Tag Archives: readers

DRM IN BOOKS

Many of us love to read on e-book readers or on our telephones and tablets. I love taking my entire thousand-book library with me inside my purse when I travel. My one small Kindle can hold thousands of books and weighs only a few ounces.

You can get books in Mobi, Epub, PDF, etc. from many online sources and install the appropriate book file on your device. This is called “sideloading.” You can sideload freebies from dozens of internet sites.

If the book file is in the right format for the device, you can sideload it. For example, you can send a Mobi or PDF file to a Kindle Fire, and it will open and be readable. However, if the book is DRM protected, the device will not open it, regardless of file format.

A DRM-protected book may not be shared, re-sold, or sometimes even used by more than one device. You cannot copy it or print it. You may not convert it to another format. The book is not really yours. You have permission to read it, but only in the approved device, for as long as the device can open it.

I read on several online posts that all Amazon books are DRM protected. That statement is not correct. When I upload my manuscript to Amazon, Amazon gives me a choice as to DRM. I never DRM my books, and they sell on Amazon. Amazon sells millions of books without DRM, most by self-published authors.

That’s right. Many books sold by Amazon do not have DRM. It’s up to the author or the author’s publisher. Books you buy from traditional authors and publishers are always DRM protected.

Can you remove DRM protection? Is it legal to do so? Is it easy to do so? Once DRM is removed, what can you do with the book?

With the right App, DRM is easily removed from a book. It is illegal to remove DRM in the USA. DRM is placed on books to protect them from piracy and safeguard the author’s work. The problem is that to do so, it must be done at the cost of your rights of ownership.

If you remove the DRM, you can convert the book’s format, copy it, save it to a private directory, and open it with a third-party device. If you remove the DRM and start selling files as if the rights to the book belonged to you, some angry publishers with an army of lawyers will surely come after you.

Do I remove DRM from books I buy?  As soon as I buy a book, I download it into my Kindle App on my PC. I open my Calibre App and import the book from my Kindle directory.

My Calibre App has a plugin installed which removes the DRM protection upon first opening the book. Calibre does not come with the plugin. You must download it from its creator’s website and add it to Calibre.

I now convert the book into several formats: Epub, PDF, and Mobi. I save a copy to a thumb drive and one to my external hard drive.

Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds.  I find the older Kindle App versions work best with the Calibre Plugin. Apple books are another story. Apple makes it almost impossible to export books anywhere other than their own devices.

Why go to so much trouble? Because when I buy a book, I want it to stay bought. I strongly believe that $14.95 buys me a book, not a rental to a book. In addition, I have little faith in the honesty, goodwill, or resiliency of mega corporations.

Companies that seem invincible today go by the wayside tomorrow, disappearing with all your content. Because laws now protect the corporations over the individual, I know that if Amazon or Apple pulled all my books, for whatever reason they felt necessary, I would certainly lose them, and my money would not be returned.

Itunes used to be quite useful when importing iBooks to your PC. It no longer handles iBooks at all other than audiobooks. You can share an iBook or email it to yourself and open it in your PC, but all you get is a link which opens the book in apple’s library. It is not the file itself.

I would never sell or make a profit from something I have not created. However, when I spend $14.95 per eBook from my favorite traditional authors, I expect to enjoy them for the rest of my life. If my iPad dies, and I don’t have $800 to spend on another, I’d like to take my iBooks and read them on a cheap Kindle or a generic tablet or my Android phone or even my 2008 stone-age PC.

I have many favorite authors, and they write two and three books a year. That’s a lot of money I have invested. Reading is my favorite pastime. I expect when I’m too old to walk, I’ll sit all bundled up in bed, sipping a cup of tea, reading an old eBook copy of Amelia Peabody’s Egyptian adventures.

BookFunnel for Readers

Have you heard of BookFunnel? If you haven’t, it’s time you did.

BookFunnel is a service many authors use to deliver books to their readers. These may be Beta copies for Beta readers, Free books for promotional purposes, or plain freebies. Some authors use the service to grow their email lists.

BookFunnel has a great way of delivering your book straight into your Kindle Library or your iBooks Library. The books are installed and appear alongside all your store-bought books. BookFunnel has an App you install in your device. The App is free and does it all for you.

