most likely just stop reading and move on to doing something else. Your reading session has been interrupted. Books don’t suffer from this deficiency. So long as you have a working light you can keep reading for as long as you want.

So which method of reading is superior? This is a very difficult question to answer. I will say that the iPad definitely has clear advantages (all of which have been mentioned above). I don’t think that the iPads advantages necessarily eclipse the advantages of books. Books are low-tech, but they are still effective at disseminating knowledge. I think the reason for ebook popularity is really more of a consequence of novelty rather than efficacy. When we look at both methods objectively the main purpose is to disseminate and read information no matter how high-tech or low-tech the medium is. Both the iPad and paper books serve the purpose of making knowledge accessible, but is one a better method than the other? Really, I don’t think it makes a difference. While it is true that you can buy an ebook and have it downloaded to your device instantly, I don’t think that this necessarily makes the ebook experience more advantageous. Have we really become that impatient as a society that we cant wait a day or two for a paper book to arrive in the mail? Personally, I can wait for the paper version to show up, but that’s just me. The final verdict: I will say that the iPad and ebooks are here to stay, but they will never fully replace paper books. In terms of which method is better really depends on which method is more suitable for the individual.

I will personally be using both the iPad and paper books for reading.

Let me know what you think in the comments section.

How Much Should an eBook Cost?

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Patti asked on Twitter what I think a fair price is for an eBook. A fair price is the price that someone is willing to pay – for anything. This includes eBooks. I’ve sold eBooks in the past for as low as ninety-nine cents, and as high as forty-nine dollars. People have bought them, no matter which price range they fell in. If the information is worth something, then the value of it is higher. You have to decide if a given eBook holds value for YOU when deciding if it is set at a price you are willing to pay.

I don’t think there’s a “right” price. You can do a variety of tests with pricing to see what works well. I’ve been very happy as an electronic publisher over the years. Giving valuable information is what it’s all about. If you feel the things you have written will help someone in some way, then price it accordingly.

If you think you’re going to make it in this universe by thinking you’ll get everything for free – get a life. That’s not going to happen. Everything comes with a price, including knowledge at times.

Give the Gift of a Kindle this Holiday

You can now send anyone on your holiday shopping list an eBook – even if they don’t own a Kindle device. You can give the gift of an eBook to anyone who has an email address. According to Amazon, the Kindle store is “the first major bookstore to offer eBook gifting.”

Kindle books can be given and received by anyone with an e-mail address. Kindle books can be read either on Kindle or on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android Phone using one our our free reading apps. Kindle books received as gifts can be exchanged for Amazon.com gift cards. All Kindle books available for purchase in the Amazon.com Kindle Store can be given as gifts.

Give the gift of literacy this holiday season.

Don’t forget to stop by our software center today.

140 QuickBooks Tips eBook is Ready to Help You

Seth has written another eBook, and I was only too happy to collaborate with him on it. Following is his introduction to the newest creation.

I have written another eBook, and this one is called 140 QuickBooks Tips. Once again, Chris Pirillo has been gracious enough to co-brand this with me so that more people might benefit from the help it offers in terms of the little things that make it easier to use QuickBooks. There is a reason why QuickBooks is the #1 accounting software in this country – and possibly in the world. I have used QuickBooks since the DOS version and it has always been very easy for me to use. Since I live, eat, and pretty much breathe QuickBooks, I have a search column set up on my Tweet Deck Application based on the word “QuickBooks”.

This lets me see any time someone uses the word “QuickBooks” in their tweet. Of course, I see a lot of people like me posting blurbs with links to blog posts with QuickBooks Tutorials. In my case, every QuickBooks Blog post comes with some sort of QuickBooks Video Tutorial. These are screencasts showing you step-by-step where to click and what to type in order to accomplish those things that you need to be able to do with the software. While viewing this Twitter feed on QuickBooks, I see many complaints about the program not being able to do something. I will probably make some people mad when I say this, but the reality from my own experience is that 90% of time it is user error. This is not to say that the QuickBooks user is a bad person. The QuickBooks user more than likely is a very good person frustrated by their own lack of experience and knowledge. Again, QuickBooks is the #1 Accounting software in the country and because of that I think people expect it to be completely easy to do everything that they want to do in QuickBooks.

The fact is that QuickBooks is accounting software and as such it helps to have some knowledge of accounting. It goes beyond writing checks and recording deposits. Usually from what I see, the frustration sets in when the person using QuickBooks does not have the accounting background and therefore not only doesn’t understand how to do what they want to, but doesn’t understand from an accounting perspective why it is not feasible to do it. Nine times out of ten it is not that it can’t be done, it is more a matter of understanding the accounting fundamentals which gives rise to the understanding of how to get QuickBooks, an accounting program to do what you need it to. Since I have the accounting knowledge as well as the practical I am able to go from what we want the transactions to look like (this takes a good solid understanding of how the financial statements work and relate to one another) to how it needs to be accomplished at the nuts and bolts level.

It is based on this experience that I have written 140 QuickBooks Tips. My expectation is that you will find more than a few gems in here that will help you do something you didn’t know before or help you to do it better than before. There are also some Accounting tips that will help you understand what you will want to learn more about in order to be a more effective QuickBooks User such as learning about the relationships between the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet Accounts. When CPA’s review or audit a set of books, they go through the balance sheet thoroughly knowing that along the way they will hit most of the important areas of the Profit and Loss. Then they review the profit and loss. And did you know that the Statement of Cash flows is really the most important one, yet it is the least often understood by owners of small businesses? Get your copy of 140 QuickBooks Tips today and please visit my blog for a whole lot more of great QuickBooks tips and free video tutorials on how to use QuickBooks more effectively in your own business.

