Greetings folks. You might note that there are some links missing to my books from my link list on the side here. I am changing publishers and currently only Curt’s Slaves is available from the new outlet. Office games should be up at some point — I don’t know exactly when, and I’m trying to get Training Jenny into actual print. Not sure how that’ll work — it’ll probably end up on the ebook site. Here’s the link to the main site, by the way. Looks like they have some good stuff there, so if you’re interested you should check them out.

Now… about that Kindle thing…

Yeah, I’m a gadget slut. Yes, I bought one of the damned things. Yeah, I like it — quite a bit, actually.

Some of the write ups on the Amazon site are spot on, some are not. I’ll give you my brief impressions, including why I went with the Kindle as an ebook reader.

First of all, despite what Amazon was trying to do when they designed it, they kinda failed. It’s pretty comfortable to hold, but the bottom right — and probably the bottom left — could use wider and rounder edges. And fer cryin’ out loud, there is no damned way to pick the thing up without hitting a ‘turn-the-page’ button. I know they wanted to make it convenient to turn the pages, but I think they went over board. Eventually, I learned to pick it up with out hitting the buttons — mostly — but it does take some getting used to.

Secondly, the book management software on the unit is… challenged. Which is a polite way of saying non-existent. I suppose it’s that way, because they want to force you to buy books off of their site, but if you already have a ton of ebooks you want to put on the unit (and it will hold a lot — literally tens of thousands of you add a 4gig SD card like I did), you really need a way to sort the damned things. Sure, you can sort by author or title, but that’s only if you’ve correctly created that information when you converted the book to Mobi format (I’ll get into that later). One should be able to tag books as SciFi or Smut and author and title should be easily edited (they’re not). Then, if I only want to see the SciFi books, I should be able to do that. Currently, there is absolutely no way to sort using anything other than Author or Title. Plus, I want to be able to do sub sorts, like SciFi/Author/Series. This cannot be that hard to implement.

Now for the good stuff.

It’s very comfortable on the eyes to read. No, it doesn’t have a back light, but then, I don’t like to read in the dark either. I know that some folks here have mentioned they’d like that option, but that isn’t the way epaper works — at least as I understand it. Page turn times are a wee bit slow, but nothing onerous. It seems to be quite good on battery power — however, I almost never have the wireless turned on.

I did order an ebook from Amazon, and it was quick, easy and painless and the price wasn’t bad. Now, I’ll be very straight with people. One of the major drawbacks of the Amazon ebooks is the DRM, and you probably all know how I feel about having stuff I buy infected with crippleware. Amazon offers to keep your books so you don’t have to back them up on your own, and, in fact, they won’t work on any other Kindle but your own (until someone gets fed up and breaks the DRM). I’ll point you to the MLB people who lost all their DRM infected videos when MLB decided to cut off their access, as well as M$ graciously deciding to keep their DRM laden music servers running until 2011. It’s not that I don’t trust Amazon to keep my books for for me, but well, I don’t trust them. Corporations will fuck you as soon as blink, so I like to protect myself.

But that left me with a dilemma. I can get lots of ebooks with no DRM for free. I can convert them into a format that the Kindle will read, and never pay a cent. However, as an Author myself, I’d like it if people paid me for my books, so I have a really hard time (morally — yeah, yeah, stop laughing) doing that. I came to what I consider a good compromise though, and no, I’m not going to tell you what it was. I am, however, paying for the books that I’m reading, and I’m happy about that.

I should state for the record that the MPAA, RIAA and publishers in general can go fuck themselves if they think that I’m going to pay twice for the same product (once, for instance, for a paper copy of a book, and once for the privileged of putting that same book on my Kindle). Corporations survive by fucking over creative people, and I’m not going to help them.

Conversion to Kindle format is easily handled by the Mobi pocket reader. However, unless you’re more adventurous than I am — or more of a pain slut — I wouldn’t use their software for anything other than that. It has crashed my computer and my phone when I tried to use it to transfer ebooks onto them using the software. It’s way easier just to plug the Kindle into your computer, then drag and drop the newly converted files onto it. If you’re handy enough with HTML, you can make changes in that before you convert it, and your titles and authors will even come out correctly. I will also add that Mobi is full of bugs and as soon as I find something else that works, I’ll probably switch.

