Sony Reader, Kindle, Nook, Books, or Computer…

I seem to get a number of people who check here about my few posts on the Kindle, Sony Reader, and the Nook.  So I decided, since we do have all three, to do a post about the pros and cons of each one.  But first, I will explain why we have all three.  My husband’s job position has many perks, one being that he is given some devices for free if, and when, he is in programs or places requests.  He is, after all, a high school librarian and if Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Sony were able to convince an entire school that going electronic for text books is a good idea, think of the money they would receive!  Also, think of the students backs they would save.  I am for the text book change out to e-readers, but I don’t believe in the library replacement of the e-reader.  So, over the last 2 years, my husband has been given e-readers to try out.  The Sony Reader and the Kindle were given to him last year back-to-back.  Then, about a month ago, he received the Nook.  We also gave my oldest daughter a Nook for Christmas.  She loves it.  But I will get into that in the pros and cons.  I am aware that there are a few lesser known models out there, just like when the iPod emerged there were a number (and still are) of “generic” mp3 players.  I’m only going to talk about the major e-readers and their competition with each other.
Note ~ some of the pros and cons are personal, but that allows you to know if that is something you would enjoy or not.

Sony Reader 700 ~
Pros
Plays music
Compatible with many e-book formats
Syncs and allows storing books on computer
Touch-screen with stylus use
Slots of SD cards allow higher amount of storage
Different colors are available

Cons
Recently fixed problem, but when it first came out it would not agree with the Mac
Smaller store (Sony’s)
Not as comfortable to hold, cold feeling
Technology weaker

Pocket Edition price ~ $199
Touch Edition price ~ $299
Daily Edition price ~ $399

Kindle 2 ~
Pros
Good display
Quick start and turning pages
Wireless access to bookstore and some internet
Over 390,000 available titles and growth with strong company
Many accessories already available
Sample of books available
Great battery
Best prices (books)
Promised that no ‘book’ will be over $10
A device that reads words for the reader. This is wonderful for a dyslexic or an odd word from the dictionary.

Cons
The device that reads words for the reader doesn’t always read the word correctly
Not all books allow reading even though they advertised they would (due to lawsuit)
No growth on storage
No sync with computer
No audio player
No color and lack of growth on gadgets
Lighting is poor
There have been a few times where a ‘book’ was priced over $10

Kindle price ~ $259
Kindle DX Price ~ $489

Nook ~
Pros
Over 1,000,000 books available for it already with strong backing of book companies
Expandable storage
Syncs with computer
Audio player
Ability to lend books to others who own Nook
Color display with book cover browsing
Wireless access to bookstore
Sample of books available
Good lighting and ability to adjust it for display
Android OS so easily could add gadgets or features in future
Browse entire books with it in store
Touch-screen

Cons
Just like the Wii of the gaming world, this thing is a little hard to get your hands on
Lack of internet ability
Battery does not last like it should
Won’t read book to you (wanted to avoid lawsuit?)
Lack of accessories
Initially slow on starting and selection, they are apparently working on that to fix during system updates

Nook Price ~ $250

Computer ~
Pros
There is enough storage space on most computers for more books than one can imagine
Computers are very common and don’t add on an extra expense of a new device

Cons
It’s very hard for most of us to stare at the monitor for a long amount of time and relax
I find things like wanting to write, blog, shop, or tweet a distraction when I’m on the computer

Prices vary

Books ~
Pros
Book marks, I love pretty, fun, interesting bookmarks but with all the readers they are unnecessary
Flipping pages, I enjoy flipping to the next chapter and reading the title
Looking on the shelf, I like things bigger than a thumbnail picture at times. I like looking on the shelf pulling it out and reading the back.
Are a sure thing, they have been around for a very long time. So no one needs to worry about if books are a ‘fad’ although some think they might one day be like a scroll
No electricity or battery is needed to make a book work

Cons
Space, as much as I love books, they do tend to pile up all around me.
Travel space, when I travel and I want to bring books, my husband wants to bring books, and both my daughters want to bring books. Once we have packed all that we will read there is no room for us or our clothes on a trip.

Prices vary

Here is a small way to fix some problems and complaints with just about all e-readers.  If you enjoy reading in the tub, place your e-reader in a nice Ziploc storage bag all sealed up, that will keep the water out in case of a drop.  You will still be able to press buttons and turn pages, and the touch-screen should work.  This is also good if you enjoy sticky foods while reading or having a beverage.
E-readers, in general, do make it nice for when it is very difficult to get out and buy a new book.  Over all the ‘books’ are cheaper to buy than a physical copy, but it is easy to get carried away with, “Oh I’ll just buy one book right now.” And not keep track of how much is being spent.
Kindle and Nook offer magazines and newspapers from all over that can be delivered daily.  This is great if you love the San Francisco Chronicle or Sacramento Bee but live in a place like Mariposa where finding these papers are a little difficult. I think that the Sony Daily may be the only one that Sony offers that can do this.  We have never tried to use the Sony for magazines or new papers.
They all also have font size changes some only offer 3 (Sony Reader Pocket Edition) while others offer 6 (Kindle 2).
I enjoy books best and the computer the least.  I can see many reasons to own an e-reader.  My oldest has one because she ran out of room for more books in her bedroom and doesn’t want to part with any of her books.  I don’t blame her.  I have a garage full of books that I don’t want to part with.