Be sure to check out the many other excellent eBooks we have available.

Read and Share Book Samples Online with Kindle for the Web

Kindle for the Web allows you to read a portion of a book right within your web browser, without having to install anything. Click the “Read first chapter FREE!” button on selected Amazon book overview pages. A new browser window will open containing your sample. When you are ready to purchase the full edition of the Kindle book, click the “Get Kindle Edition” button. Choose whether to download direct to your Kindle or another reading device and you’re finished.

Sharing your favorite books has now become even easier with this application. How often have you thoroughly loved a book and wanted to tell your friends about it? When was the last time you wished you could somehow explain what a particular storyline was about? Kindle for the Web makes it simple by helping you to share more than ever before.

  • Book samples can be made visible on any website that supports embedded content. If you can add script tags to your site or blog, you can post a sample.
  • First, click the “Embed” button, visible on the right side of the screen when viewing any book sample. You will then see the code to embed. Click on “Customize” if you would like to change the width and height of the window or add your associate tag.
  • After making any customization changes, simply copy the embed code and paste it into the source code of your website or blog.
  • You may also share book samples via email, Facebook, or Twitter by clicking the “Share” button on the right side of the sample screen.

This is an excellent way to decide if a book is worth the money to buy – and the time to read all the way through. I don’ t know about you, but I can always tell within the first chapter if a tome is worth my time. If I’m still interested at the end of that first look, then I will settle in to finish it. Being able to consume a bit more of the content than the jacket or cover provides is an excellent step, in my opinion.

What are your thoughts? If you’re a Kindle owner, will you be using Kindle for the Web?

How to Celebrate 3000 YouTube Videos

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I cannot believe this is the 3000th video I’ve uploaded to YouTube. What a ride it has been! Thank you to everyone for subscribing to the YouTube channel, the Twitter page, the Facebook fan page and my blog. To help celebrate this video milestone, I’m going to give away some of my eBooks!

You can receive these for a limited time simply by clicking this link. I have written (or co-authored) several of these types of guides now. Just for being a fan or friend, you will receive:

  • Top 100 PC Security Tips
  • Top 50 YouTube Tips
  • Top 200 Windows Tips
  • Top 50 Weight Loss Tips
  • Top 80 Windows 7 Tips
  • Top 140 Twitter
  • Top 100 Mac Tips for Beginners and Windows Users

I want to take advantage of this moment in time to let you know that when we reach 50,000 “Likes” on the Facebook Fan Page, I am going to give away THE MacBook. You know which one I mean… the MacBook you’ve seen in many of my videos… silver with the big Lockergnome logo on the lid!

Make sure you Like the page, and you’ll automatically be entered to win!

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Top 100 Windows PC Security Tips

There are more threats to the security of your computer than I can begin to count. New types of attacks are released on more than a daily basis… you have to be vigilant. You already know to use strong passwords. You also know to be sure and have a good anti-virus program and firewall installed. However, there are many other easy things you can do to help make sure your PC is safe. This is why I have come up with my Top 100 Windows PC Security Tips eBook.

You are free to set your own price for this Gnome Tome, with a suggested minimum of five dollars. Once you have downloaded the .PDF file, you will learn how to fully protect your computer from hackers, viruses, phishing attempts, trojans, worms and much more. Many of these little gems are likely things you didn’t already know how to do… or even that they existed. Much of the information deals with things already in place on your operating system – you just have to know how to use them.

Educate your family about the basics of malware and how to avoid becoming infected — and know where your kids go online.

The above tip may seem to be a no-brainer. You would be surprised to learn how many people simply do not take the time to educate their children and teenagers… or how many teens neglect to educate their parents. The 100 tips and tricks cover everything you need to know – from education to prevention to recovery.

On the last page, you will find several links to discounted security products that we have recommended in the past. We are grateful to those partners for continuing to offer these special prices to our community.

Education is the key to everything – including protection yourself and your information.

How to Stay Productive in Small Business

Seth David has put together a fantastic eBook of 140 tips and tricks to help keep you on track each and every day. Productivity fluctuates based on our outer – and inner – distractions. Anything from our body temperature to crowd noise to having too much to do can – and WILL – change how our day goes. Seth has put together a list of things that you should be doing on a regular basis in order to help you stay focused.

You’ll find some basic health tips in this eBook, along with some seriously important business gems. One of my favorites has to be:

When a customer complains, correct the mistake — they care more about how you handle the complaint than what they are complaining about.

Look for a guest blog post from Seth about the above gem in the near future. He will be explaining this idea more in depth to help you understand why this is absolutely critical if you are going to succeed.

I feel that this eBook is well worth your time and money… to the point that I am happily endorsing it with my branding and name. Seth’s advice is right-on and will help give you a leg up in a world where every move you make can have a huge impact on your business.

100 Mac Tips

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If you’re switching from Windows to Mac OS X, I thought I’d help get you started with my top 100 Mac tips. If you’re sticking with Windows, fine – I released the Windows eBook earlier this year (and I hope you scored a copy).

Every day, I get asked questions related to “making the switch.” I just figured this was an easier way to get you the information you needed. The eBook has no DRM attached to it, and sells for only five bucks. I can almost guarantee that you’ll pick up at least one tip that you didn’t already know about.

I live inside of both Windows and Mac OS X. Do you?

If you do get a copy, please post your review as either a comment here or video response – I’d love to hear what you think about its value to you, either as a new Mac user or as someone who communicates with new Mac users on a regular basis.

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