Aaaannnyyy way, I really like the Kindle. I think it’s a great solution to the number of ‘candy’ books I read, because I’m really out of physical space to store the things. Books like the new one I’m really anticipating from David Weber, I’ll buy in paper format, cuz I’ll want to keep them, but I’m just fine with just getting LK Hamilton’s stuff in ebook format.

Yes, I have more Avatar on the way, in case you were wondering.


About Dark Pen

I am Dark Pen. I write BDSM stories, almost always with plot and consider myself a Soldier in the battle against America's war on sex.
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26 Responses to Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Change-aas….

  1. Anonymous says:

    You might want to check out:
    I am happy you have come up with a way to assuage your sense of moral duty in use of existing eBooks. I get most of mine from friends, and although it is a bit loser then someone lending me their paper copy of a book, it is very similar. I and my friends like having them in one place to borrow/read, which is very similar to a library. And we have a large library πŸ™‚
    I am glad you are liking your Kindle, as I mentioned previously, I got the sony and I have not really set it down since I purchased it. The link I posted in the last blog has been a real ease from the initial software which was not so user friendly. I am sure that eventually there will be better software for you to reformat if there isnt already.
    If you have any questions, I think you still have my EMAIL from previous discussions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Recent books
      I will look at the Webber and Hamilton stuff, I am always in need of more books for My list.
      A series that I could not stop reading once I started was the Rachel Morgan (or Hallows) series by Kim Harrison. A fascinating world and very compelling characters. I am anxiously waiting for the 6th book due out next February.

      • Dark Pen says:

        Re: Recent books
        Oh HELL yeah. I love the Kim Harrison stuff. Read all of it and wish she’d write faster. LK Hamilton is amusing, but IMHO I write better sex scenes than she does.
        David Weber is just awesome if you like Space Opera. John Ringo’s Empire of Man series is way good, as is pretty much everything else that his written in the SciFi venue.

  2. Anonymous says:
    I’m sure you hear this from many people, but your naughty,naughty stories are by far the best written ones I’ve ever read! Keep the avatar series going…As a fan, I have great respect for your storytelling skills and I realize comments from the riff-raff may be unwelcome. But I hope you won’t be offended if I ask when the Circle will once again face controversy, such as when police first raided Ken’s S&M furniture store, lawyers got involved and drama ensued? When will they catch a glimpse of the dark power of the Circle’s enemies and begin to protect all that Lea has created? I do love reading about the evolution of the Circle and its totally rockin’ members, yet at the end of each chapter I find myself wishing that its members will be challenged by outside forces. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m so turned on by the SM/love/power of the series that I can’t wait to get home, blindfold my wife and twist her pink pointies until she gasps and comes!) Perhaps you’re holding back until book 3…

    • Dark Pen says:

      Well, there are a few people who enjoy the story — which is nice. Comments are always welcome, so no worries there.
      For the record, Ken’s store wasn’t raided — Gary’s was πŸ™‚
      There will be a bit of conflict here and there, but by and large Establishment is about well… establishment πŸ™‚
      Interestingly enough, the next Avatar series will have more books out (once I finish Establishment) that are called… Conflict! That is when you’ll get stories of the Circle and its eventual destiny.
      However, there will be a few dust-ups in the current book, never fear.

  3. Anonymous says:

    david weber
    Well if its the next in the Honor Harrington series you are waiting for then join the club. They have to be one of my top five all time series of books, well written, page turning well thought out action sci-fi.
    Laura K Hamilton is a bit too much soft porn wearing Nike shoes (how much did nike pay her for product placement in the first few books) for my liking but I see up to about 13 (Obsidian butterfly) on my book case as my wife enjoys them, but if you want a really good Hamilton then Peter F Hamilton has written some brilliant sci-fi.
    Meanwhile as well as the next Honor book I look forward eagerly to the next Avatar chapters, great story lines as well as good erotic sex scenes.

    • Dark Pen says:

      Re: david weber
      I loved Honor Harrington until the last book. I just cannot get into it for some reason, and it disturbs me that I can’t. I agree about the LK stuff, but, slut that I am, I still read it.
      As for Peter F. Hamilton, wow does he do some amazing stuff. Still, I haven’t made it through his Night’s Dawn series. Got most of the way through….