Apple Devices

The BookFunnel App is a free App at the Apple App store. You do a search for BookFunnel App and download it the way you would any other apple App. Once you download it into your iPhone or iPad, you are set to receive BookFunnel books.

Kindle Devices

The Kindle App store does not offer the BookFunnel app, but it’s a simple process to install it on a Kindle Fire.

For other Kindle eraders, check out this link: https://vimeo.com/157887624.

For Kindle Fire tablets, do the following.

  1. At your Home screen, go to “Settings.”
  2. On Settings, Click on “Security & Privacy.”
  3.  Click on “Apps from Unknown Sources.”
  4.  Click on “Silk Browser.”
  5. Turn on “Allow from this source.”

This is a simple permission which allows you to install certain outside apps to your Kindle. Now, in your Silk browser (internet) go to the following address:      https://getbookfunnel.com

There you will see the option to install on your Amazon device. Click on it. In a few seconds, the App will be downloaded.

  • On the upper left of your screen, click on the Menu button (three small lines)
  • Tap on Downloads.
  • Find BookFunnel download and tap it to install. Now you are ready to receive books from BookFunnel.

Now, to show you how to use the App, I am going to gift you a copy of my story, Edge of the World.

WARNING: This book is not for younger readers or for adults who object to sexual content and graphic scenes of violence.

Click Here for Your Free Copy

The above link will take you to my BookFunnel book.

  1. Click on GET MY BOOK.
  2. Choose your device.
  3. You will see the download link-   BookHip.com/KDMKGB
  4. The letters KDMKGB are the only thing you need.
  5. 5. Open your BookFunnel App’s Home Tab.
  6. Enter those letters into the Submit Code box. The book will show.
  7. Tap your choice- whether to read in the App or to save to your Kindle, iBooks, or another library. Save to your library and the book will appear along all your other books.

Remember: The App is designed for both readers and authors. To download your books, always open to the HOME tab.  The Library tab in the App refers to the BookFunnel library, not your Kindle or iBooks library.  

Open your iBooks or Kindle library. There you will find all your books, including your copy of Edge of the World.

Enjoy! If your have any questions or need extra help, feel free to email me at zeecelugo@gmail.com, and I will respond.

Free Book?

Does the offer of a Free Book entice you to join a mailing list?

