My first car was a red Volkswagen beetle. I loved that car! Except for a day about three weeks after I got my drivers licence. There I was, driving merrily along, the wind rushing through my hair when suddenly...my dear little bug died on me. Poof. Nothing. I couldn't get it started. In pre-cell phone days, it was a mission, but eventually I found someone who knew someone who knew my Dad. Called him from an important meeting to rescue me, the first thing Dad did was check the petrol gauge. Empty. I won't repeat the words that burned my tender ears as Dad explained I can't just switch the car on and expect it to go. A car needs petrol, and that's that!
Not being technically minded, I still find it difficult to understand how cars run on petrol, why computers need anti-virus programmes and that eReaders come in many shapes and sizes.
I love my first eReader - a wireless 3G Kindle - with as much passion as I loved that little red bug of mine. And I'm equally clueless about how eReaders work. I switch the Kindle on, buy a book and read.
Now that my own book Dancing in the Shadows of Love is published as an eBook, many people are asking me how they can read it, because they don't own an eReader such as a Kindle or a Nook. The good news is that - unlike my Volkswagen which couldn't work without petrol - you can read an eBook without an eReader.
You can read it on your laptop or desktop. You can read it on your Iphone or Blackberry. You can read it on almost anything.
1. On Amazon there are FREE DOWNLOADS FOR KINDLE to various reading devices. All you do is download the software onto your device of choice and then you can buy my book (and as many other eBooks as you want) and be reading within minutes.
2. You can also read an eBook in the EPUB format by downloading the free Adobe Digital Editions software to your computer or device, and adding the file to your library.
3. Barnes and Noble has the same option of FREE DOWNLOADS FOR NOOK.
4. Smashwords is an eBook sales platform that offers many formats of eBooks for sale, including the simple PDF format, easily readable on your laptop or desktop or you can download the EPUB format, readable on the Adobe Digital Editions software (No 2 above.)
These free software programmes are a great way to ease into the new world of eBooks. I used the Kindle for PC programme for about 6 months before I took the leap and bought the actual eReader for the convenience it offers (reading a Kindle device in bed is a lot easier than taking your laptop into bed!)
For those of you interested in finding out more about the technical side of eReaders, or who want to compare the different eReaders, here are some links with more information than my technically challenged self can give you:
Back to Basics: What exactly is an eReader?
Comparing eReaders: Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Sony
Detailed Comparison of eReaders
How to Read an ebook: Formats, Devices, Dedicated Readers and iPhone Applications
Buy your Kindle or Nook from Amazon or Barnes and Noble directly, but here is an interesting site which shows different eReaders for sale Shop for eReaders.
Although it still needs petrol to work, I now drive a car that has so many bells and buttons on it, my little red Volkswagen looks archaic by comparison. As the eBook market grows and expands, I've no doubt that the future holds many exciting reading possibilities for both eBooks and eReaders.
But, for now, all you need to remember is that you don't need an eReader to read an eBook!
Remember to enter the LAUNCH COMPETITION before 30 June 2011 for the chance to win great prizes, including a full manuscript critique or an Amazon US$100 gift voucher.
Dancing in the Shadows of Love is available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.