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Other posts by Juli Monroe

Book Review: Sand of Bone by Blair MacGregor
February 25, 2015 | 12:25 pm

sand of boneI purchased this book as part of the recent Indie Fantasy Story Bundle (now complete). Having been disappointed with the first two books I tried from the bundle, I was starting to think I'd wasted my money with this one. Then I started [easyazon-link asin="B00MRCCG9M" locale="us"]Sand of Bone[/easyazon-link] and knew that this book alone was worth the price of admission. I mean, just start with that cover. And feel free to judge this one by the cover. The inside is just as impressive. For those who still believe that indie books are rife with typos and bad writing, let me assure you...

Accessory Review: Case Studio customizable iPad case
February 25, 2015 | 10:25 am

case studio customizable ipad caseI've never been a big one for customizable swag, but when the folks at Case Studio offered me a coupon code to create my own iPad case, I admit I was intrigued. There's so many options that no two cases would ever look alike. From uploading a custom photo to selecting one of many designs and adding a short message or monogram, the options are endless. I spent close to half an hour on my case. While I was tempted by uploading a gorgeous piece of Dean Winchester fan art (completely safe for work, in case you were wondering), I finally decided...

App Review: Sunrise Calendar
February 20, 2015 | 2:25 pm

sunrise calendarSomeone I follow on Twitter routinely shares roundup posts of productivity apps and after I'd seen Sunrise Calendar on so many posts, I decided it was time to try it out. I'm glad I did because it has become my new go-to calendar app. It's available on Android, iOS, and there's a browser-based version for a computer. To borrow a phrase, it's everywhere you'd want it to be. I love the interface on my Android phone, with a scrolling display of upcoming events and quick weather forecast items right there on the calendar. The display on the iPhone may be similar,...

Comic books experience on Scribd
February 18, 2015 | 2:25 pm

comic booksOh the sacrifices I had to make to write this post. I had to actually read comic books. The pain and horror! Someone asked me recently if I'm a big comic book fan. The honest answer is, "no." I'd like to be a big fan, but I'm not willing to spend the money to support a comic habit. Which is why I was thrilled by last week's announcement that Scribd now has comic books. There are several series I've been wanting to read or re-read, but when it comes to entertainment dollars, books are usually a better value for me. Scribd takes that...

Morning Links: Novels must be a particular length? Reading with depression
February 16, 2015 | 9:04 am

novelsKilling Even More Sacred Cows of Publishing: #1… Novels Must Be A Certain Length (Dean Wesley Smith) You hear this myth spouted from almost every blog or young author or young editor at one point or another. The writers spouting this myth all go on about how a novel doesn’t have value, readers won’t like it, the author won’t feel complete unless the novel they write is at least 80,000 words long or longer. *** Reading, Depression, and Me (BookRiot) For long periods of my life, hitting low points meant turning to books, rather than turning away from them. I could sit down on...

Is our love affair with the tablet really over?
February 12, 2015 | 12:25 pm

tabletLast year I read an article which provoked such a strong reaction that I clipped it to Evernote and set a reminder to revisit it a year later. A year later, my reaction hasn't changed. The article was entitled, "Our Love Affair With the Tablet is Over," and I still disagree with much of what the author wrote. Yes, tablet shipments are down. We've covered that trend on TeleRead, but does it mean we don't love our tablets? Maybe not. I think declining shipments say less about how much we love them and more about how we don't upgrade them as often...

Morning Links: Some old books top the bestseller lists. Low reading self-esteem?
February 11, 2015 | 9:00 am

bestseller listsGoogle Drive rewards 2GB for Security Checkup takers (Android Community) The cloud storage will be giving extra space for those who will voluntarily undergo their Security Checkup, as part of their contribution to the Safer Internet Day and to ensure that all is fine and dandy on your cloud drive. *** Harper Lee and E L James Command Ebook Best-Seller List (Digital Book World) As we speculated might happen, both of the titles in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy that debuted last week on the Ebook Best-Seller List last week have made mighty leaps up the rankings ahead of the film adaptation’s release...

Scribd adds comic books
February 10, 2015 | 10:00 am

scribd does comicsFirst eBooks, then audiobooks, and now comic books. What's Scribd going to come up with next? For you comic book readers, starting today, comics from several publishers will be added. From the release: This offering represents the first time such a rich and varied selection of comics from some of the industry's top publishers – including Marvel, Archie, Boom! Studios, Dynamite, IDW/Top Shelf, and Valiant – have been made available in one unlimited digital subscription service. The selection includes fan favorites from Spider-Man to My Little Pony to X-O Manowar, and from Transformers to Archie, along with hit YA series such as...

Morning Links: Low eBook prices not enough? Creative punishment for piracy
February 9, 2015 | 9:00 am

piracyWhen Low Ebook Prices Aren’t Enough (Digital Book World) As the economics of digital bookselling evolve, bargain prices don’t always pack the punch they once did in terms of driving sales. *** Today Calendar developer “punishes” pirates creatively (Android Community) The app determines if the install is pirated and will insert random "pirate-themed" events into the user's calendar. He has already implemented one, a "Walk the Plank" event that has a graphic of a plank suspended over shark-infested waters. There's also a note saying, "That's what ye get fer piratin' matey." *** Files Bogus DMCA Notice to Keep Public Domain Records Offline (Ink, Bits and...

Want a Humble Bundle for Geeky Kids?
February 4, 2015 | 2:19 pm

humble bundleHere's an interesting theme for a Humble Bundle. Brainiac kid's books, including books on coding, physics, website design and, of course, LEGO. Heck, that sounds like something this self-proclaimed geek adult might be interested in. The line-up looks quite intriguing. Customers can pay any amount of money and receive: Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things The Manga Guide to Electricity Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids The LEGO Adventure Book, Volume 1: Cars, Castles, Dinosaurs & More! Customers who pay more than the average user will also receive: LEGO Space:...

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

productivityYou'll note 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...