Once you get your book, what is your most likely action?
Pertaining to the book.
a.     I read the book immediately.
b.     I read the book in a few days.
c.     I add the book to my immense collection of freebies and may someday read it.
Pertaining to the membership.
d.     I immediately unsubscribe from the list because I agreed
to sign up, not to stay.
e.     I wait a reasonable time (a month) before I unsubscribe.
f.      I stay with the membership because I’m interested in the author.
g.     I stay with the membership hoping for more freebies.
Pertaining to emails sent from the author.
h.     I delete them.
i.       I have them tagged by the junk filter so I never see them.
j.       I click on some once in a while.
k.     I click on each one to see if there are more freebies.
l.       I click on them because I truly want to hear from the author.
Most self-published authors will likely be surprised at the number of options. I was when I began asking friends, family, and acquaintances about the topic. Their answers populated the above list.
I seldom join a mailing list in response to a free-book offer because I get my free books from Amazon’s Top 100 Free. I only download a free book if I already like the author or if the blurb and reviews really grab me. I don’t want three thousand books in my library. I prefer one hundred really good ones that I can re-read every couple of years.
However, I’m the exception, not the rule. I do know readers whose digital libraries have thousands of books, most of them unread. They take special pleasure in getting free books. It’s the equivalent of having a digital music library of thousands of songs. Most of us listen only to about 5% of our music.
As an author, I found this information rather unsettling. I have a few offerings on Instafreebie, a service for which I actually pay. Readers do not pay. They get the books for free.
Instafreebie says they have thousands of dedicated, loyal readers who will populate my mailing list and become avid readers of my work! An avid reader is great if he pays for my work. Otherwise, it’s like funding a reader’s welfare system.
I do understand the draw of freebies. I love Rick Mofina’s books and was thrilled to get several of them as free downloads in Amazon’s Top 100 Free. Now, I keep waiting for the next free offering from him. I’d be really irritated if I paid for the next book only to see it offered for free next week. It’s not that I won’t pay for a book; I buy most of my books. It’s that I feel cheated if I pay and everyone else gets if for free.
One author I fell in love with years ago is Monique Martin. Her first book, Out of Time, was a free download. She never offered the others for free, so I bought each one, some on sale. I bought them realizing that I could wait forever and never get another for free. I loved her work, so I spent the money.
As an author, my expectation is that every free book I give away, will quickly (or relatively soon) be read. Hopefully, one in five readers will love my work and actually buy the next book in the series or try another book by me. Another hope is that said readers will write reviews even if they don’t buy the next book.
Expectations are unrealistic where the numbers show otherwise. Several articles I read last year claim that a free book is ten times less likely to be read than a paid one. Also, the more a reader pays for a book, the more likely he or she is to read it. Amazon actually has numbers that support this. Their system keeps page-read counts for every book they sell/download.
Analyzing my mailing list, I learned quite a bit. It’s important to note that I send out very few emails. First, I was surprised by how many members stay on but seldom or never open a message. Those I believe are the ones that set the filters to send mailing lists emails to junk. They probably never see the email.
A small percentage unsubscribe as soon as the first email arrives. Interestingly, some sign up every time I offer a new title and unsubscribe shortly after. These only want the free books and feel no guilt about working the system.
A significant number do stay and open emails once in a while; these are the majority. Many stay as members and open most messages. I appreciate those and try my best never to spam them.
I have author friends who send out constant emails to their members. They do things like ask questions such as “What is your favorite fairy tale?” and “What topic do you want me to write about?” They claim that readers love to be engaged by their authors. Personally, I don’t want to annoy my readers with silly questions.
My lessons learned determine my marketing strategy. I only give away samples (a few chapters) of my books. A reader will know by the end of the 3rd chapter whether the novel is one he can’t put down. I usually know by end of 1st chapter.
I will gift full books to members of my Beta group. A good beta reader is worth his or her weight in gold, and most authors will be very grateful. I have found that offering books in return for fair reviews does not work either. If fifty readers respond and are given the book, maybe three or four actually keep their word and do the review.
What kind of reader are you? Are you likely to be swayed by the offer of a free book? Do you unsubscribe soon after? Are you likely to buy a book by an author who gave you a free one? Do you read the free books, or do you tend to hoard them?
I’d love to read your comments.
NOTE: If you’re interested in joining my Beta group, email me at zeecelugo@gmail.com.
Beta readers get the book before publishing. I ask them to read deeply and give me their thoughts on how to improve the book before the book is finalized. Beta books must be read as soon as possible so that changes can be made before release date.

Calibre is for Readers!

Calibre is a Free App that every eBook owner should have. As a reader, I get great mileage out of Calibre.
Kobo, Nook, iBooks, all use ePub format, but Kindle does not. If you own a Kindle, you might buy a book on a great sale from Kobo or Barnes & Noble, but Kindle will not open it. Likewise, if you own a Nook reader or a Kobo, you are limited to buying books from them because they will not open a Kindle book.
      
There is a solution to this problem, as you will see. A book I wanted was on 50% sale at the Kobo site. No problem. I signed into Kobo and bought the book. The book was saved to the Kobo library for my account.
I went into my Kobo Library, selected the new book, and clicked on export. The book was downloaded to my download directory on my desktop. I signed off Kobo.

I navigated to my download directory. I clicked on the book. My FREE Adobe Digital Editions app on my desktop opened it. It now appeared in the Adobe Digital Editions library directory. Adobe Digital Editions is another very useful FREE app.

I opened my Calibre program and imported the ePub file from the Adobe Digital Editions directory into Calibre. I used Calibre to convert the ePub into Mobi, and emailed the Mobi file to my Kindle. The whole process took five minutes, and I was reading the book on my Kindle!

Books that you get from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and most sellers, (including Amazon), are often DRM protected. This is especially true of books from traditional publishers.

This means that when you try to open the book in a reader for which it was not sold, the warning you see below pops up. You are unable to open the book.

The book I bought from Kobo was DRM protected. Since I paid for the book, and all I wanted was to be able to read it, I opted to remove the DRM.
In order to open the ePub book and convert it to Mobi, Calibre must remove the DRM first. It must have the right plugin installed to do so. Good news is that Calibre and its plugins are all FREE and widely available on the internet.

