Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

The “Book as a Luxury Item” is not the Future of Publishing

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 09:49 AM PST

Do you recall abrams_s[1]how David Streitfield, Mike Shatzkin, and others have been writing about the general market failure of anything but the more basic ebooks? Some are misinterpreting that as a sign that paper books should pursue a new path.

There’s a new article on Salon.com which argues that with ebooks being reduced to nothing more than text files, the future of paper books is fancy illustrated volumes for collectors:

This month, The New York Times reported that the features unique to e-books had largely fallen away. A format that had originally promised all manner of functionalities was now fairly restrained, similar to an actual book — goodbye, public comments on books, multimedia elements and hyperlinks! Hello, potential embedded author autographs, just like the signed first edition on your shelf.

As e-books are stripping down to the bare-bones of what is actually book-like, physical books are growing more sumptuous and fetishistic. Though anecdotally, book covers seem to be steadily improving in aesthetic quality, not every major release, certainly, is as astoundingly detailed as J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst's "S.," a book full of inserted cards bringing one an immersive multimedia experience, or Chris Ware's "Building Stories," a box containing 14 discrete volumes that can be read in any order.

Here’s an example, this time from The Globe and Mail:


You’re probably going to read a lot of articles like this in the coming year, but I would not pay it any attention. It’s bunk.

Sure, fancy paper books are going to get a lot of attention, but their importance will be overestimated by people who don’t really understand why people buy books. Take the Salon.com article, for example:

But those examples from the last two years indicate a way forward for the printed book — as a luxury object. Because the margins (financial margins, that is) for e-books are so much wider than for printed books — they are far, far cheaper to produce than physical books and summarily cost less — there's no compelling reason for anyone with an iDevice or e-reader to spend more money for a paper copy of a book other than aesthetic pleasure.

Just to summarize, this article claims in one paragraph that no one is buying ebooks that are more complicated than text files. In the next paragraph the author insists that no one will buy paper books for any practical reason – just for their aesthetic value.

Doesn’t that make you wonder where this author thinks people will buy the more complex content like textbooks, cookbooks, and reference titles? I mean, if no one is buying them as ebooks and no one is buying them in paper then obviously the books won’t be printed.

But never mind the logical error; articles like this miss an important point on production costs and retail price.

What this writer missed is that the fancy paper books which he is calling the future of publishing are hampered by high production costs.

Like enhanced or rich format ebooks, a highly illustrated paper book costs more to make than your average novel, textbook, or any other type of book. That higher cost translates to a higher retail price, which will turn away readers who will instead by the books they bought last year. Also, due to the extra skull sweat required to produce a fancy paper book, they are boutique product and not something that can be produced at any scale.

While the books in question are fascinating on a technical level the actual market impact will be nil. This is no more the future of publishing than iPad apps were the future of media. That’s my prediction, and you can quote me on it.

The post The “Book as a Luxury Item” is not the Future of Publishing appeared first on The Digital Reader.

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Today's Kindle Books

Today's Kindle Books

More Bargain and Free Books for 12-31-13

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 08:05 AM PST

Enjoy another set of 2 bargain books and 2 free books. Please "LIKE" and share the books with family and friends. From all of us at ENT, we wish everyone a healthy and happy 2014!!

Book Of The Day: 33 A.D., by David McAfee, has a 4.2 star rating and is on sale for only 99 cents – save $2!


Chocolate for Breakfast
by Martha Reynolds
Rating: 4.4 Stars
Genre: Womens Fiction
Price: $0.99 Save $3.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

“The character development is great. The reader can connect and relate with ease. Very well written!” -Susan O.

Young Bernie (Bernadette) Maguire is in for the journey of a lifetime when her junior year abroad takes her to Fribourg, Switzerland. Ripe for love and adventure, she is seduced by a handsome Swiss banker, but is horrified when she discovers she’s pregnant.

Protected and befriended by those who help to keep her secret for as long as possible, this moving rite-of-passage tale will warm the heart as a young woman struggles with an all-too-familiar dilemma. Yet after an unexpected death and the discovery of her pregnancy by a classmate, Bernie's life takes some unexpected turns that will take decades to resolve.