  4. zerok0 says:

    Got the kindle too
    So, I also decided to get the kindle. I’m now looking for something to to put on it to cover the buttons on the left side so I can pick the thing up. (seen a few that might make it harder to push the button but nothing good.) If I find a good one I’ll post you.
    Things I didn’t consider a head of time before I bought it where, I like to read while I eat, and now I can’t just leave the “book” on the table when I go to wash my hands, and I have to be a lot more careful not to get anything on it. I use to read books over a long period of time, and use to carry it with me everywhere. Because of that it was very easy to remember the book once I was done, because I’d been seeing the cover every day for a while. With the kindle the books seem to lose a little bit of their identity since they all physically look the same now.
    Other than that I really like mine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Digital format vs. Paper Format
    In reading “I’m really anticipating from David Weber, I’ll buy in paper format, cuz I’ll want to keep them” I found it interesting in how we are set in our thinking.
    I have picked up a book that I read when I was younger and it smelled musty and I found I didn’t really want to hold it for hours on end without “freshening it up.”
    So I went and easily found that same story in eFormat and am happily reading it again without that musty smell.
    I have since backed up all my eBooks (and music) on DVD, tape, and memory stick (the books).
    I plan on, as you put it, “keep them” all. I wonder if the desire to have the book sitting on your books shelf is really about “keeping them.” For my part, I have gotten over that desire; I can not think of a reason why I would want to own the paper copy any longer. Between storage and the environment it makes since to jump both feet into the digital reader that I have already purchased. After the initial cost of the reader, it just makes more financial sense to buy the electronic versions also.
    I know some people will say that they want to set for possible resale at some point, but look at many of the first editions of writers of our age and you will see that most close to the original price or lower. The financial gains of selling a series would not probably be realized in our lifetimes. Sure a 1st edition of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Hemingway will bring a good price.. that was 70 years ago though… and it IS Ernest Hemingway.
    So I guess that leaves nostalgia. I admit that I do enjoy meeting authors of my favorite stories. To get up close, you usually have to meet them at a book signing… price of admission? Copy of their book for them to sign. Here might be the one reason why those of us that have “jumped” to the digital reading age might still want to purchase a copy of a paper format. I have several signed copies of books. In thinking about them, I don’t have them on a pedestal with lights and security. A simple book cover and stored in my bookshelf. I am not sure they mean more then just a reminder of meeting the author. Anyone have any thoughts on this reason?
    So I open the discussion up to why we would really want to purchase the hardcopy of a book ever again and decide if we are ready to fully embrace the new age of reading.

    • Dark Pen says:

      Re: Digital format vs. Paper Format
      I can tell you very simply why I have hardcopies of certain books:
      The crash.
      Once all technology is destroyed or only owned by the rich and privileged, I’d still like to be able to read something — assuming I’m still alive.
      Also well… technology marches on. Formats change. Think about how much they’ve changed just in the last ten years. I’ll probably want to re-read some of these books 20, 30 or 40 years from now, and it could be a problem if I’ve locked myself into the Kindle format. Which is why I won’t buy a Kindle book unless I have a nonDRM infected ecopy — or paper copy in some instances — somewhere else.
      HTML is really just text. Assuming that tech still exists in 20, 30 or 40 years, and the Big Corps haven’t totally fucked us over, I’m pretty sure there will still be a text reader I could use.
      Hows that for a start? πŸ™‚

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Digital format vs. Paper Format
        Nice start πŸ™‚
        I wondered if someone was going to bring up the apocalypse. Make sure you have paper copies of “Alas, Babylon” and “Earth Abides.”
        I think in case of Armageddon, I will take over a large library and maybe a Costco/sam’ club.
        As for the format thing, I think you should be concerned about DRM. I think it is evil and wrong. All my books are DRM free and mostly in a standard format like TXT, RTF, PDF, LIT, or HTML. None of which, IMHO, will drop off the face of the planet. ASCII has been around for a very long time and the rest, I am sure, will have a conversion application similar to CALIBRE for Sony Reader for your Kindle before too long. In fact, I think that the readers will evolve into better products before long and I believe it is important to get a non-DRM copy that will last you for the 40+ years that you mentioned.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Digital format vs. Paper Format
        I prefer paper format for the simple reason that it hurts less. I am one of those bookaholics that will read for long stretches at a time and it hurts less to be able to change positions occasionally! πŸ˜‰ Keep in mind though, I only have the laptop to read digital on. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I had a handheld reader… LOL

      • Dark Pen says:

        Re: Digital format vs. Paper Format
        Well, that was actually another reason why I got the Kindle. I’ve found it to be easy on the eyes while reading for long stretches. It’s not quite as comfortable as I would like to hold for long periods, but well… this is only version one.

