Of signings and E-books

There are hundreds of ways to react to a sparsely attended signing.  Yesterday was sunny and warm here in the PNW after days of rain and chill.  So that may have been why readers chose to finally go outside and get a bit of sun rather than come to my signing at Parkplace Books.

However, I had a wonderful time with several of the readers who did show up!  Jill and Nancy offered me some insights into e-books and e-book readers that I hadn’t considered before. 

 I’m new to e-books as a consumer.  My Nook is scarcely a week old.  But I’ve already encountered very unsatisfactory copies of badly scanned free public domain books.  (Yet again, I prove to myself that, yes, indeed, you do get what you pay for!)  And when I bought a copy of a carefully scanned and corrected public domain title, I felt that the ease of reading that old favorite was well worth the price.  But I did wish the illustrations were larger.

Evidently I’m not the only one who needs larger illustrations.   Jill pointed out to me that the maps in the front of a fantasy book don’t show up in much detail on an e-book reader, something that is frustrating to map lovers.  She had a possible solution.  She suggested the authors, or even publishers should feature accessible maps on their websites, so that readers who bought the e-book but still wished to have a readable map could print one out. Now that’s an intriguing idea to me.  I’d love to hear from people suggesting other tweaks to the e-book experience.

And while we are on the subject of e-books, I want to mention a place that caters to lovers of e-books, with a generous supply of  free samples of books.  Book View Cafe is an enterprise that allows authors to put up their own e-books for sale, in a variety of DRM free formats. My hot tip: Try the first volume of Starfarers by Vonda McIntyre for free.  And even if you do not have an e-book reader, take a moment to visit A Pillow Book for Cats by Ursula LeGuin.

My signing at Parkplace books was also notable in that my husband’s Aunt Suzie joined us there!  So my time in the bookstore was followed by a very enjoyable hour or two of catching up on family news.  It made me realize that the drive to Bothell is not really that long, and we should make it more often.

Also of note to book lovers:  Parkplace Books is coming up ona birthday, and yes, there will be a party!  For details and to RSVP, visit their website.  I heard rumors of very special carrot cake! I certainly intend to make a second run up that way for this!

Hope to see you there!


10 Responses to Of signings and E-books

  1. Hi Robin
    the idea of the maps on your website would be great. I have a kindle and the maps are too small to see. I have all your books in paperback but now that I have my kindle I’m hoping that they will all come out in ebook format soon for Australian fans

  2. Hi Robin, I’ve been an avid reader of your books since Assassin’s Apprentice first came out and own all your books except the latest in hard copy. I’ve recently purchased a Kindle and was looking to buy The Inheritance as an ebook but found that only a few of your titles are available on Kindle for Australia (The Soldier’s Son and part of the Rain Wild). Is there any plan to allow Australians to purchase Kindle editions of your other books? I’d love to re-get the whole lot digitally. Cheers.

  3. Hallo Robin,
    I’m also a new ebook-consumer, but I think, I will quite like it, specially for my holidays. It will never be a substitute for the real book, but I hope, it’ll safe some money and also space in my bookshelf.

    Quite another matter, I just don’t know, where to put it in: I just found the information, that Dragon Keeper will be published in german translation in March 2012 (I was looking for that info for quite a while). The translation of Dragon Haven is designed, without a date yet. That’s the good news 😀 .

    Bad news – no hardcover, only paperback and the cover is absolutely dreadful !!! The publisher Heyne (Randomhouse) has adapted the covers of the latest german edition of the Farseer Trilogy (mysterious man in a wide red cape, which is blown by the wind. Seems to be a theme, which is very popular for fantasy at the moment. Here in Germany you find it on every second book in miscelleneous variations.) When I think of the wonderful dutch cover, or the UK one, which for me refers to Alise’s drawings, I think, the german edition is a real shame 😳 👿 !!!

    But nevertheless I’m glad that they will be translatet. I will certainly buy them. They are quite o.k. for the beach. I’m double glad, that I own the UK-hardcovers.

  4. Hi Robin,

    Imagine a future without electricity,
    all of those E books laying dormant on
    unused harddrives. Long live the book!

    I’m sure you signing hand is still aching
    from your trips to Australia and Brussels.


  5. I recently read Night Angel Trilogy (Weeks), another great assassin story, and he has the maps to this and to his new series (Prisim) on his site. I was thrilled to find them because I had tried everything to make out the maps for Farseer on my nook…..so maybe you could put your maps here? ❓

  6. I’m going to look into that. I need to get the publisher’s permission, I believe, as the maps are not drawn by me, but adapted from my crude squiggles. I’ll see what I can do.


  7. I thought that it would be neat to have a really detailed digital map on a website/available for ebooks that support it, I use an iPad and some of the features in magazines include the ability to touch a spot on the map and have it show a picture, maybe you touch bingtown and it shows a map of bingtown, you touch a street and it shows fan art of their interpretation of say the rain wild trader street? Just a thought.

  8. Kurtis, that is a brilliant idea.
    I think we are still at the evolutionary beginnings of e-books. I do think that illustrations and maps that enlarge and show detail will be a big part of them soon.

  9. hi Robin,
    i am handicap i have read all of your books but your last two books. I can’t wait til your next book come to bookshare

  10. Hey There-

    I’m a big fan, love the characters, stories and the maps. I have everything in print except the first two Rain Wilds books (have them in kindle and there is no map at all 🙁 )… ditto everything Kurtis says.

    Should you every be inspired to go back in time or revisit something from the liberties of Chade or Alise, I would love a peek at a map drawn before the seas rose!

    Thank you for many enjoyable hours or reading and rereading!