When A Hard Rain Falls
by Jeffrey Miller
Rating: 5.0 Stars
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
Price: $0.99 Save $3.00
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“He weaves the stories of each character into a both serendipitous and challenging fabric of narrative that is truly gripping.” -Anna

Keith Mitchell tries his best to be the father his two sons need. However, life is hard enough for Mitchell and his sons as they cope with divorce and estrangement. When he crosses paths with a broken man with no love in his heart, and a natural disaster, things get even trickier.



Please make sure the price says "Kindle Price $0.00″ before clicking “Buy”. If it says "Prime Members $0.00″ “read for free”, it is NO LONGER FREE. All books are free at the time they are posted but are subject to change back to full price at any time. If you are outside of the United States, these books may not be free.

2020: Season 1
by Paul Moxham
Rating: 4.2 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Price: $0.00 Save $4.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Who thought that January 1, 2020 would be the start of the end? Not Logan Pollock. He only had one thought on his mind on that fateful morning, and that involved his bride to be, but in one instant, in one second, all that changed as he, along with everyone else, witnessed something so horrific and terrifying that life would never be the same ever again.


Cool Creatures, Hot Planet
by Marty Essen
Rating: 4.6 Stars
Genre: Non-Fiction
Price: $0.00 Save $5.55
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents follows Marty and Deb Essen on a three-and-a-half-year-long adventure to some of the wildest places on all seven continents. The American couple began crisscrossing the globe with the simple intention of searching for rare and interesting wildlife.

When their travels coincided with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the added element made them unwitting ambassadors for peace. Their experiences–from amusing to life threatening–changed their lives forever. This is not your average travelogue. Marty Essen has written a book that entertains, informs, and poignantly reminds us that we all share a small planet.

Locations visited include: Belize, Peru (the Amazon Rainforest), Argentina, Australia (Queensland), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, and Northwest Territories), Antarctica, Europe (Spain, France, Switzerland, and Andorra), Malaysia (Borneo), and Africa (Zimbabwe).


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More ENT Deals for 12-31-13

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 08:01 AM PST

Enjoy some quality time with your Kindle and download another set of 3 bargain books and 2 free books. Please "LIKE" and share ENT with all the book enthusiasts in your life.

Book Of The Day: 33 A.D., by David McAfee, has a 4.2 star rating and is on sale for only 99 cents – save $2!


Out of Time Series Box Set (Books 1-3)
by Monique Martin
Rating: 4.8 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Price: $0.99 Save $7.00
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“Great plot, wonderfully written.” -Brazzie

Out of Time: A Time Travel Mystery (Book #1) – Mystery, romance and adventure…Professor Simon Cross has spent his life searching for evidence of vampires and avoiding emotional entanglements. When a mysterious accident transports Simon and his assistant, Elizabeth West, back in time, Simon finally finds both the proof that he’s been looking for, and the romance that he hasn’t.

Simon and Elizabeth’s developing relationship is tested by demons real and imagined. In 1920s Manhattan, there are more than mobsters vying for power in the city’s speakeasies. When the local kingpin with a dark secret sets his sights on Elizabeth, day to day struggles become a fight for their very lives.

When the Walls Fell (Book #2) – Professor Simon Cross and his assistant Elizabeth West have returned from their accidental journey into the past and are adjusting to their new life together as a couple. But an unwanted visit from the Council for Temporal Studies could change everything. A murder in the past is changing the future, and if the killing isn’t stopped, Simon Cross might never be born.

When they arrive in 1906 San Francisco, Elizabeth and Simon have no idea who wants Victor Graham dead or how it will happen. With the earthquake that leveled most of the city just days away, the race to save Graham thrusts them into a complex mystery of jealousy and revenge where murder might be the least of their worries.

Fragments (Book #3) – Simon & Elizabeth are back in book #3 of the Out of Time Series! Professor Simon Cross and his assistant, Elizabeth West, thought their time traveling days were over. That’s before they stumble across a World War II photograph — with missing time traveler, Evan Eldridge, injured and in desperate need of help.

They find Evan in 1942 London, ill and not quite sure what’s happened. He remembers only one thing with crystal clarity — the whereabouts of an artifact Hitler believes can win the war. That’s information every Nazi spy in the country would kill to know.

