Changing Times for eBooks

When you think of reading eBooks, which retailers do you think of? For me it comes down to three or four retailers. Amazon. Apple. Google. Barnes and Noble. I know there’s Kobo too, but they don’t have any kind of traction here in the US.  Barnes and Noble’s Nook is a nice experience. I’ve played on several devices before. But let’s face it, the entire future of the Nook is a giant question mark. Then comes Apple, which may or may not have colluded with major publishers to increase eBook prices. That leaves us with Google and Amazon.

I have an Android device and I’ve never once read a book on it. But I imagine Play Books is right up there with Apple and Amazon as far as its user experience. And now they’re trying to make it even better. Google and Amazon have both recently changed the fonts of their eBooks. Both were changed after extensive research into a variety of factors that affected one’s ability to read on their devices. I sometimes download books on to my Kindle, but I haven’t actually read on it in quite some time.

I applaud both companies for trying to make it easier to read on their devices, but I have to be completely honest here. I have one of the very first Kindle models, which leads me to believe that it would already be a bit more difficult to read on my device than on some of the newer models like the Paperwhite or the Voyage. And I’ve never had any issue with the font. It isn’t too small to start. It isn’t difficult to read. And I’ve read so much about the big gaps and spaces between words and letters in books because there hasn’t been any hyphenation before the new font, but I’ve never come across anything that looked out of order or weird. So props to both companies for improving the user experiences of their eBook readers, but I can’t say I’ve ever felt a new font was necessary.

The name of Amazon’s new font is Bookerly. The name of Google’s new font is Literata.

What about you? Have you ever been reading on your Kindle or Android device and just wanted a better, more aesthetic font for your reading?

The Journey Begins Again

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would start dividing my posts up into two parts so that you could better distinguish whether I’m talking about my first book, which is done and this entire blog has been dedicated to, or my second book that I’ll be writing in the coming months. Well, this will be the first post that I actually do that.

Divided Within (Andrew Banks #1)

I don’t have much to report regarding my first book. If you read my last post then you know that there was an issue making my changes to my first proof and now I’m just waiting to receive my final one to officially approve and release. I was told that I’d have my final proof within three business days, so that’s either up tomorrow or Tuesday, depending on whether or not they consider Saturday a business day (they work a full day on Saturdays).

There is something wonderful to report, though! My website finally appears in search results! For some odd reason neither Bing nor Google has officially indexed the site, but as long as it appears in search results I’m happy. If you only search “John Guillen” then the site appears on the third page of Google search results, but if you search “John Guillen author” or John Guillen Divided Within” or “John Guillen Andrew Banks” then it appears right near the top of the first page. It’s exciting! So go ahead and check it out.

Andrew Banks Book Two

I had nearly two months of rewriting and finishing up everything for my first book and did not write a single word for my second book. BUT I returned to my beginning ways of spending my Friday nights writing and started and finished my first chapter last Friday. And if you’ve followed my blog for any stretch of time you know that I like to reveal some details about every chapter after I write them.

In the first chapter Andrew is hired by a prominent activist. I don’t yet want to reveal what exactly he is promoting, but I will say that this is my attempt as a writer to discuss social and political issues that are current and relevant today. And it’s something that I personally feel strongly about. Andrew agrees to become the activist’s personal bodyguard and then realizes that his client is a lot more known than he thought.

No more for now!

Also, I’ve been brainstorming titles, but like last time I probably won’t reveal that until the final stages of the book. Perhaps by the end of the year? We’ll see!

The First Bump in the Road

The title of my last post was Some News is Better Than no News. And I suppose I believe that, mostly.

My experience through this whole self publishing process has been quite smooth and easy. But today I woke and checked my email, as I do almost every morning, and had an email telling me that my revised proof was ready for my viewing. You can imagine my excitement. This is one of the final steps before publication. I was so excited that I fell back to sleep. Rather quickly.

When I eventually got around to checking the manuscript I thought I was still asleep because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. All of the mistakes that I’d corrected had somehow managed to persist within the manuscript. I immediately rechecked the document that I submitted a week ago to make sure that I hadn’t forgotten to save my work before uploading, I hadn’t.

As I said, though, my overall experience up to this point has been pretty great. I have to be honest, though. When I realized what had happened I started yelling at the wall and at my diploma and at my computer. And the language I used was not exactly literary. So I contacted support and told them what happened and pointed out a few of the mistakes for the lady on the phone. She sounded genuinely surprised at what happened and, if my memory serves me right, she even when so far as to say that it was entirely unacceptable. I could be imagining that part, though. I estimated the number of mistakes that I had corrected and she told me that she’d get my proof back to me within three days. So…that would still be within the original timeline that was given to me in the first place. I’m not overjoyed at what happened, but I realize that my book is not the only one that they have to work on. I’ve still written a full length book and it will be released very soon. I’ll live.

And I’m sure some of you have wondered how come I haven’t revealed to you all which company I’m using to publish. It’s because I intend to write a post dedicated to my entire experience with them once everything is finished. So stay tuned for that.

I’m still waiting for my site to be indexed by Google! So do me a little favor and go ahead and visit my website so that their little spiders crawl it sooner rather than later!

Also, I decided to change my theme after almost five months of my previous one, what do you all think of the change? Better? Worse? Indifferent? I like it.

Some News is Better Than no News

I suppose I believe that title. Maybe.

Today I was given the date by which my final proof should be ready. It’s October 24. I would have liked for that date to be a little closer to now, but I said in recent posts that their timelines are generally longer than will actually be needed. So I still fully expect to receive the proof before that date.

I’ve spent the last month and a half working on finalizing everything for my first book and have still yet to begin work on my second. Well ladies and gentlemen, that changes today. I’ll have plenty to do for my first book once it’s released as far as trying to get it into the hands of as many potential readers as possible, but now I think it’s best for me to go ahead and write Andrew Banks another case. I already have the most basic details of the story thought out and I’ll let the others fill themselves in as I continue writing.

My website URL has been sent to Google for indexing, but I’ve read that they can take anywhere from four days to four weeks to actually index it. So my website still doesn’t pop up in search results. I’m working to change that as fast as possible!

Even though it doesn’t yet appear in search results you can still visit it here.