Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to Read a Kindle Book If You Don’t Have a Kindle

Dear Friends,

  Amidst all the excitement about releasing my book on Amazon, I’ve had several folks wondering how they can go about getting the book if they don’t have a Kindle. Well, since there’s already enough confusion in the world (WHY are any of the Kardshians even remotely famous)?), I’ve put together a quickie list of how you can circumvent the pesky non-ownership of a Kindle…

  Amazon offers free apps that will allow you to read Kindle books on a variety of platforms.

  Desktops and laptops:

        Windows 8:

        Windows 7, XP and Vista:





        Windows 8:


        iPhone and iPod Touch:


        Windows Phone:


  There’s even a thing called a Kindle Cloud Reader, which does something magical to your browser, I’m really not sure what this one is all about, maybe it means something to you:

  Fair disclaimer: I haven’t tried any of these apps, so please read things carefully before clicking.

  Hopefully, this list will allow everyone to download my book in some way, shape of form. Oh, and here’s a link for the actual book:

  Finally, why is the book only available on Kindle? Well, I’m in a program with them where they have exclusive rights to the distribution for 90 days. (I can’t even sell it on my own website, I can only provide links to the book on their website.) This program has side benefits for me that seem reasonable for now, so I signed on the virtually dotted line. I’ll take another look after the first 90 days have gone by, and then determine if I want to stay in the program.

  Anyway, that’s it for now with the technical angle, back to the funny in the next post. Hopefully.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Drum Roll, Please

  And there you have it, the book cover for the Kindle Edition of "Screaming in Paris".

  Hopefully, the layout accomplishes its goal of overcoming the somewhat horror-story hint of the  title (People are screaming in Paris, something must be on the loose!) and conveys the message that this is actually a humor book where you are supposed to chuckle, not die. We'll see.

  Yes, that's me front and center. It's a snap my sister, Dawn, took in one of the elevators at the Eiffel Tower. (We were bored at the moment, and I believe she said something like "what do you think of all these people packed in here with us?" I responded physically, she clicked.) Of course, I jacked around with the thing in Corel PaintShop, and a cover was born.

  It took me a while to make a final selection. I went through over a thousand pics from that 2009 week in France and, initially, there were other options that were front runners. But I kept coming back to this one. There's just something about the expression on my face, the fact that I'm actually in a Paris landmark, and my sister's composition that allowed me to squeeze in the necessary text. (Not that I'm happy about the double-chin action going on, but I couldn't find an option in PaintShop that said "click here to eliminate unruly body parts".)

  Anyway, the details are somewhat unimportant, the real focus is whether or not the layout invites you or repels you. The book is about to be released any day now on Kindle, so it will probably go out with this cover version. But I'll be tracking responses and commentary, and if the cover is affecting sales, I can always drop this one and go with the next runner-up, just like they did when Vanessa Williams turned out to have too artsy of a past to be Miss America...