As if saving Evan and surviving war-torn England weren’t enough, the outcome of the war hinges on Simon and Elizabeth finding Evan’s artifact before the Nazis do. But time is running out: for them, for London, for the world.


Escape From Ruskin Heights
by Dana George
Rating: 5.0 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Price: $0.99 Save $3.00
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Escape From Ruskin Heights – Nook
Escape From Ruskin Heights – Sony Reader

“This is written so well that it draws you into the characters lives.” -Linda

For this Kansas City Realtor, there is no escaping the ghosts of her past. When Carey O'Neal left the old Kansas City neighborhood she vowed never to return. There is nothing for her in Ruskin Heights but painful memories, humiliation, and a deep sense of not belonging. She manages to build a new life in Chicago, a place where no one knows about Ruskin Heights and where she is able to forget about the girl she once was.

Life seems to conspire against Carey as a broken marriage, job loss, and injured mother force her back to Kansas City. She takes the only job available to her, selling real estate in the broken neighborhood she'd fought so hard to escape.

She begins to question her own sanity as she meets new friends "” each and every one dead. As these new "friends" insist on becoming part of Carey's life, she must decide whether to leave for good, or stay to face the ghosts of Ruskin Heights.


Her Grace in Disgrace
by Claudia Harbaugh
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genre: Historical Romance
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
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“Her characters were well developed and the story line was interesting and unpredictable.” -Christina L.

Reginald Aiken, Duke of Warwick is dead and his young widow is not grieving…until the will is read. Isobel Kennilworth Aiken, Duchess of Warwick spent 6 years of her young life in a loveless marriage. Now, at the age of 24, Isobel is a widow. As Isobel awaits the reading of her late husband's last will and testament, she feels no grief, but in fact is quite hopeful. She is eager to start her life anew.

But, as the droning of the solicitor's voice washes over her detailing the bequests to various servants and family members, a shock awaits her. The “other woman” was not his mistress, but his lawfully wedded wife and together they had a son.

Six year old Reggie is now the Duke of Warwick, displacing Reginald's brother Charles. There is a collective gasp as the revelation is made that instantly cuts off Isobel and Charles and dashes their hopes for the future.

Isobel must indeed start again, not as a titled, influential and wealthy widow, but as plain Miss Kennilworth, tainted by scandal, something to be avoided at all costs in Regency England. Can she get past the disgrace and humiliation she has endured and fight her way back into society? Will she find love again with her childhood sweetheart, Andrew Stafford, former vicar, now Lord Saybrooke?

Or perhaps she will rekindle the romance with Jeremy Ingles, Lord Westcott, who had caught her fancy at her come out six years earlier, but had not been ready to be leg shackled. But before Isobel can find true love, she must come to grips with her past mistakes and the people she has hurt along the way. She must discover who she is without the title of duchess to her name.



Please make sure the price says "Kindle Price $0.00″ before clicking “Buy”. If it says "Prime Members $0.00″ “read for free”, it is NO LONGER FREE. All books are free at the time they are posted but are subject to change back to full price at any time. If you are outside of the United States, these books may not be free.

The Pirate Slayers: Ghost Waves
by W. Everett Prusso
Rating: 4.1 Stars
Genre: Action and Adventure
Price: $0.00 Save $3.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

In the winter of 1846, the ship Brooklyn leaves New York City, carrying passengers bound for San Francisco. On a warm moonless night, off the coast of Brazil, four young people fall overboard as the ship continues on unaware.

Thomas, Elizabeth, Nicole and their Australian sailor friend, Matthew, manage to fight their way to a nearby island, where they realize landing ashore is just the beginning of their troubles. The Caribbean Sea and South Pacific are the backdrops for this adventure that pits the four teens in desperate contests with pirates, profiteers and scoundrels as they swash-buckle their way to California.


Bound by Prophecy
by Melissa Wright
Rating: 4.3 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $0.00 Save $9.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Bound by Prophecy – Nook
Bound by Prophecy – Apple iBooks
Bound by Prophecy – Kobo
Bound by Prophecy – Sony Reader

Twenty-two-year-old Aern is done watching his brother destroy the only thing that matters. He never wanted to take Morgan’s place among council, never wanted to rule their hidden world. But when the key to the prophecy is found, a young girl named Brianna whom Morgan will destroy, Aern knows he has to take action. What he really wants is for things to go back to normal.