I will update this for time to time and please feel free to leave any comments adding to my lists or if there is anything wrong please feel free to let me know.  Also if you have any questions I will do my best to answer and give a timely response.

Oh, and one more plus for the Kindle, is my book is on it.  My book should also be in the Sony Reader but they are taking near a month at this point to add it on.  This shows me that with some titles they are very slow to add.  My publisher doesn’t have a contract with B&N for the Nook… yet.  But give it time, the Nook is the new kid in town.

Sony Reader link

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644523779&XID=O:sony%20reader:dg_read_gglsrch

Sony’s site with a comparison to the Kindle

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ContentDisplayView?hideHeaderFooter=false&storeId=10151&catalogId=10551&langId=-1&cmsId=reader_kindle_comparison

Kindle link

http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Wireless-Reading-Display-Generation/dp/B0015T963C/ref=amb_link_86425631_2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=182VM7AQD0K51V665WE9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=507453471&pf_rd_i=507846

Nook link

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/index.asp

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!  Please drive safe.

Additional ~ Added on Jan 2, 2010

Kindle has a pro/con feature.  There can be many Kindles on one Kindle account.  This makes ALL of the books on that account accessible to each Kindle.  But only 5-6 can read the same book at the same time.  This is wonderful for people who share the same interests BUT if you share with a 10 year old, who is an avid reader and you’re a big steamy romance reader and you don’t feel she or he is ready for that, this could be a problem.  (That is just an example)  All of the books on one account are shared with all of the Kindle owners on that same account.  This is a wonderful feature if you have a house full of college kids and they’re taking some of the same courses.  That’s why this is a pro/con, it all depends on who you’re sharing with.

Below is a link to a small article about the Sony Reader getting an additional 500,000 free titles.  Please always keep in mind when you hear that book titles are free, it almost always means that they no longer have a copyright and that the book is public domain.  Google also offers these titles for free on Google.  My husband told me that the Nook can get these books too, because they have a contract with Google and they are already pdf formatted. The Nook offers more formats than any other e-reader.  People who own the Kindle can buy pay a charge per use to have pdf formatted material sent to their Kindle and put it on, but apparently they don’t look good and it is a pain.

Sony/Google link from March 2009

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/03/19/google-makes-500-000-free-ebooks-available-for-sony-reader/

Google also has these books for free online.  Here is a link to some of what you can get for free…

http://books.google.com/books?q=%20subject%3A%22Literature%22&as_brr=4&rview=1&source=gbs_hplp_fict

Authors do not get to pick the prices…

I was told the prices for The Strongest Fire. I still do not know how much it will be on the Kindle and Sony reader. I will be buying that package next month! I did ask about the Nook and it is not determined yet whether or not the Nook will carry iUniverse books. My assumption is they will over time and that they just need to hammer out all the details. But that is just an assumption and I know nothing of the inside deals this company is going to make.
*looks around nervously*
So, without further ado…
*drum roll*
The prices are…
*opens cyber envelope*
E-Book $6.00
Perfect Bound Softcover (aka trade paperback) $18.95
Casebound Hardcover (sleek, no dust jacket) $28.95
I wish the prices were just a few dollars lower. And if there is anyway for me to take a cut in percentage to make these books a little more inexpensive, I will. I want my books read, easily available, and affordable for everyone. Unfortunately authors do not get to set the prices.
If anyone would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I still do not have an exact date, but I was told that it will be out before Christmas.

How much is this going to cost…

As most of you know I have been sharing my experience with iUniverse on here, well today kids lets talk about money.  It’s paper yet it doesn’t grow on trees… (deep sigh)

Here is the list of exactly what I spent, what it was spent on, what I saved, and when ~
Aug. 29th 2009 paid for Bookstore Premier Pro Express package spent $1,579.00 ~ saved $920
Sept 6th 2009 paid for US Copyright spent $100 ~ saved $70
Sept 28th 2009 paid for Content Edit spent $3,475.82 ~ saved $0
Oct 1st 2009 will pay for Proofreading spending $1,162.43 ~ saving $0
Total spent/spending = $6,317.25 Total saved = $990 Total would’ve spent = $7,307.25

For the Content Edit it cast $0.035 a word, for the proofread $0.011 a word.  I will also be purchasing the Kindle/Sony Reader option ($99) for the people how enjoy reading that way.  (Like I have said before I think the book and the Kindle can live in harmony, but the Kindle is not a replacement for the book.)

