Thinking about ebooks - edited and is now a long

Hmmm....Màili and Jorrie and Celia Stuart have interesting comments on ebook reviews. Go read them.

Which reminds me that I think I'm a bit behind in posting about some of the ebooks I've read lately. And I think I've read a few lately (okay, some of these were a month or so ago).

So I'm listing them here so I can try to remember that I need to mention something about them.

Thief's Desire by Isabo Kelly
Sterling Files: Steele by Sherri L. King
Mind Games by Ciana Stone (a DNF)
Worlds of Honor by David Weber anthology (okay, not technically an ebook, but that's how I read it - free Baen book)
From the Deep by Shelley Munro and others
For the Love Of... by Kally Jo Surbeck
Into the Garden by Alicia Sparks

Err...that's all I can remember. I think for awhile I was in sort of an ebook slump. Nothing was interesting me besides the old standby (Doc Savage in ebook form). But it's picking up again.

Editing to add:

You know, the whole lack of ebook reviews on blogs is kinda annoying when trying to buy some. Let's see, I bought Mind Games because of the blurb on EC's site. And the Isabo Kelly book because I've been wanting to read it for awhile and learned it was being repubbed at Cerridwen. And Sherri King because I'm familiar with her Horde Wars series and liked it. From the Deep was a win from the Writerbabes blog. I don't remember how I got Into the Garden. Or For the Love Of...(probably another contest win). And the Baen book was free. So come on people, give me some frickin' word of mouth here.

Like I'm debating whether to buy Lauren Dane's new werewolf book. I mean, I like her blog and she has a nice online presence (and seems very nice), but I'm also leery about werewolf erotic romance after being burned a few times. And I think I'll buy Marshall's Guard by Kelly because I liked Thief's Desire. And debating on Hocus Pocus by Teresa Roblin because it looks cute. I know nothing about the author.

And author groupies/general loop stuff had turned me off a few authors (and sometimes I can't even remember why), so I'm leery about chucking down money for books from Sarah McCarty (I do have her Westerns, but I'm very leery about the paranormal), Lora Leigh (my god the woman has rabid fan groupies), Lorie O'Clare, Shiloh Walker, and Sahara Kelly (a Non-IE site? Uh...I think you might want to change that, author). And a few others, but those are some of the names I think come up most. And to be honest, I think some of the prejudice comes from never hearing much actual discussion of these people's books other than ohmygawdtheherowashawtandsexwashothothot. Um, doesn't really get me to buy the book, people. I want details on plot. PLOT.

Oh dear, I named names. I did. And, I'm sure they all can be quite nice. Being turned off doesn't mean the author isn't nice. Or doesn't write good books (I will never read Kit Tunstall, for example. Just won't. I have my reasons.).

Another thing about buying ebooks for me. I'm big on going to publisher sites. I don't do Fictionwise. So I pub jump. And Ellora's Cave is always my first stop because they have the easiest site to navigate. Liquid Silver Books is easy, but the price of books is too high for me. I did like Leigh Wyndfield's stuff from there. Amber Quill gets me confused. The site is just too complicated for me. And I tend to dislike their covers, so I just give up browsing there usually. Wings ePress has put out a few books that I've liked, but again, I don't tend to go there much since their site is hard to navigate and to be honest, I question their book quality.

New Concepts - I've read quite a few good books from here. But dammit someone (you know who you are) stuck a bug in my ear about theircovers and it's so damn obvious. And it's talked about in this SB thread with examples. I do like some of Michelle M. Pillow's work from here. Like the Dragon Lords series. And I think I've read and enjoyed almost all of Autumn Dawn's work. Site is fairly easy to navigate, but could use work.

I never did much with Cerridwen Press until just lately when I bought Thief's Desire. I do like their site setup fairly well. And most of the covers don't seem to be quite so Poser-nasty.

I've mentioned my beef with Triskelion. Honestly, until last week when I decided on a whim to try it in IE, I had NO idea that there was a navigation bar on the site that I couldn't see in Firefox. I just thought the site sucked ass. Though honestly, I still think that because I do NOT think to try sites in IE when I've visited them in Firefox. I don't. So what moron won't fix that problem? I can't be the only one this has happened to. AND...their book covers. I can always barely read the title (and sometimes not at all). This is NOT good for the casual browser. NOT NOT NOT good. And I'm a casual ebook browser. Those covers and titles drive me up the wall. So Trisk gets shoved to the sidelines.

The there's eXtasy Books, but I just honestly usually forget about them (er, no offense).

Samhain...still haven't read anything from there. Again, mostly from the lack of word of mouth from bloggers I trust.

Changeling Press...again, they have some godawful covers (those are just ones from the front page!). And hardly any of the stories seem to be standalones. So in the end, it seems you're paying more for a full story.
Loose Id - some baaad covers (although Loose Id also has some of the best I've seen, oddly enough).