But now he's kidnapped a girl, and his brother's men are after him. His only hope is to join with the Division, but they have plans of their own, and it's the last thing Aern is willing to do. Emily just wants her sister back. She doesn’t care about the prophecy, or know what's at stake. But when she goes after Aern, the truth of the matter uncoils, and Brianna isn’t the only one who's in danger.

Suddenly, they're at the center of a secret war, and unless they can work together, they'll both have a sacrifice too big to make.


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More Kindle Deals for 12-31-13

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 07:54 AM PST

Resolve to read more in the new year by adding this collection of 3 bargain books and 2 free books to your Kindle library. Make sure to "LIKE" and spread cheer by letting friends and family know your favorite site for Kindle deals.

Book Of The Day: 33 A.D., by David McAfee, has a 4.2 star rating and is on sale for only 99 cents – save $2!


The Alexanders Boxed Set
by M. Malone
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Price: $0.99 Save $7.00
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The Alexanders Boxed Set – Nook
The Alexanders Boxed Set – Apple iBooks
The Alexanders Boxed Set – Kobo

“These books has a very great story line…” -Sherika W.

TEASING TRENT – Ever since Mara walked into her brother’s dorm room freshman year and came face to face with a shirtless Trent, she’s known he was The One. She finally has a plan to get him exactly where she wants him. In her bed.

ONE MORE DAY – On the run from a murderer, Ridley Wells has nowhere else to turn. So when badboy producer Jackson Alexander mistakes her for her twin, she does something she knows is wrong. She lies.

THE THINGS I DO FOR YOU – Raina Winters doesn’t believe in love. There’s only one thing she wants from marriage. A baby. After months of rejection, Nicholas Alexander finally has something she needs, so he offers her a deal. He’ll give her a baby if she gives him what he wants. Her.


Indian Hill 1
by Mark Tufo
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
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“This story was so original and from start to finish Mark pulled it off effortlessly.” -Lola S.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and for Michael Talbot that step is taken at Indian Hill with his best friend Paul Ginson by his side. Together they grow up, meet girls, and go off to college. And that’s where everything changes. While out on a date Mike, along with thousands of others, are quite literally abducted by aliens.

Known as the Progerians, their mission is to determine how best to conquer the human race. To that end they force the men to fight one another in death matches. The women are given to the victors as spoils.

Believing his friend to be dead, and furious with the government’s refusal to even acknowledge what happen to him, Paul decides to take matters into his own hands. The aliens may have killed his best friend but they aren’t going take his planet. Not if he has anything to say about it.


Resolutions in the New Year…or Any Time
by P. Seymour
Rating: 4.6 Stars
Genre: Non-Fiction
Price: $0.99 Save $2.00
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“This book does a great job of helping the reader create a plan for setting goals…..A very useful book!” -Silvio L.

Are you ready to finally make some big changes in your life? As we draw nearer to the close of another year, this is the perfect time to commit to creating a serious transformation in your life. Maybe you are ready to once and for all shed unwanted pounds, get fit and start living a healthier lifestyle. Perhaps your work situation has you completely depressed and you dream of working for yourself from the comfort of your own home.

Your goals might end up having to do with changing bad habits or creating newer healthy habits that will serve every area of your life. Or maybe you know that you need to make some changes to create more meaningful relationships in your life. Thinking about these changes can feel very overwhelming and right now you have the gift of time. Imagine what your life could be like one year from now if you truly committed to a plan of action.

In “Resolutions in the New Year…or Any Time: How to Make a Plan for Transformation”, you will find actionable tips and tools for getting very clear about what you want to change in your life and exactly how you can go about creating a plan that will work for you. Whether you are reading this right before the New Year, or 6 months in…make a commitment to yourself today and you really can change your life! I believe it and I want that for you!



