Entries categorized "Kindle" Feed

Continuing to Watch Disruptions in Publishing

My New Books on KindleFIVE YEARS AGO TODAY I published a blog post about "dirsuptions in publishing" and at that time I pushed the post forward five years so I could see whether my predictions were accurate.

Back in 2012, I was interested in what kinds of disruptions commissiong editor Eoin Purcell was seeing in the print industry. I brought my Kindle (at left) to the table and listened.

At the time, Random House, the USA's largest publisher, was getting 20% of its U.S. revenue from digital sales. Amazon was adding an author a week to its list of million sellers in Kindle e-book sales. Six of  the top 20 titles on USA Today's Best-Selling Books list were e-books. Barnes and Noble was hoping that its Nook would keep the basic business afloat. And back on campus, we were teaching students how to create content with Adobe InDesign and Calibre recipes.

I made the soft prediction that students would like to have as many choices in reading formats as possible and that hard cover textbooks were less important than  e-books whose pages they could   print on demand. I thought that my young daughter would want to continue reading on her iPad and also with an e-ink device. 

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New Audible Adventures

Audbile with Enid BlytonLumia 925 headphone shot by @topgold.

WITH THE SCHOOL year just a month away, our five year old has discovered Audible books and that means she now has another cohort of narrators to read favourite stories.

At the moment, The Famous Five by Enjd Blyton is queued up inside our Audible app and Mia has entered an enchanting world featuring an old house with secret hiding places and underground tunnels. She listens to Julian, Anne, Dick, George and Timmy the dog working through mystery.

I use to listen to audio stories when growing up but they played on LP records and I didn't have my personal headset. Mia knows she is so lucky to enter her private storytelling realm, thanks to the cans she wears on her ears.

(Recommending Beyerdynamic over-the-ear headphones because it's harder to blow out your eardrums with them.)

Learned After 365 Days with a Kindle

Compost Bin NewsBernie Goldbach in Cashel | My photo of Kindle 

I HAVE USED my Kindle for the past 365 days and have learned from the experience. I want my four-year-old daughter to learn from it too.

Unlike a lot of my friends, I use my Kindle at least once a day. The primary reason is I arrange to have new things download onto the Kindle once a day. Because some of the downloads cost me money, I feel compelled to read them. The Irish Times fits into that Kindle category. Then there are new Kindle publications that I buy. I enjoy seeing what passages my friends have electronically annotated. That's possible if you have an Amazon account you've enbabled for sharing highlits and purchases.

I also set up other free content to land on my Kindle (i.e., Google Reader and selected blogs harvested via Calibre). That content grows stale if I don't read it as it lands.

I get a book from Audible around once every three weeks. I extract parts of those books for listening sessions in the creative multimedia curriculum I teach at the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). The extracts complement supplemental or essential reading by students. I think a Kindle helps you learn because you need to read words to reach a higher level of understanding. Hearing the author speak often motivates students to read whole chapters related to topics that reappear as essay questions.

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Sharing my #eprdctn workflow

USB UnderwoodBernie Goldbach in DIT | Image from my Slideshare deck

I SHARED THE WAY I produce electronic publications with a rapt audience in the e-learning summer school run by the Dublin Institute of Technology. My slide deck is below the fold.

I teach an e-publishing module in the Limerick Institute of Technology and wanted to ensure it was 80 percent practical and 20 percent theory. I believe my presentation delivers that perspective. Knowing that several students have landed paid positions by leading with "e-publishing" on their CVs makes it all the more worthwhile.

For the time-pressured readers, I've reduced the short takeaway to a few points below and chatted about my thoughts in an Audioboo.

1. Have a production plan with shared assets. Mine involves setting up a Media Tray locally and putting media text (words, images, logos, audio clips, video clips) into a shared Dropbox folder.

2. Test your backup plan at least once a month. I trust Crashplan and am glad I do.

3. Learn to compile your stuff through Scrivener.

Learning ePublishing

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Overstuffed Kindle Won't Boot Up

Will Not BootBernie Goldbach in Thurles | My Kindle My Shot

AFTER TWO SEMESTERS with my keyboard Kindle in daily use, I've pushed its storage capabilities over the top. The little guy won't boot up.

Eoin Purcell suggested I might be walking into this situation when I told him I had hundreds of student-generated Word Documents and Adobe PDF files on the device. That kind of content is like retina screen bloatware on an iPhone. I asked students to send me their work for several assignments since it's often easier for me to flick through Kindle documents instead of reading work uploaded to Moodle, our virtual learning network. I had to keep the student work on the Kindle until last week's visit of an extern, just in case he wanted to see third level assignments displayed on a Kindle screen.

My overstuffed Kindle is also a by-product of my personal data hygiene. I don't delete enough stuff because I have the Packrat Gene. However, I know I need to get the Kindle working so I took a Kindle shortcut with the power switch.