Venus - again, bad covers (okay, they've gotten a bit better) and bad blog press. I might try one if I got it free, but that's about it.

You know, maybe we need to put up an ebook thread/forum at ReaderNetwork so we can recommend ones we've read.

And I know, I've missed a lot of links. Sorry. it's getting late and I'm wanted in bed. So goodnight all! I hope I won't regret this little rant/whatnot in the morning.


Jay said...

I used to get quite a few books from Treskelion. Not sure why, since their site really is bad. But I liked Jaide Fox and that's where she was writing. I also like Loose-Id but Loois might be a big influence in that decision. All the rest I can take or leave.

I've stopped reading epubbed books almost entirely now, but not because of lack of buzz. I just dont have the time.

Suisan said...

Your tread is posted on Reader Network.

So now y'all can go forth and recommend at will. :)

Suisan said...

tread? Eh, no. I meant THREAD is posted.

Cannot frigging type.

CW said...

Great post, especially the addition! I agree.

I would review more ebooks if I read them, but I never get around to checking them out on the publishing sites or at fictionwise.

Maili said...

*awe* Your experiences with epub sites match mine. I had a lot of problems with Triskelion, too. I had no idea it has a sidebar [a firefox user here, too]. [Venus Press has bad blog press? Clue me in, please?]

You've made a few valid points, so I'll make more efforts to babble about ebooks I read. Thanks for that swift kick up my bum. :)

Maili said...

CW - what's that thing in your avatar?

sybil said...

hee I have posted twice recently about gobs of ebook reads to talk about but just haven't yet.

more time than not wanting to talk sex in public... in case anyone thought that ;)

I will put a couple of reviews this weekend.

Angela James said...

Do you think it's possible that people don't blog as much about ebooks because it's such a small community? Like chances are even greater with ebooks that the author and/or rabid fangirls will happen along the review and attack if it's not favorable.

And because so many people in the community seem to be friends with ebook authors, even more than print authors, so they are uncomfortable providing unbiased reviews.

For myself, I've always been in a position where I've worked in the industry somehow, and felt unable or unwilling to provide a thoroughly honest review. It's even worse now, because I can't exactly review competitor's books, without it looking like sour grapes, and I can't review our own books without looking like I'm tooting my own horn, lol.

Shannon Stacey said...

I love Firefox and pre-laptop it was all I used. But my stats show that the overwhelming majority of my visitors are still using IE, so I always double-checked after making any changes. Now I use Firefox on my desktop, but run IE on my laptop so I know how my site is showing up to most of my visitors. For other sites, it's really easy to send out a browser-check request on a loop.

Nicole said...

Jay, I think Jaide Fox is mostly at NCP. And Loowis is cute, isn't he?

Suisan, thanks!

Maili, I can't remember quite what is was, it was awhile back. Honestly, I just coulnd't get around the truly hideous covers they started with.

Sybil, lol. Hey, gotta love talking sex, right?

Angie, I think that has some to do with it, but there's got to be others who aren't active in the community who are still online. I know I'm a member of many loops, but mainly just on special messages to get newsletters. I was more involved, but I really just got sick of it. I suppose I like the blogging community better. We seem to mostly be able to discuss books better. And yeah, I understand your position on reviewing ebooks. That would be difficult.

Shannon, I have noticed that most still use IE (but I still give them crap about it), but like you said, it IS easy to see if it works in another browser. You don't even need to ask someone else, just make a quick download of the browser.

Jane said...

I should do some reviews of Shiloh Walker's works. I didn't realize she had a groupie list and so I wasn't turned off by it. But I can totally understand where you are coming from (S Brockmann anyone?). If there is no online buzz about ebooks where are all the groupies hanging out? Oh, and Sarah McCarty? I do NOT get her. I read one: Mac's Law and it was a DNF. Soo horrible.

Nicole said...

Jane, mostly Yahoo groups.

You might try Sarah McCarty one more time and read Promises Linger. it's a historical.

Amie Stuart said...

WHAT? Trisk's site works in IE? I had no clue! I use Firefox -- ahem (I also am not very fond of their covers and yes as a reader, I'm a total cover-ho).

Sharon said...

Well, I USE IE and I loathe the Triskelion web site. It's clunky and annoying, and as much as I love ebooks, I've never bought one from their site for that reason.

I used to read a lot of Ellora's Cave releases, but quite frankly, I think they've lost a lot of their good authors, because in the last 6-9 months, their offerings have not been up to par. (Read horrid)

I've been very impressed with Samhain, but I wish their site was as easy to navigate as Ellora's Cave. I like the way you add a book to your cart at EC and continue on in the same browser. There are some other issues that makes their site a bit clunky, but it's not as bad as Trisk's.