Please make sure the price says "Kindle Price $0.00″ before clicking “Buy”. If it says "Prime Members $0.00″ “read for free”, it is NO LONGER FREE. All books are free at the time they are posted but are subject to change back to full price at any time. If you are outside of the United States, these books may not be free.

Ladd Springs
by Dianne Venetta
Rating: 4.4 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Price: $0.00 Save $12.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Ladd Springs – Nook
Ladd Springs – Kobo
Ladd Springs – Sony Reader

Delaney Wilkins finds herself at odds with hotel developer Nick Harris over a deathbed promise and a mysterious find in the Tennessee forest. Both are after title to Ladd Springs, a mecca of natural springs, streams and trails in the eastern Tennessee mountains, a tract of land worth millions. But Ernie Ladd, current owner of the property and uncle to Delaney, is adamantly opposed to them both.

Felicity Wilkins, Delaney’s daughter, deserves to inherit her family’s legacy, but neighbor Clem Sweeney is working against her, ingratiating himself with Ernie Ladd. Clem is also harboring a secret that will make him a very wealthy man–unless the others stop him before he can bring it to fruition.

Complicating matters is Annie Owens. Ex-girlfriend to Jeremiah Ladd, Ernie’s estranged son lining in Atlanta, she declares her daughter Casey is Jeremiah’s, making Casey every bit as entitled to the property as Felicity–only Annie hasn’t proven this claim. Yet. All are fighting to get the property, but only one will walk away with the gold.


When Death won’t do
by William Arsenis
Rating: 5.0 Stars
Genre: Literary Fiction
Price: $0.00 Save $25.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.


Kory van Luden is one of the youngest chess grandmasters of his time. Even blindfolded, he can beat almost anyone. But his genius may not save him in the game of life. Not against the most ruthless opponent he will ever face: His older brother. Born with war in his blood, Damon van Luden is the best of the military's elite. He's as cunning and ruthless as he is strong. He'll stop at nothing to get what he wants.

What Kory cherishes, Damon takes by force. Now, the two brothers are at war over a family trust worth more than 400 million dollars. The first to marry will win control over the family legacy and the enormous van Luden fortune. And both brothers have set their sights on the same beautiful young woman . . .


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Book Of The Day – 33 A.D.

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 06:29 AM PST

Today's Book of the Day is a Horror novel by David McAfee and it's 67% off for a very short time. 33 A.D. has a 4.2 star rating and is on sale for only 99 cents – save $2!

“McAfee’s cast of believable characters, coupled with dynamic plot-bending twists make 33 A.D. an adventurous read of the highest degree.” Donnie – Amazon Reviewer

33 A.D.
by David McAfee
Rating: 4.2 Stars
Genre: Horror
Price: $0.99 save $2


Visit David McAfee’s website
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33 A.D. has been optioned for film by Winkler Films, which is the company that brought us Rocky (all of them), The Net, Taken, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and many more. This is the last time that it will be available for 99 cents.

Jerusalem, 33 A.D. The vampires of the era have long sought to gain a foothold into Israel, but the faith of the local Jewish population has held them in check for centuries.

When one of their own betrays them to follow a strange young rabbi from Galilee, the elders of the vampire race dispatch Theron, a nine hundred year old assassin, to kill them both.

The rabbi’s name is Jesus. Killing him should be easy.

Here’s what the reviewers have to say:

The action in this novel starts from page 1, continuing to the very end. If you’re looking for something new, and a story that cannot be forgotten, then 33 A.D. is what you need.


Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had all the elements you’d expect of a gripping, tightly plotted thriller. Best of all, nothing is held back.


McAfee’s novel refuses to be pigeon-holed into a genre as it shatters a number of industry norms. The thematic elements of Good/Light versus Evil/Darkness are guaranteed to occupy your mind long after you’ve read the book.


From the first page I found myself excited, engaged and entertained. This being his first novel, I can’t wait to see what he does next. I know as he grows in his talent, there’s more fascinating stories to come.


I read this book to the end and jumped to his next one immediately. It is a must read — especially if you’re willing to take a chance. Believe me, it will pay off!

Get 33 A.D. here: 33 A.D.

About The Author

David McAfee is the author of the vampire novels 33 A.D. and Saying Goodbye to the Sun as well as the horror novel, GRUBS.

David lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife, daughter, and a small army of loyal but dysfunctional pets. As of this writing, he and his wife are expecting their first child together, who will no doubt grow to be just as deranged as the rest of the McAfee clan.

God help us all.

Thank you for considering today’s Book Of The Day – David McAfee and ENT appreciate it.


Bargain and Free Books for 12-31-13

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 05:46 AM PST

Happy Tuesday! Download this assortment of 2 bargain books and 2 free books for your reading enjoyment. Please "LIKE" and share ENT with everyone.

Book Of The Day: 33 A.D., by David McAfee, has a 4.2 star rating and is on sale for only 99 cents – save $2!


A Thin Film of Lies
by C.S. Lakin
Rating: 4.7 Stars
Genre: Christian Fiction
Price: $0.99 Save $3.00
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“It has a great plot, really excellent character development and a good pace.” -L. Norsworthy

Homicide detective Fran Anders’s latest case throws her into the lives of Mike and Alisa Jepson, a couple whose marriage is disintegrating fast. When leads coming into the precinct point at Mike Jepson as guilty of murder, Fran watches the damage wrought on this couple, yet is unable to ignore the incriminating evidence.

When Mike ends up arrested and in jail, Alisa takes comfort in a friend–Dee Dee–who moves in with her but soon becomes her worst nightmare. Mike hires a PI who uncovers clues to who is setting Mike up, but Alisa is caught in a trap before Mike can protect her.

Although Fran reaches out to Alisa during her crisis of faith, she is unable to stop events from barreling toward a crash. Yet, despite the tragedies to follow, Fran sees how God has used the Jepsons’ trials and pain to bring Alisa back into His arms, with hope that Mike might follow suit.


Earth Angel
by E. Van Lowe
Rating: 4.6 Stars
Genre: Paranormal
Price: $0.99 Save $3.00
Make sure price is still $0.99 before clicking "Buy".

“It went quick because the flow of the plot, body and overall writing is great! I definitely recommend this book.” -Lettee

Do Angels lie? Just because Megan Barnett recently defeated Satan, has a fantastic new best friend, and has won the love of deliciously handsome Guy Matson doesn’t mean her troubles are over. Far from it.

For Megan doesn’t realize it, but in her possession is a powerful weapon, one sought after by both angels and demons and everything in between…Then when the mysterious and beautiful Roxanne shows up at Guy Matson’s side, Megan finds herself questioning the sincerity of his love.

In the dramatic sequel to “Boyfriend From Hell,” Megan becomes a pawn in the power struggle between Angels and Nephilim, and winds up in a gripping life-or-death battle to save herself, the angel she loves, and all of mankind from unspeakable evil.



Please make sure the price says "Kindle Price $0.00″ before clicking “Buy”. If it says "Prime Members $0.00″ “read for free”, it is NO LONGER FREE. All books are free at the time they are posted but are subject to change back to full price at any time. If you are outside of the United States, these books may not be free.

Finally Home
by Cerian Hebert
Rating: 4.3 Stars
Genre: Romance
Price: $0.00 Save $3.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Despite their rocky past, Torie Barron and Alex Carmichael's identical goals drive them in a headlong collision over the horse farm they both covet until a family tragedy puts an end to Torie's dreams.

As her life is swept down an unexpected and rocky path, she turns to the man who has been so infuriating yet intriguing. The man who stomped her heart into the ground when they were teens. Will Alex be her savior, or the one who stands in the way of all she's ever wanted?


Red Mountain
by Dennis Yates
Rating: 4.2 Stars
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
Price: $0.00 Save $2.99
Subject to change back to full price at any time.

Robert Crain’s perfect life is being torn apart… While recuperating at home from a car accident, men in ski masks break into his house and render him unconscious. When he awakens the next morning he is confronted by a nightmarish truth — that his wife and son are gone.

But it doesn’t take long before he learns he’s not dealing with ordinary kidnappers. They aren’t interested in ransom money. No, what they want is unthinkable — to see Robert fight other strangers to the death… And if he refuses, he will never see his family again.