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Kindle Publishing at Third Level

Big on BooksBernie Goldbach in Ennis | Shot while listening to the Small Business Show

I'VE A "SAVED SEARCH" for Kindle in several online tracking systems because I believe that platform's use is growing faster than Twitter. It's certainly growing revenue faster than many social networks and points to job prospects for our third level students in the Limerick Institute of Technology.

I'm interested in Kindle because I teach an e-publishing module in LIT--possibly the only third level e-publishing module in Ireland assessed totally through the completion of Kindle, iBook and PDF documents. The module surveys the challenge of becoming a published author through traditional channels and lays out a process for publishing to both the Kindle platform and the Apple Book Store. Both can result in real money alongside mainstream acclamation.

What's remarkable for me is considering that by teaching this module, we are actually helping students create their own jobs. The curriculum itself is part of a self-published success story along with a story about the evolution of local newspapers that deserves to be acclaimed in the mainstream press this year.

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Value for Money Kindle

Big on BooksBernie Goldbach in Fenn's Quay | 495 words

AFTER AN ACADEMIC YEAR of reading, annotating and sharing essential content on my Kindle, I can strongly recommend Amazon's Kindle as technology that delivers high value for money.

I think the standalone Kindle is better than having an iPad with the Kindle app, primarily because when you read on a Kindle, you're less likely to be interrupted by notifications and less prone to procrastination via Facebook.

Both the app and the Kindle lets you read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines and PDFs through an intuitive interface. I've Kindle editions of all the essential and supplemental textbooks for five creative multimedia modules that I teach in the Limerick Institute of Technology. Plus I've paid subscriptions to both the Irish Times and the Financial Times. And I get Kindlefeeder content once a day along with items I send to my Kindle via a Klip.me bookmarklet. Every day, I have no less than 50 minutes of reading arriving on my Kindle.

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The Scrivener Discovery

ScrivenerBernie Goldbach in LIT-Clonmel | Illustration by Scrivener | 220 words

IN PREPARATION FOR a short session with DIT's e-learning summer school, I'm unpacking Scrivener so I have a faster method of producing a variety of electronic publications.

The $50 program is worth two times its purchase price, not because it works elegantly but because it complements an author's workflow while facilitating several different kinds of outputs. I spent 25 minutes with it running in demo mode and discovered I could correct page breaks and ensure proper paragraph breaks remained intact when saving for iBooks and saving for Kindle. I watched one of the Literature and Latte videos before starting the program, then just set forth with a blank document to pull in my blog posts from my website. That's actually the reverse process than the one I'll start using next week. 

I plan to start using Scrivener to create my content, for my blog posts, for classroom reading materials and for the novel that's rotting away in the bankers' boxes in the attic. By the end of the week, my new blog posts will have a download button that allows readers to get last week's i-book and Kindle version of my website. And if more than 50 people start doing that, I could have a sponsored channel of content before the end of the summer.


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The Elegant Save-to-Kindle

Klip.meBERNIE GOLDBACH in Golden | Screenshot of Klip.me | 144 words

SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK, I announce triumphantly that I've saved something to Kindle. It means I'm carrying the information in as clean a format as possible without the need to go online to see what I've downloaded. It feels very empowering to know I can flick through screens that help me revise content, prepare blog posts, and answer questions in my third level classrooms.

I enjoy my "send-to-kindle" routine via a bookmarklet that I've installed in Chrome and Internet Explorer. It's a process that hooks my Kindle e-mail address to Klip.me web services for free. If you've a Kindle, I recommend looking at the free service.

I'm finding, reading, sending and distilling more content now with this elegant send-to-Kindle service. I'm so happy with its reliability.


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File Sharing Involves More than Music

Sharing books with 1000 a dayWE TEACH HOW TO MAKE e-books in a module at the Limerick Institute of Technology and we know some students acquire their books through file-sharing sites like the now-defunct Library.nu.

Until its closure on 15 February 2012, viewers could access an enormous collection, including nearly every essential textbook prescribed in the creative multimedia curriculum of LIT. The presence of Kindles in student backpacks from first to third level has boosted the appeal of electronic titles. I saw this trend emerging three years ago when I spotted a Bit Torrent seed in a shared Dropbox folder. The link allowed people to sync and download book titles related Adobe products. By 2010, this practise had become a private set of links, shared casually wherever wifi access was served on campus. But the real burst of activity happened when I saw Library.nu being discussed in a Facebook group. People were interested in reading dozens of the titles that Amazon was marketing and the easiest way to fill your Kobo, Nook or Kindle was to drop some things onto it from Library.nu. As the screenshot at left shows, around 1000 people per week visited this illegal book site from the States. Enough of them left behind a donation to make a handsome operating profit for Fidel Nunez, the NUIG graduate running the site.

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