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Designers & Dragons vol. 3 now available to Kickstarter backers
August 28, 2014 | 10:54 pm

ddvol3A quick update on the Designers & Dragons Kickstarter, whose first volume I reviewed a few weeks ago. The second volume in the 4-volume series, covering the 1980s, has been available for a while to those (such as myself) who kicked in at least $15. Today, the ‘90s volume came out. The second and third volumes are PDF-only for now, since the EPUB and MOBI versions take time to craft, but they’re coming. The fourth volume will be released in a preliminary draft form without an index sometime before the Kickstarter completes. I haven’t had the chance to look...

Review: Designers & Dragons Vol. 1: The ‘70s
August 8, 2014 | 5:23 am

designdragon70s I’ve finished reading through the first volume of the RPG history from that Kickstarter I mentioned the other day, and I have to say that I’m very impressed. In fact, I plan on nominating it for the “Best Related Work” Hugo when the 2014 Hugo nominations come around. It’s just that good. As I explained in the last article, this history is split across four volumes, divided by decade. However, the decade only refers to the period in which the company was founded. The approach the book takes is to trace the history of each company from...

Evil Hat Kickstarts Designers & Dragons, a four-volume history of role-playing games
August 6, 2014 | 2:18 pm

designdragon70sHere’s an intriguing Kickstarter from Evil Hat Productions, the folks who ran a highly successful KS for pulp tie-in novels to their Spirit of the Century game, and several other Kickstarters besides. This one is for a four-volume history of role-playing games entitled Designers & Dragons. Previously published in a single volume, it has been revised and expanded by its author to four full books. And this Kickstarter looks like a great example how to do things right. For starters, they set the goal to $7,500—a reasonable level for printing and shipping the first volume. Perhaps unsurprisingly, just a...

Pay what you want for two science-urban-fantasy books by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin
April 3, 2014 | 11:22 am

Reboots-FrontCovHere’s a mini-pay-what-you-want e-book bundle for this month: a pair of whimsical science-urban-fantasy novels from Mercedes Lackey and one of her Secret World Chronicle co-authors, Cody Martin. (I used to play City of Heroes with both of them.) The way it’s set up is, you can get the first book for free, or you can order both of them for a minimum of $1.99, suggested price of $3.99. I’ve read the first book; it’s highly amusing. The premise is pretty clever. It’s set in a science-fiction universe in which various supernatural critters—werewolves, vampires, zombies, etc.—have become useful in outer...

BookBale offers eight big-name SF titles in pay-what-you-want book bundle
November 3, 2013 | 9:25 pm

9-CitizenIt seems that the pay-what-you-want book bundle has been getting more popular lately. They’re popping up all over the place. Here’s one called “BookBale” that features a number of major-name authors and books. The pay-what-you-want has a minimum price of at least $2.99, and includes six books: The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom Climbing Olympus by Kevin J. Anderson Birthright: The Book of Man by Mike Resnick Starplex by Robert J. Sawyer Future Perfect by Nancy Kress The Elvenbane by Mercedes Lackey & Andre Norton If you pay at least $10, you also get: The Hemingway Hoax by Joe Haldeman Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein The...

Kindle app for Windows 8 does not read user-generated content…yet
July 12, 2013 | 10:14 pm

The Kindle e-reader client for Windows 8 does not support loading user-created MOBI format content. Writer Patricia “Pooks” Burroughs discovered this recently, and when she contacted Amazon to inquire about it she received an email from Amazon support saying simply that Kindle for Windows 8 did not support user-generated content at this time and they are “really sorry about it.” She subsequently posted an open letter to her blog blasting Amazon for removing this ability. In terms of breaking news, this is pretty much a non-story. The sky is not suddenly falling. All indications are that the issue is...

Diane Duane puts all her e-books on sale at 60% off through 3/27
March 26, 2012 | 11:23 pm

I know I mention Diane Duane’s e-book store sales a lot, but I figure that she’s one of very few excellent examples I know of authors who run their own DRM-free multi-format e-book stores and offer frequent discounts to boot. She’s a shining example of how to do things right, and I think that kind of example needs all the exposure it can get. And speaking of frequent discounts, Duane is currently offering a 60% discount on everything in her e-book store through 23:59 Hawaiian time, Tuesday March 27th. Use the coupon code FLASHSALE during the checkout process. Among...

Does more e-book competition lead to more DRM?
December 22, 2011 | 10:22 pm

On PaidContent, Bill Rosenblatt looks at whether we can ever expect a universal format for e-books, equivalent to “MP3” for audio. He doesn’t think so. For one thing, he points out that MP3s aren’t actually used all that much in digital music sales. Apple uses AAC, which has generally better sound quality. The only major commercial market for MP3s is Amazon, and it only has 10% of the music market. And whereas MP3 had a number of advantages over the competing CD format (in particular, it was much smaller and easier to transfer digitally), EPUB doesn’t offer...

Putting Skyrim in-game books on your e-reader
November 30, 2011 | 11:15 am

The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim_pcOne of the hottest new computer games is the latest entry in the Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim. Although I haven’t played the game myself, it seems that one element of the game is that it includes a bunch of in-game books, some of them quite long, that go into the backstory of the game world and various things in it. As Jeremy Hill notes on our sister blog Gamertell, there are so many of them that there just isn’t time to read them while in the game (where there are, obviously, better things to do, like killing dragons). ...

Diane Duane releases revised Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses e-book
November 22, 2011 | 11:20 am

elfkingDiane Duane has revised and relaunched another of her backlist as an e-book. This one, Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses, takes CSI-style forensic drama (though it was first published in 2002, the same year as the original CSI launched) and puts it into an SF/fantasy setting. It’s one of the few Duane books I haven’t gotten around to reading yet—but now I have a good excuse! Duane writes that she took the opportunity to fix a few issues she’d noticed in the book over the last ten years, including restoring some material that had previously been cut and rewriting the...

Diane Duane marks her e-books down 50% for today only
October 10, 2011 | 11:49 am

For “absolutely no reason”, Diane Duane is running a 50%-off sale on every e-book in her on-line store, good today, October 10th, only. Use the coupon code NOREASON to get the discount. Duane’s e-books are available DRM-free in both mobi (Kindle) and EPUB (Nook, Kobo) formats, and are already quite reasonably priced. 50% off that is quite a deal!...

Diane Duane offers e-book format bundles, Young Wizards series bundle in her e-book store
August 11, 2011 | 9:15 pm

YW_Complete_Set_mediumA couple more e-book-related news items from Diane Duane’s blog that hit in recent days: First, Duane is now able to make available multi-format bundles, including both EPUB and Kindle/MOBI, for all the DRM-free e-books in her store. (And .LIT will be added to these bundles as well, over the next month.) To celebrate, she’s running a week-long 20%-off sale using the coupon code BUNDLE. (When you place the order, you will enter the code on the very last screen after you verify your PayPal information.) Second, Duane has added a package deal where all nine volumes of...

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