I’ve had these two comments flagged to answer in their own post, so I thought I’d better get to them!

Wyzwmn asked

a question if you please

why would you buy an e-reader over a laptop or notebook?
wouldn’t it just be one more tool to haul around?

I actually have a laptop. And an Asus EeePC (mini laptop) that only weighs 2lbs. And an iPhone. And an iPaq (which doesn’t get used at all anymore, but I’m just using it to illustrate my point). When I want to read, I immediately reach for the Sony Reader (I also own a Kindle and an Ebookwise, but the Sony is what I use right now). No other device has been able to replace, for me, using a dedicated reader, no matter how small, portable or otherwise useful it is.

I tried to think of a good analogy, but the only one I could think of was pretty weak. Let’s say you have some sort of ongoing problem with your skin. You could go to your general practicioner but if you have the option, wouldn’t you rather go to a dermatologist? Because they specialize, you know it will be better.

That’s how having a dedicated ereader is for me. Yes, it’s a specialty item but it’s a specialty item that can’t be replaced. Yes, I can read on other devices, but the experience isn’t the same, it’s not as convenient and I don’t care to do it if I don’t have to. One of the things about the newer eink devices (not the Ebookwise) is how easy on the eyes it is to read on. As much as I love ebooks, I’m like many people who say they don’t want to read on the computer. I spend probably an average of 12 hours a day looking at a computer screen. I already notice the effects of that. So when I’m ready to read for pleasure at night, it’s a huge relief to be able to reach for an eink device and be able to read on that.

Now, that said, I’m still a fan of the Ebookwise, which isn’t eink technology but is grayscale and a little less harsh than reading on the computer. Dedicated reading devices still have other advantages, such as the size (close to reading a book), the ease of holding them (easier than holding a book or a laptop) and ease of portability (which no computer or laptop can compete with, not even an Asus Eee PC).

I really love my dedicated device. If something happened to the iPhone, the Eee PC and my readers all at the same time, and I had to choose which to replace, I’d replace the dedicated reader first!

Kerry asked:

Since you mentioned the Kindle and other e-devices, I’d love to ask a question about Samhain books. Is there a schedule or specific timeline for Samhain books to be released for the Kindle? Are *all* books at some point available for Kindle, or only ones that are “proven sellers” on, say, My Bookstore and More first?

I’m also curious about the availability of Samhain books at fictionwise. I prefer to buy some books for my iphone at fictionwise because of their rewards program, but apparently Samhain books on fictionwise are only availabe in secure mobi/lit format. I’m kind of on a book-buying diet until my credit at fictionwise is gone, so it’s a bummer.

We do have a deal with Amazon/Mobipocket to release all books in mobi and Kindle formats, but it’s really up to Amazon when they appear. There are people at Samhain who have put a lot of time and effort into making sure all the books are available, but we’re dependent on Amazon to actually get them there. All we can do is keep emailing and keep asking. That was the long answer. The short answer is that all of our books should be available at all online retailers, if the retailer chooses to carry them.

Fictionwise is a little different. We have not had a contract with Fictionwise until very recently, because we were unable to reach an agreement of terms with them (I have commented on this in the past on other blogs). So Fictionwise was getting our books from Lightning Source, where the majority of online retailers get the books from. Lightning source puts the DRM on them (not Samhain) and makes them available in only a few formats. This was Fictionwise’s only option for carrying our books at that point.

Now that we’ve just reached an agreement with Fictionwise and recently signed the contract, our office staff has been working with Fictionwise to get it up and running. Going forward, very soon, Fictionwise will be offering Samhain books starting with new releases in a variety of formats (I believe unsecured formats). Backlist will hopefully be gradually converted, but that won’t happen right away.

Hope that answered both of your questions and I’m sorry it took me so long to respond. Does anyone else have any pressing questions they’ve been wanting to ask?

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