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A Christmas note to all....

Hi ho (ho ho ho!) there, and welcome to yet another edition -- a Christmas edition, at that -- of Crossing Swords. I'm John, your host. Please, save your applause until the end.

Over the next few hours, people across the country will open a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad from underneath the tree. These are great gifts, and hopefully those proud recipients will add a John Fitch V title to them straight away. It would be a great Christmas present to yours truly. Just saying.

It's simple from a Kindle: Just turn the wireless on, register your device, and start downloading books. It's the same for Kindle for iPad. I don't know how to do it for Nook just yet.


Since tonight is Christmas Eve, it'll be the seventh since dad's been gone, and the first since grandpa joined him a week ago. We always got together at our house and had Chinese food along with opening presents from my grandparents, and before my teen years ended, presents from my great aunt.

I'll continue the Chinese food tradition once again, and for the second straight year, I'll hold a 10-hour, solo Christmas Eve Movie Marathon, all on DVD.

Here's the slate:

3:30 p.m.: Order/pick up food.
4:00 p.m.: The Charlie Brown Christmas special/It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown/I want a dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
6:15ish p.m.: Emmett Otter's Jug-band Christmas
7:15ish p.m.: A Year Without A Santa Claus
8:15ish p.m.: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version)
10:15-10:33 intermission
10:33 p.m.: A Christmas Carol (Alastair Sim version)
12:00 a.m.: The Ref

It is my sincere hope that everyone who has read my blog here in 2010 have been entertained. I hope you'll return in 2011.

Until next time, Merry Christmas!


Dating in the eReader World

My girlfriend and I have been together for nearly 13 months. Estee is a beautiful, Ivy League-educated young woman. Yours truly is a simple high school graduate who just happens to be an author. Why, do you ask, is she with me, when she could have doctors or lawyers?

The answer: Because I read.

Yep. That's right. It's not because of money or how many degrees I have on my wall (looks at the barren wall). I read, therefore I am loved.

Guys, let's face it. Women LOVE men who are intelligent. Women LOVE men who read. Women enjoy talking about books, and love to bring their men into a conversation about books. And with the advancement of eReaders into our lives, a guy in possession of an eReader, whether it be Kindle or nook, Sony or Kobo, will have a better chance at scoring a date than a moron who doesn't read.

Imagine it: An idyllic college quad with shade trees and a young man sitting against the trunk. He's reading the newest John Fitch V novel on his Kindle. He's not the best looking guy on campus, but he's read the classics -- TURNING BACK THE CLOCK, for instance -- and enjoys talking about literature. He'd much rather read than go out and get sloshed at a party.

A young woman, about the same age, walks through the quad and sees this young man reading away. She stops and admires him from a distance, wondering what he's reading. She feels the light heft of her own eReader in her backpack. She grins a little and her eyes brighten. She decides to walk up to him.

Her: Hi there.

Him, looking up: Hi... how are you?

Her: I'm great. Whatcha reading? You show me yours and I'll show you mine. *winks*

Him, feeling his heart accelerate a tad: Excuse me?

Her, blushing: Your eReader. *she pulls out her own*

After a few minutes of gentle conversation about books, she gives him her number. He goes back to his book, reading with a smile on his face.

eReaders will be the new conversation starter, folks. And a guy carrying an eReader will be overwhelmed with digits. Remember: an eReader is small enough to carry in the cargo pocket of your shorts/pants! Instant digit catch, guys.

Your Uncle Johnny wouldn't lie.

John's Amazon Author Central page
Smashwords placement

Like it or not, eBooks are here to stay

I've been having several discussions with friends about the wave of eReaders and eBooks recently. Of course, like the publishing world -- read: publishers themselves -- they are very much dead-set against this new way to read. They love the smell of books and the feel of the paper.

I love my friends. I really do. However, they are stuck in the 20th Century.

eBooks and eReaders, like them or not, are here to stay. They are taking over in waves, and very soon, the world will be populated with eReaders. At present, there are several great eReaders out there: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble nook, Sony, Kobo, and of course the iPad. Borders announced they are adding a second eReader to its lineup; the Libre will cost the least of them all at $120.

What does it mean to the reader? It means a great deal, especially when eBooks are cost effective; right now, you can find many great books by unknown authors for 99 cents, $1.99, $2.99, etc. These are great authors.

There are many people who figure that eBooks will be dominating within five years. I say sooner.

Within 18 months, eBooks will be the dominant method of reading, especially as eReaders become more and more affordable (see this post for more of my thoughts on this). The pundits believe Christmas 2011 -- gee whiz, 18 months -- will be the official break out point.

Once this hits, print will slowly die out; print runs for ink and paper books -- dead tree books, to some -- will become smaller as the demand for eBooks continually rises. Sure, there will still be brick and mortar stores such as Borders (for how much longer, though?), Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Waterstones. But what does it say to the reader when bookstores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble have eReaders? My local B&N has a nook counter right at the front of the store. It means bookstores are seeing the light and are reading the tea leaves. They know it, I know it, and you know it. Bookstores will also turn to print-on-demand technology for those who wish to have a book printed up; that's still a ways away, since it is not cost effective yet.

We are entering a fantastic time. eBooks are becoming the future right this very minute. For me personally, I'd rather read an eBook on my Kindle for PC because I have found I read FASTER, since I'm not wasting time flipping pages. I'm simply clicking the down arrow on my computer.

Best learn to like eBooks, since they are not going away.


John's Amazon.com Author Central store
Smashwords link



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