Apps are where it’s at!

Not long ago Humble Bundle updated their Android app.

Now, if you aren’t familiar with Humble Bundle it is an online marketplace that bundles games together and let’s you pay what you want for the games. A portion of the proceeds goes to charity. They also expanded to ebooks, digital comics, and often add sound tracks in with their games.

The app use to allow you to download the Android games you bought through their bundles,  now it allows you to download the ebooks,  comics and music as well.

This is amazing news! It is a pain in the neck trying to side load ebooks on my phone or tablet. Now I just open up the Humble Bundle app and download the comics and books I want to read, or the music I want to listen to, and it’s all right there. All accessible and regale right in the app.

This is the future. Eventually someone is going to put an app together that will go around all the side load bs and just let me read the content I bought. It isn’t here yet, but I can see enough people asking for it that it is coming. Eventually. Maybe some authors child will be really into programming and will set it up for them.

Not only that, but if there are apps out there that provide this service then amazon will be forced to add an auto install for ebooks as well, something they haven’t done yet probably because they want it to be hard on you so you buy direct from them.

Truth is I don’t mind buying stuff from amazon  I do it a lot. But I don’t buy EVERYTHING from amazon so I don’t want to be stuck side loading things all over the place. Plus I’d really like to see all my media in one spot so I can just search for books, games, or music I own and download from one app instead of all of them.

It’s interesting times we live in. Things are changing rapidly and in ten years this will probably seen like a minor irritation along the way to progress.

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Abandoned books.

The other day reddit had a thread suggesting that Goodreads should have an “abandoned” category for book lists.

This got me thinking. I’ve actually abandoned a lot of books the last couple years.  More than ever before. Not always because they were bad books. Sometimes it was time management issues, or just not quite captivating enough. Every now and then I’d get involved in other things and just forget I was reading that particular book.

The are so many wonderful books out there and not enough time to read them. If there was a heaven it might be eternity in a library with every book ever written. (As long as it comes with a Starbucks.) But this isn’t heaven, it’s just Washington. We don’t have eternity, just 80 years or so. So picking and choosing which books to read is sometimes a bit important. I’m going to spend hours or days with this book, I want to enjoy the experience.

I don’t know if an abandoned book tag is a good idea, especially since people won’t be telling you why they abandoned it, but it would be interesting. You might learn some interesting things about a book, or people’s taste, or what keeps them turning the page.

There is a man who documents his abandoned books. In the The Immerse or Die report Jefferson Smith reads until the book has three ‘fatal flaws,’  and then he tells you what they are. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the book was unreadable or that he didn’t finish it, just that it had some major issues that pulled him out of the story enough for it to be a ‘fatal flaw.’

I know some of the things that pull me out of a story are too much foreshadowing, LOTS of grammar/spelling mistakes, inconsistency, and a style or plot so convoluted that I can’t follow it. There are more reasons, but those are the ones that come to mind right off the top of my head.

Why might you abandon a book? Would you want to share that with others? Would you want to know why others abandoned your book?

That last question… I think I’m a little too chicken to put my sorry up for speculation on Immerse or Die. At least for now.

How do YOU find new books to read?

I stopped by the library today to drop off old books, and pick up a couple of new ones. Because I just watched this Neil Gaiman video yesterday about how we find our books, and what piracy really means, it got me thinking…. How do I really find new books and authors?

First, the three books I picked out:

harrisKim Harrison’s, “Into the Woods”. This is a collection of short stories from the Hallows series, and I absolutely LOVE the Hallows series. I’ve read every single book I’ve found, tracked down the graphic novels, and even own a couple. While I describe it as “A female Harry Dresden” that only scratches the surface. But, like Jim Butcher, Harrison is a FANTASTIC author who adds lots of sub plots, lots of emotion, and great twists that keep you coming back for more. So of course I got it.

briggsPatricia Briggs’, “Frost Burns”. This is another series that I’ve read all of. At least I’ve read all of the Mercy Thompson novels. I haven’t gotten into the Omega or Alpha series because really I just love Mercy Thompson. While not my favorite, Briggs is a great writer, and I really enjoy her books.

The third book is by a new author. New to me, anyway. Diana Rowland writes the “White Trash Zombie” novels. I happened upon her by browsing the “new” section at the library, and the cover looked really interesting so I picked it up. From the title I really didn’t expect anything but fluff, but I was nicely surprised. Angel, the zombie, struggles with everything a normal girl struggles with, plus her natural desire to eat brains as well.

rowlandThey didn’t have another zombie book at the library, so this time I picked up “Sins of the Demon“. The cover looked interesting, and I like her style of writing, so I thought I’d try it out.

So, the question… how did I find these writers?

I found Kim Harrison when a friend of mine suggested her book. She owned ALL of them, so I borrowed the first in the series and I was hooked. I even went to facebook and followed Harrison. She’s a really awesome person, likable, witty, and smart. She loves getting direct feedback from her readers on cover art, and other things. Win-win all over the place.

A Patricia Briggs happened to be on a shelf one day when I was sitting in a library between classes at the college. I was bored, and it was there, just sitting on a “suggested reading” shelf. It talked about werewolves, and the girl on the cover had a very no nonsense look about her… so I picked it up and started reading. I ended up checking it out and taking it home for the week. Came back for more, too.

The third one I found while browsing the “new arrivals”. I do this a lot, looking for new books with interesting covers and descriptions, and seeing if I can find anything to strike my fancy. This is one of my favorite ways to find new books since the new arrivals shelf is a miss match of every genre, including non fic, and I love all of it.

I do buy books, often ebooks, but I usually only buy new books from authors I already like. I only by print books from authors I LOVE, or from used book stores where I can find little known, or forgotten books for less then a dollar.

I have to agree with Gaiman. Free books are POWERFUL. Pirated versions are just more opportunities for people to find your books. I know the majority of new authors that I’ve taken a chance on were because of free, or really cheep books.

I’d love to be able to buy, or even read, all of the books by all of the authors I love, but that would take a LOT of money. So when I publish my own books I keep this in mind. I want more people to read my books, and maybe they will buy a few. Maybe they’ll get print copies and then give them away. Every new set of eyes on my books, every person who tells someone else how great this particular book is, that’s one more potential person who might look into my books.

So, in that spirit, if you haven’t read one of my books and you’d like to just send me a message and I will be happy to send you a PDF, or mobi file of one of them for free. Just look at my book shelf here, and send a message to crissymoss AT gmail DOT com, and I’ll get it to you shortly.

Writer FAQ: Where Do You Get Ideas?

One of the most commonly asked questions out there, “Where do you get ideas?”

The simple answer: Live…

It sounds simple, but really, that’s it. Sometimes I will think all my ideas have dried up, then my boyfriend will say his mechanic has some sort of black magic touch, and I’m off and running on a new idea.

Live. Read. Watch documentaries. Read some more. Take a class. Watch people. Play games. Read even more. Experience life. Draw on those experiences.

And the next step is learning to recognize those bits and pieces, and having some form of notebook with you always so that you can jot them down. (I use a notepad on my cell).

The only real difference between a writer with lots of ideas, and everyone else, is that the author knows when a great idea will make a good story, and he takes the time to write it down.

So many people around us, with so many fantastic ideas. They tweet them, make funny gifs, talk about them. But a writer takes the time to develop it into something more. Then the writer seeks out new information, so that he can boldly incorporate it into his writing like no other author has done before.

Now THAT is where ideas come from.