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Other posts by Juli Monroe

Searching for the perfect tablet writing app
January 29, 2015 | 2:32 pm

productivityYou'll not the title says "searching." There's a reason for that. I've found an option that works, after a fashion, and I've found another app I intend to try, but I'm open to suggestions. Let me lay out the situation. I do my best fiction writing in coffee shops, so I've been on a hunt for an iPad app which does the following: 1. Syncs with little to no effort to my desktop 2. Has a clean interface with few distractions 3. Has a word count feature (semi-optional, but preferred) 4. Doesn't add formatting I have to remove when I transfer the text to Word. Word...

Oyster acquires Harry Potter series
January 28, 2015 | 8:00 am

Oyster acquires Harry PotterOyster just scored a significant acquisition. It's only a handful of books, but they involve some popular characters. Yes, Oyster has the Harry Potter series, all seven of the main books plus the three Hogwarts Library books. Their release says it's the only subscription service to have all the books, and that's true if you are talking about the Library books. The seven main books are available through Kindle Unlimited, although the Library books are not. In honor of the occasion, Oyster had added four new themes, one for each of the Hogwarts Houses. You can select your House or tap on...

App Review: Smart AudioBook Player for Android
January 26, 2015 | 11:11 am

smart audiobook playerIt finally dawned on me late last year that Overdrive MP3 audio books are DRM-free. Yes, I'd known that fact on some level, but I still listened to the books in the Overdrive app, which is okay but not great. Plus it often takes me longer than three weeks to finish an audiobook, so I was only checking out short ones (less than 10 hours). Once I processed the implications of DRM-free audio books (Hooray! I can check out long books!), I started looking for an audiobook player app and found Smart AudioBook Player. It has great reviews and offers a...

Book Review: Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
January 17, 2015 | 10:47 am

discoverability by Kristine Kathryn RuschThere are lots of books out there about how to market your book. Some of them are good. Some aren't. [easyazon-link asin="1561466190" locale="us"]Discoverability[/easyazon-link] is one of the best I've read, and I appreciate it because it looks at writing as a business, not as a way to game a system to make sales quickly. Since one of my day jobs is as a businesss coach, that appeals to me. This book started as a series of blog posts, and the posts are still available. I read them last year and was excited to see she's expanded on them and updated them for...

Beneath the Ink: Enhanced eBooks done right?
January 14, 2015 | 2:25 pm

enhanced ebooksI've been skeptical of enhanced ebooks. When I read a book, especially fiction, I want to immerse myself in the book. I don't want to be distracted by anything else. Non-fiction is different. There I like links, tables, charts, images and other elements (like video) which can enhance the experience. I haven't found many enhanced ebooks that worked for me, but recently I had an opportunity to interview Sherisse Hawkins of Beneath the Ink. I think they are on a good path. Sherisse comes from a tech and entertainment background which gives her insight into how people want to be entertained--one of...

Scribd signs new Big 5 publisher: Macmillan
January 13, 2015 | 9:15 am

scribdEveryone has said that for subscription services to succeed, they have to have more books everyone has heard of. The subtext of that statement is that they need to have more books by traditional publishing. Scribd has done a pretty good job until now, signing deals with HarperCollins, Wiley, Kensington, Simon & Schuster, Open Road Media and Harlequin. (Did I miss anyone?) Today they add a third "Big 5" publisher, Macmillan. We knew it was coming based on John Sargent's open letter from last month announcing their deal with Amazon. In that letter, Sargent said: In our search for new routes to market, we...

Moon+ Reader Pro sporting new Material Design
January 6, 2015 | 4:25 pm

Screenshot_2015-01-06-09-35-43Your Android device might not yet be running Lollipop (and you might be glad of that with recent reports of Lollipop woes), but you've probably noticed that many of your apps are sporting the new Material Design look. (Anyone else amused when an Apple app gets updated to a Material Design look, to match the Android version?) Update: Removed because a reader pointed out my throw-away comment was incorrect. Moon+ Reader Pro is one of the first eReader apps to sport the new design. (Thanks to reader Jon Jermey for pointing it out to me.) Play Books obviously has the new...

Juli’s Best Books of 2014
December 30, 2014 | 12:25 pm

best books of 2014Joanna and Paul have done their best books of 2014 articles, and I thought I should do one as well. This year I used Goodreads to track all of my reading, which made it easy to compile my list. I just sorted my 2014 list by 5 stars, something I give infrequently. Out of 220 books read in 2014, I gave 20 of them 5 stars. Selecting from that list, which included several older books and re-reads, here's my best, in no particular order. [easyazon-link asin="0553418025" locale="us"]The Martian[/easyazon-link] by Andy Weir This was selected as the Goodreads Best Science Fiction of 2014, so...

eReading while cruising
December 19, 2014 | 10:27 am

ereadingWhen I mentioned to Chris Meadows that I was leaving for my first ever cruise, he suggested I write something about ereading while cruising. I wasn't sure how I'd approach that, until I'd been on the ship for a couple of days. It was interesting to walk around the decks and see what devices people were using. Here's what I saw. The first day, Nooks outnumbered Kindles, but that turned out to be a fluke. After that first day, I saw only one other Nook. Kindles abounded, although most of them were the eInk versions. I saw lots of Paperwhites, one Touch,...

Morning Links: Walmart buying Nook? Maybe not. Digital rights
December 18, 2014 | 9:01 am

nook mediaI Wouldn’t Pay Any Attention to the Rumor About Walmart Buying Nook (The Digital Reader) A juicy rumor crossed my desk this evening which is bound to get a lot of attention in the next few days. After looking into its provenance I am reasonably convinced that this rumor is completely bogus, but its origin is interesting enough that I wanted to share it. *** Dear The Toast and The Butter: Please Fix Your Rights Grab (UPDATE: They Did) (John Scalzi) Writer Beware has posted a heads up for writers with regard to Web sites The Toast and The Butter, and the rights they...

Review: RAVPower RP-PB 19 External Battery
December 7, 2014 | 10:25 am

RP-PB 19I've got so many external batteries lying around the house now that I joke with my husband we can keep our Kindles running for months in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse. But of course I was willing to accept one more when the folks from RAVPower offered to send me their [easyazon-link asin="B00MQSMEEE" locale="us"]RP-PB 19[/easyazon-link] to review. The RAVPower RP-PB 19 is a 15000mAh external battery. I've been using a 14000mAh version for some months now, and it will charge my iPad 4 to a full charge from about 20%. This one will manage pretty close to a full charge. As...

Thoughts on adjusting to Kindle Unlimited as an author
December 2, 2014 | 4:25 pm

kindle unlimitedThis post started its life as a comment to Nate's post on how authors are unhappy with Kindle Unlimited. It quickly grew to a post in its own right. I agree that Kindle Unlimited has not been a good thing for authors. I've seen the impact on my own sales. Before KU was launched,  I was on track to triple my income from last year. Looks like instead I'm going to do a bit better than doubling. Yes, that's disappointing. However, I decided when I started that I was looking at this long term, and I'm still having a way better...