Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Buying Books Then And Now

In 2009 I purchased Darkship Thieves as described below. Just now I purchased its sequel, Darkship Renegades and I'm updating what I originally wrote back then. And added what I've learned.

How Books Are Were Bought In 2009

I was minding my own business, surfing to my favorite blog. Instapundit. He linked to a SF novel twice. The second had an interesting author's story of how the novel got published.

This interested me enough to want the book. But I was not going out and I doubted Barnes & Nobel has it on their shelves this soon after release. So, I clicked the Amazon link that Professor Reynolds helpfully provided. Sadly, I learned the book is not available on the Kindle.

My sadness was short-lived. "Hey, the publisher is Baen." Those guys aren't luddites. There's got to be an electronic copy available somewhere. So, I bypassed Amazon.com and went to see if they were selling an ebook that I could download immediately. I could.

A few mouse clicks later, I'd purchased the ebook for $6.00. A relative bargain. Moments later, I received an email with links to download the book. I clicked on the link for epub format (for my Motorola Droid and also my SONY Reader) and also mobi format (for my Kindle DX). They arrived on my hard disk and I unzipped them to a scratch directory.

Then I fired up Calibre and imported them into its database. (Think of Calibre as iTunes for ebooks.) Then I plugged in my Kindle DX and told Calibre to upload it. Then I repeated the procedure with my Motorola Droid.

Altogether satisfactory. Less time that it would take to drive to the bookstore. Cost is $6.00. And completely DRM-free. This is the way the future of books and reading should be.

How Books Are Bought In 2012

Inflation may have hit food and gasoline, but not ebooks. The price is still $6.00.

Meanwhile, Baen has streamlined the buying process. Buying the ebook directly from Baen is still the only option, but you can tell them to deliver it directly to your Kindle (or iPad).

I love Calibre, but shlepping cables from my laptop to my iPad is annoying.

Delivery from Baen to your Kindle is now a 2-step process.

First, you go to your Amazon account's Manage Your Kindle page. Find the link and click on Personal Document Settings, and add ebooks@baenebooks.com to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List.

Second, copy the email address that Amazon uses for your specific Kindle device under your Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings. When you click on the link from Baen, you'll find an option to have them send the ebook to your Kindle, and that's where you'll paste the email address you just copied. Click the button and Baen will do the rest. Painless. Easy.

Let me know if you have any difficulty with these instructions.

(Of course, after you buy Sarah's books, I'll be much obliged if you'd consider Finding Time or The Aristotelian.)

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