  6. Anonymous says:

    NEED… AVATAR… FIX… hurry please…

    • Dark Pen says:

      Re: AVATAR!!!
      It’s a comin’. Maaaaybe… even this week. Or the weekend…

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: AVATAR!!!
        I’m also checking for avatar. Abstinences are horrible, but I’ll be patient a lil longer, Love the series as always. Might re-read some while I wait.

  7. steveh11 says:

    Okay, I’m late onto this one, but since I’m here anyway…
    I looked at the Kindle. Aside from the fact that it’s crippled on this side of the Atlantic (no wireless) and is clearly a “Version 1.0” (clunky as all heck), what put me off was the DRM. It’s not so much that I fear the apocalypse so much as fearing the demise of Amazon. It may not look likely *now*, but Pan Am was a healthy company once, too. I have books in my library that are over 50 years old, and I kinda like to be able to re-read or browse through them when I want to. Quite aside from possible format changes!
    But I think the real reason is simple – I like the feel, the smell of a paper book. Maybe when Kindle (or something like) is in it’s 5th or 6th generation they’ll be able to recreate that, but until then…

    • Dark Pen says:

      Hey, I totally agree with you on many counts. However, keep in mind that it’s only books you buy from Amazon that are infected with the DRM virus. Other sources are not.
      As for the age of the books and how long you’ve had them, yes, I agree with that too. Unfortunately, I have to face the fact that I simply don’t have the room in my house for an extensive library — as much as I’d like to have one.
      I totally agree with you about the demise of Amazon. Yet another reason I don’t like the DRM virus.

  8. Anonymous says:

    LK Hamilton…
    So I finally found another Hamilton fan?! Cool! Are you looking forward to Swallowing Darkness as much as I am? lol Nice to know others who enjoy a wide range of Sci-fi/Fantasy as much as I do. Would enjoy discussing what/who your favorites are, if you are interested. Looking forward to the next Avatar installment, as well! Take care.

    • Dark Pen says:

      Re: LK Hamilton…
      Yup. I like LK’s stuff, but I’m not a rabid fan. You’ll see me comment on occasion that I write better sex scenes πŸ™‚ She comes up in a thread in my latest blog entry.
      I do read a wide range of SciFi/Fantasy books, many of which I comment on in the blog entries. So, welcome and feel free to jump in any time you like!

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: LK Hamilton…
        Actually, I enjoy her Merry Gentry series best. And you all are right; Kim Harrison ROCKS! πŸ˜‰ I think I’ve only read maybe one of the Honor Harrington books,though. Apparently, I should catch up. When the Avatar series mentioned Heinlein, though I cheered; I absolutely loved everything I read by him (which, was most of his works). If you like vampire stories, you should check out Stephenie Meyer’s books… awesome! She has a rather unique approach to the breed. Her sci-fi book “The Host” is amazing as well. As for love and BDSM, have you tried Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel” series? Pretty good stuff!

      • Dark Pen says:

        Re: LK Hamilton…
        Honor Harrington is completely different from the paranormal book series. Not quite hard SciFi, more space opera, but wow, what a ride. Kim Harrison is also awesome, although I really wish that Ivy would just use a nice, heavy pair of handcuffs on that cute little witch and get it over with… I’m sure she could think of more interesting places to sink her fangs into.
        Of course, I read the first Kushiel’s trilogy. Couldn’t get into the second one though.
        I’ll go look up Stephenie Meyer though.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: LK Hamilton…
        Another set of books you might check is Anne McCaffrey’s & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough’s collaborative “Petaybee” series… only if you might be entertained by a sentient planet, though (yes, this is sci-fi, not fantasy). πŸ˜‰

  9. Anonymous says:

    Please, I’m jonsing here! When can we expect more in the Avatar series? πŸ˜‰

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