Alyssa said...

Like chances are even greater with ebooks that the author and/or rabid fangirls will happen along the review and attack if it's not favorable.

I did have several e-book authors visit my site about a year ago. I wouldn't quite call it an attack, but there was some defensiveness on both sides.

To be honest, it has made me think twice about reviewing e-books. I almost reviewed one last year (it would have been a 1.5) but didn't because I didn't want the fallout.

Now I'm in much the same position as Angie. I'm not sure what I'll do about e-book reviews. I want to keep doing what I'm doing, which is to review them occasionally, just as I do anything else. But Angie's reasons regarding sour grapes and promo now come into play. Like it or not, I suspect my reviews would be viewed differently now than they were six months ago.

Bev (BB) said...

Well, as I said on Maili's blog, I have to start reading them again before I can talk about them. At least new ones. I do have a folder full of older ones I could dig out and track down the authors. Haven't done that in a while.

I may just have to get a new reader.

Jay said...

Jay, I think Jaide Fox is mostly at NCP.

Yeah that's what I meant. It's all the same in my head. If it's not Ellora's Cave, it's a nebulous 'other'.

I think the deal with Venus press is that they always look like theyre about 5 minutes away from chapter 11. And I think they were expensive given the word count. That and I do remember someone talking about shady dealings, but I don't remember specifics. Also they have a stupid reward policy which I blogged about here.

CW said...

(Maili, it's the Horsehead Nebula. You know me and APOD...:P)

Milady Insanity said...

I don't read many ebooks these days, for various reasons--and when I do, I buy from Fictionwise.

I have nothing against them, but I admit, I do find it hard to pick them up. The covers suck, I don't often hear about them on blogs and it just adds up.

As to fangirls...I'll just say what I said at Angelle's site, it's my blog, therefore it's my world and fangirls don't exist.

Then there's Chippewa Publishing. Anybody bought from them?

Charlene Teglia said...

I've noticed the lack of discussion of ebooks in blogs and I wondered why. I thought it might be sheer numbers; ebooks aren't selling as many copies as print books, so more people are discussing print books because they've all read them. ?

But fear of getting into an online battle over expressing an opinion really might be limiting discussion. If so, we're all losing out.

I do recommend ebooks I enjoy in my blog, just like I recommend print books I enjoy.

Cerridwen I think is the "forgotten website". It's not erotic so hard to categorize, maybe. But there's a very wide range of romances at CP, just like at Samhain. BTW, I have not yet read anything from Samhain that disappointed.

I will admit I've only bought ebooks from my own publishers. Makes sense, the kind of thing I like to write is similar to what I like to read, so the publisher who is putting out my books will also put out books to my taste. But I realize this might make my recommendations look suspect!

Leigh Ellwood said...

May I recommend reading some Phaze books? We've been around for about two years now and have produced some wonderful erotic romance. We have an RT Top Pick and a few name authors like Madeleine Oh. These days, too, you can find our print books at Borders alongside the likes of EC, Loose Id, and NCP.

We're still small, but growing. We'll have a presence at RT this year, so if you're in Daytona come by and see us.

Lynne Connolly said...

Yep, it's one of the dreaded Triskelion authors here. You can now get some the books in bookstores, if you're lary of the site.
However, the site is as it is because the owners of Trisk decided to up the security. They're as sure as they can be that your identity and credit card won't be hijacked.
Ebook publishers got a reputation for being "easy" in the early days, so the Web Boys at Triskelion (I'm told they're boys though I've never actually met them) worked hard to make the site as secure as Amazon. Securer, if that's possible.
Triskelion doesn't put its books on Fictionwise (in common with many other e-publishers) but they are at Amazon.
Hope this persuades you to try a few. We do the best we can to bring you the best we can.
Lynne Connolly

Lauren Dane said...

Several things, first of all I missed the whole last added on part of this entry! Sheesh.

Second of all, I'll make you a deal, I have a release with Samhain coming out June 27. Romantic suspense and spicy rather than superhoterotic. I'll send it to you gratis so you can see some of what Samhain is putting out there (god, I hope you like it and will give other Samhain authors a try). No werewolves, I promise.

Third of all, thank you for buying Enforcer. I do hope you enjoy it. And thanks for the compliments, too. I am nice mostly. I have my bad days.

Lastly, as a reader, some of the epubs have terribly complicated cart systems that drive me crazy! I don't buy from several of them for the reasons you describe. Because if I have to have a physics degree and forty five minutes and three emails just to get the book, I'm not going to bother. Oh and if the site has typos on it and I won't say which one but that same syntax error has been up for a year and it makes me want to poke my eyes out every time I used to see it.

Oh and PS - I'm kinda pouty cause I don't have any fangirls.