Accompanied by his loyal German shepherd, Robert descends into the darkest journey of his life, awaiting the kidnapper’s next dreaded appointment — and coming out of it alive. Joined later by his best friend Will, he will stop at nothing to rescue his wife and son who are being held by a haunted psychopath.

Robert has always had questions about his family’s past. About a mysterious oblong box he discovered in his grandmother’s attic and his grandfather’s deep fear of what lurked within a mountain glacier.

Beginning with a ghost that stalked him in the forest while his was a boy to a violent trip he and Will survived in Mexico, Robert has always believed that some force from the distant past would one day come for him. Heart-pounding and unpredictable, RED MOUNTAIN is a journey between the past and present, and what happens when the two collide.


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Monday, 30 December 2013

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

Five Digital Publishing Predictions for 2014

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 09:22 PM PST

As the calendar year comes to a close, many pundits have turned to prognostication and published lists of predictions for 2014. Here’s my list:

  1. Some things will change. Some things won’t change.
  2. New fads will replace old fads.
  3. One in four of 2013′s rumors will turn out to be true, while the rest will be forgotten.
  4. 10% of the rumors which first circulated in 2012 will come true. The rest have already been forgotten.
  5. Everything that happens in 2014 will become 2015 predictions.  (h\t to @willentrekin)

Snarkyness aside, I can’t actually make many predictions that wouldn’t be obvious as soon as I wrote them down. (Mark Coker, on the other hand, did a fairly good job on identifying how current trends will be reinforced.)

Here are the three of my predictions that I think are worth repeating:

One: Amazon will announce a program, buy a startup, or launch a product that will surprise everyone at the time but will be an obvious expansion on what they have done before. Sunday deliveries, buying Goodreads, and Kindle Matchbook all could have been predicted had someone phrased the right question.

Launch a smartphone /set-top-box? This will almost certainly happen; it makes too much sense for Amazon not to follow through.

My (un)surprising prediction for Amazon for 2014 is that they will buy an indie ebookstore/platform. I don’t know the name, but this store will probably outsell Amazon in certain markets or with certain types of content. The company will be acqui-hired less for its market share and more for its technical skills. (This prediction is not a surprise because I already made a similar prediction months ago.)

My other (un)surprising prediction is that Amazon will buy a startup that is working on clear solar panels (if they don’t already own one). Again, this prediction should not come as a surprise. Amazon will want to put the panel on a Kindle’s screen, but the tech will probably have too many engineering issues.

Two: The hot buzz word for 2014 will be the global ebook market.

Lots of people spent the last 6 months of 2013 pointing at the AAP statistics and bemoaning the flattening ebook market.  Starting some time in May or June 2014, those same folks are finally going to notice that the ebook markets in much of the world are actually on the rise.  You can expect to read a lot of buzzworthy stories about how this market ore that market is the next great opportunity. DBW 2015 will focus an entire track on international expansion.

Three: The US ebook market will also increase in terms of dollar value, unit sales, and market share.

This is a pretty safe bet to make; the US ebook market was down in 2013 in part because of the 2012 market bubble and because of increased price competition from the majors. Christmas gadget sales and new lower prices for big name titles will combine to boost the US ebook market above the reported AAP figures for 2013.

Will the US ebook market in 2014 match the high point reached in 2012? Maybe, but probably not unless there is a surprise blockbuster hit. The next Hunger Games movie isn’t due out until November 2014, and while it will have a positive effect the sales bump won’t be quite as large as when the first movie was released in 2012.


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Marvel Stops Distributing Comics to Bookstores – Comic Shops Appear Unaffected

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 12:44 PM PST

With first marvel[1]newsstands and then supermarkets dropping comic books, it’s gotten harder and harder to find comic books in stores. And now that Marvel has pulled their titles from Barnes & Noble the task is going to get a little more difficult.

Bleeding Cool reported late last week (and B&N confirmed today) that Marvel will no longer be distributing the weekly comic books to B&N stores. B&N hasn’t given a reason for the change, but they did note that they will still be carrying the longer and more expensive graphic novels:

This is a Marvel decision to pull single issue comics from retailers. Not a B&N decision. This doesn’t apply to graphic novels.

Marvel is unavailable for comment at this time, so there’s no way to know exactly why they made this decision nor whether it represents a major shift in their distribution plans.