You can spend money buying the DRM removal tools, but that would be foolish when the best of them are available for FREE as open source apps. DRM can be removed from Nook, Kobo, and Kindle books using these Calibre plugins.
Calibre is also a fantastic reader, organizer, and manager for books. It can organize your books in just about any order you want. It can open dozens of file formats. It can convert from just about any format into another.

If you try to convert from one format to another and you can’t, you can usually find a plugin that will enable you to do the task.

Another great advantage of the app is that you can use it to copy books from your Kindle to the computer or portable drive and vice versa. There are also internet instructions on how to transfer books from Calibre to your iPad.

Calibre is made for Windows, Mac, and Linux! If you are a user of, let’s say Ubuntu, you can download Calibre straight from your Ubuntu apps manager.

You can get a Dropbox account and back up your Calibre library so you can access it from any device. I have my Calibre library also stored in an external drive. You might think that is silly, but you never know what companies like Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble may do in the future.

Your books should be forever yours. I am paranoid about sellers going out of business or denying me the books I paid for, in the future, for whatever reason.

I have not even touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Calibre can do. I honestly can say that it is the most useful tool I can have both as a reader. I could write another post on how useful it is to me as a writer.
No, I do not work for Calibre nor make any money from recommending it.  I benefit from the app and feel every reader should too. It is an Open Source App; this means that it is totally FREEEE!!!!
         Adobe Digital Editions
                Great Site for DRM Plugins
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Audiobooks: Are They For You?

One of the reasons most readers will not try audiobooks is that it seems a lot of trouble to set up. Those who take the trouble, quickly fall in love with them. 
The main company offering audiobooks is Audible, and through them, Amazon. To download the book, even if it is FREE, you need to have an audible account.
When you navigate to audible.com, you are met with the “First Month FREE, but $14.95 after first month” advert. Anyone who wants to redeem a free code and test the audiobook waters, is forced to open an account.
Most people are leery of opening new accounts. Many have had experiences where companies make it very difficult to close memberships. Some keep charging for months after the membership is closed, and you have to jump over hoops to get your money back.
Audible is owned by Amazon, and they are very good with customer relations. You will have no problem closing your account. You might love the perks that come with the $14.95 monthly fee and decide to keep it.
GO AHEAD. OPEN THE ACCOUNT. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO PAY $14.95 A MONTH, BE VERY SURE TO CANCEL BEFORE THE MONTH IS OUT. 

If you forget to cancel, you will be charged.  NOTE: You will need to provide a Credit Card or a VISA Logo check card.  If you close the account before the month is out, you will not be charged.
If you cancel, the following will happen:
***Your books will remain in your library to be
      used at will.
***You may still buy audiobooks, but they will
      not be discounted.
***You will not get additional monthly credits,
      but you can still redeem any gift codes that
      authors give you. Spend your credits before
      quitting!
***You get to keep the book you got with your
      Free Month’s credit.
Now you have an Audible account. If the author gives you a Gift Code,  you must redeem it for a book. A Gift Code is not a book, but it is a credit to buy a book.

I will always gift the audiobook itself, not the code. You’ll get a notice sent to your email that you’ve been gifted an audiobook. You must now download it.
You must sign into your Audible Account and go to Listening APPS. The following apps are available for the following devices. You may install one on your phone, one on your tablet, one on your desktop, or even one on your MP3 player.
iPhone, Android Phone, Windows Phone
Kindle Touch, Fire Tablet, Amazon Echo
Android Tablet, iPad, iPad Touch
Windows Tablet
Your PC or laptop 
iTunes, MP3 Player
Once you have the proper app installed in your listening device, now you can open the app, sign in, and access your book!

It is really easier than it sounds.
   1. Open Account. Get your gifted  book. If the gift was for a
       Gift Code, then you must redeem the code first.
   2. Download the proper App for your device.
   3. Access your Free book and listen! 

Now, you can search for Free author Gift Codes for more free books. 
If you wish to try the audiobook route, I have Gift Codes for both Strongheart’s Woman and Daniel’s Fork, but I will redeem the code myself and gift the audiobook directly to you. Please, open your account and download your app first.

I will gladly gift you an audiobook if you write a short honest review for it after listening to it. I NO LONGER GIVE OUT THE CODES. I redeem the codes and gift the actual book.

Email me at zeecelugo@gmail.comand give me an email where I can send the audiobook gift. It may not be a kindle address. It must be your personal email address.
 

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