If you chose iUniverse they will not wait for you to save the money for your first edit.  Once you get your manuscript back from the Editorial Evaluator you have 2 weeks to decide and pay.  I understand why, if not they would be sitting on hundreds of ‘maybe laters’ and ‘please wait, I’ll have the cash in X days/weeks/months/years/centuries/eons’.  They will give you a little time for the proofread; they are a little more lenient there.  Best thing to do is have the money saved.  If your book is near 100,000 words (and want about the same as what I have done) save about $7,000 to $10,000 before you go down this road.  Look at what is important to you.  You might wish to save more if you want to buy more books to give to libraries or friends and family.  You might want to buy a book signing kit or a marketing packet too.  They won’t help to make your book better, but they will help with sales.  Those are also things you can purchase down the road.  So if money is tight (I would not recommend skipping the edit) you might want to cut other things you find unnecessary.  The right type of edit, front cover, and the back of the book are all very important things.  People will still read it if it is paperback or if they can only get it online.  But if it looks like an amateur artist scribbled the front cover of the book, people will think an amateur author scribbled on the inside of the book.  If the edit job is poor and the story is great, most people still put it down because it’s too hard to understand.  If the back grabs them and pulls them in, the cover looks good, there are little to no editing flaws, and your story is interesting, then people will enjoy it and speak well of it.  You’ll still have to advertize, but it wouldn’t be as hard as it would be if one of those three things were lacking.  These are just recommendations and by all means this is your story, your decisions, and you are the one that has to walk in your shoes.

Although stores will not be modeled for my book when it first comes out, I saw the importance of my book being returnable from bookstores.  I want people to be able to order them from a store if need be.  I also want stores to feel comfortable with my book so they want to be modeled with my book.  That is why I went with the package I went with.

Note ~ Some of the covers I have seen artist do are lovely!  Some look very professional.  I do not want anyone to think I am saying that all are bad.  Truly though look through some of the places like iUniverse, AuthorHouse, Lulu, and any other self publisher’s site.  You will find a number of good choices as well as some of the worst covers you have ever seen in your life.  Pick carefully.

Kindle, Sony Reader, electronic readers of all types and my opinion…

Sometimes opinions get a person in trouble, but I am still going to say it.  Sorry if I step on anyone’s toes.
Here is a link to an article I read about a library without books… sad
http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2009/09/04/a_library_without_the_books/
I do like the idea of the Kindle.  My husband has one and a Sony Reader.  The idea is great.  I also believe that for replacing text books these devices are a wonderful idea.  They could save the backs of our students in high schools and colleges.  BUT for a nice read, for research, or “AR” books I think a library should have books.  I really am very strong on all libraries having books.  The idea of getting rid of them is insane… IN MY OPINION.
My husband (as almost all of my online friends, readers, and followers know) is a high school English teacher turned school librarian.  I worked for years in a county library and later in a books store.  I have a love for books.  My grandmother worked for over 20 years in the library and my mother is following my husband’s lead.  She is now in her school library.  Books are important.  My husband comes home almost daily and complains that kids don’t know how to research in books anymore.  The teachers have given up at his school and all their research is online.  How sad.  Learning to look though a book is better then online because some sources online are false and in a book it’s hard to have fake info because of publishers/editors and fellow researchers.  They would attack the book and it would not sale as a non-fiction.  My husband has spoken up and out about this but in this area the teachers are not going to fight the students.  Internet one books zero.
I don’t feel I am being old fashion or not flowing with the new technology I just see that there is still a use for physical books.  My husband said that he thinks this is a ‘laserdisc move.’  His high school (when he was in school) felt that laserdiscs were going to be big.  So in every class room on their new campus they put these machines… it failed.  Now he and I both do not think the Kindle will flop like laserdiscs but it is too soon to put your money there… no matter how much money you have.  Books have been around for hundreds of years, they are a sure thing.  Electronic readers do have a place, not to replace books, but to live along side of them.  This technology is great for text books, for people who travel regularly, for people who sit in waiting rooms a lot, even to help out with dyslexics (the Kindle can tell them what word that they are having trouble reading) and more.  BUT the book is there for power outages, for nice relaxing bubble bath reads, for the coffee drinker (and spiller), the camper (who hikes for a week or more in the wilderness without power), people who are 90 and don’t feel comfortable with new technology, babies and young children, people who get a headache looking at a screen for too long, and many more.
Here is a link on a Kindle mishap the Kindle ate my homework… eek
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/07/30/lawsuit-amazon-ate-my-homework/
Electronic readers are not bad and books are not bad.  The world can live in harmony with both.  People need books. When my book is done it will come out in both formats because I understand that some people will only read it that way.  Having books on multiple formats are good,  just like if I could have mine in audio format I would because some of my friends who commute love books on CD.
I love to turn the page, to look at the cover, to read the back, to have a bookmark, to flip ahead and read the next chapter title, to not worry about charging it, put my nose in it and get close to my new found friend… I just like books.

Please feel free to share your opinion… 🙂