Update: Marvel responded to PW with the news that Marvel had ended their relationship with BAM and B&N close to 3 months ago, with little fanfare. In fact, Marvel pulled out of all bookstores this Fall, not just the 2 biggies in the US.

But while I cannot speak for Marvel, I can add that Marvel does not appear to have pulled back from distributing to comic book stores.  ComiXology is still showing that comic book buyers can still add Marvel titles to their pull lists for this week, next week, and the week after. This tells me that comiXology still expects the comics to be available at their partner comic shops.

TBH I was half afraid that the B&N news was the first sign that Marvel was abandoning floppies entirely. That sounds crazy, I know, but that doesn’t mean that Marvel couldn’t have found a compelling justification for taking their weekly comic releases digital- only – but that’s not the case.

Now that Marvel has pulled out of bookstores they’re going to have to depend more heavily on digital sales and on sales via  comics shops, but I don’t think they’re going to feel much of a pinch.  In my area there were only a couple B&N stores within driving distance, but according to comiXology’s shop locator there were 50 comic book stores within 50 miles. Even if I exclude the ones on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay and the stores in Gainsville or Annapolis, I still have some dozens and dozens of places to buy comic books.

Of course, not everyone is as lucky to live in suburbia as I am, but then again there are places in the US where B&N’s 600 or so stores are pretty thin on the ground as well.

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LitRes Expands into Education Market with New Reading App

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 11:18 AM PST

Russia’smzl.yxluafqa[1] leading ebookstore launched a new reading app earlier this month.

LitRes for Schools is a new app for iPad and iPhone. It was developed in accordance with Russian educational standards.  It’s focused on providing reading material for grades 5 to 11. According to LitRes CEO Sergei Anureva the app is “designed to simplify the selection and purchase of books for parents and students, especially during vacations and holidays”.

It’s not clear from my source how this differs from the LitRes apps for iOS or Android, or the LitRes ebook reader, but I suspect that LitRes is filtering the selection for age-appropriate content.On the other hand, that might not be the case; Barnes & Noble released a similar app in 2010 (NookStudy) which did not restrict the content it could access. Of course, that was intended more for college students so it made sense to avoid restrictions.

LitRes for Schools has the same basic features as the other LitRes apps, including syncing bookmarks and reading location font size, line spacing, margins, and color options; and a night reading mode.

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You can find the app in iTunes.

LitRes originally launched in 2006 to provide a legit alternative for pirated ebooks, and it is now reportedly the single largest ebookstore in Russia. This company recently completed a round of financing in which they raised $5 million. LitRes sells around 380,000 Russian language titles from over 100 publishers in print, digital, and audio. The ebooks and audiobooks can be read in LitRes’ apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad as well as on LitRes’s own branded ebook reader. The LitRes Touch a 6″ ereader with a touchscreen, Wifi, 2GB of storage, and a retail price of 2999 rubles, or about $93.


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Infographic: New Technology Will Slay us All And Bring Down Western Civilization

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 07:35 AM PST

Former MPAA BadForYou-techno-panic-timelinehead Jack Valenti may be famous for predicting that the VCR would kill the movie industry, but he’s not the first to look at new tech and cry that the sky is falling. I doubt that he is even the 21st to make that claim, though to be fair some of the doom and gloom predictions have come true.

The following infographic details some of the more outlandish claims made over the past 500 years, including photography killing off painting, recorded music leading to the demise of live performances, and newspapers and the telegraph leading to nervous disorders as people are exposed to “the sorrows of individuals everywhere”.

Okay, that last one has actually happened*, but it is the rare exception.


The above chart is missing a few of my favorites. Railroads, for example, were likened to the fire and brimstone of Hell. Standardized time was also vociferously protested, with some going so far as to smash their watches in protest.

But the infographic does include the fear-mongering that radio would make people stop thinking. It rather puts the whole “the internet is making people stupid” argument into perspective, doesn’t it?


* Example: If you’re convinced that a moment’s inattention will result in the worst possible outcome, or that we live in more dangerous times then 30 years ago then you have one of the nervous disorders that Dr beard predicted in 1881. (The crime stats show that you are wrong.)

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