Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Garden Ebook Revolution...

Back in June, we had a book swap at the GG Happy Hour event. I must admit, my goal was to start getting rid of some of the many gardening books cluttering our house. However – just because I want to de-clutter doesn’t mean I’m no longer interested in the latest/greatest gardening books. Quite the opposite. Now that I have more time to read, I’m constantly on the lookout for new titles.

That’s when I started looking in to ebooks. First of all, I thought you’d have to have a Kindle, ipad or some other fancy device to take advantage of the ebook revolution. Wrong. Many ebooks are just a PDF version of the book and can be enjoyed on virtually any computing platform (even your smart phone). 

Ebooks are pretty much identical to the printed version.  However, some ebooks are interactive, embedding video and other links to related info (something you can’t do in print). A few ebooks are even text to speech compatible.

Another nice thing about these electronic formatted books is that they are delivered right to your email inbox. Find a desired ebook on the internet. Click – and within minutes you’ve got a copy. Instant gratification!!!

Oh – and here’s the kicker. Ebooks can be a HE#@ of a lot cheaper than printed books.

Like most purchases, you do have to exercise a little caution when shopping for an ebook. For example…

  • What platform is the ebook formatted for. Computer, ipad, Kindle, etc. (Probably if you have a Kindle or Nook you already know this stuff). Typically PDF formatted ebooks don’t work with Kindle/Nook.

  •  Does the ebook have flowing text or are the pages scanned? Flowing text is easier to deal with but not a deal-breaker as far as I’m concerned. Anyone that’s ever read a PDF document knows what to expect.

  •  Is the ebook recommended for large/small screen devices? I can’t easily read small print anymore so if it ain’t large screen (i.e. my computer) it’s not for me.

One final cautionary note...
The internet is a source of raw, unedited information. Kind of like the wild west of publishing. Reader beware. The ebook revolution has opened the door to many independent authors that would otherwise never get a book to press. Also - there are several ebook “publishers” (i.e. Amazon, Adobe, etc.) that have made the preparation, sales and distribution of ebooks accessible to any hack that thinks he can string 2 sentences together in to a coherent thought!

Does that mean a Galveston Gardening ebook is in the works? Will keep you posted.

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