Category Archives: Somebody Has To Say It

Gifting Ebooks: The Complete Christmas Guide

Stalking the Demon

Do you know someone who has switched whole-heartedly to ebooks? My parents have even gone so far as to instruct me ‘not to buy paperbacks’!

So if you’re accustomed to having piles of wrapped books under the tree, what do you do now? Giving a gift card seems so impersonal!

Never fear! You can ‘gift’ your own choice of ebook on several platforms, and here’s how.

You don’t have to own an ereader to gift ebooks – all you need is an email account (and I assume if you’re reading this you probably have one of those!).

Kindle

If you don’t have an Amazon account, set one up – make sure you use Amazon US! This is because you can’t give Kindle books as gifts from many Amazon Kindle Stores, but residents of most countries can still shop at Amazon.com if you set it as your default store.

If you already have an account linked to another Amazon marketplace, see instructions under the heading ‘Return to the Amazon.com Kindle Store’ at the bottom of this page for details of how to transfer to another store.

  • Choose your books – In the search bar on the Amazon home page, use the drop down menu to select ‘Kindle Store’ and search for books you know your loved one will like;
  • Gift details – On the right of the book page, click ‘Give as a gift’, and select ‘Email the gift to me’. Complete the recipient’s details, and your gift message. Change ‘Your Name’ to the names you want the gift to be from e.g. Mary, Bob, Matt and Lucy;
  • Place order – Select place order to have the gift voucher emailed to you;

iBooks

confronting-demon-stack

You will need iTunes, or an Apple device like an iPad or Mac to access iBooks, and an Apple account.

  • Choose your books – In iTunes or iBooks, use the search bar to find your ideal gift – make sure you are searching ‘Nook Books’;
  • Gift book – below the picture of the book cover on the left side of the page is a ‘Buy Now’ button, and on the right side of this button is an arrow indicating a drop-down menu. Click the arrow for the menu. The top option on the menu is ‘Gift Book’. Select it;
  • Gift details – A popup box allows you to insert details of the email address to receive the gift, the name of the sender, and your gift message. I suggest sending this to yourself using the ‘Now’ option so you can print it out. Keep the email to forward to the recipient later to make it easier for them to redeem – they can use a code on the voucher, but it seems like this is a really difficult way to claim the book. Select ‘Next’ to proceed;
  • Choose theme – iBooks let’s you choose one of several pre-set themes for your voucher. Select one, then click ‘Next’ to place your order;

Note: you can only gift iBooks to someone in the same country as you.

Nook

If you don’t have an account at Barnes & Noble, set one up.

  • Choose your books –Use the search bar at the top to find your ideal gift;
  • Gift book – Next to the orange ‘Buy Now’ button is a smaller ‘Buy as gift’ option. Select it;
  • Gift details – Complete the recipient’s details, and your gift message. Use your email address so you can receive and print the email for gifting, but keep the email as it seems you will actually need to forward the email to the recipient so they can actually claim the gift;
  • Confirm order – Select the orange ‘Submit’ button to confirm the order;

Wrapping your gift

Gifts_xmas

Once you receive the emailed voucher, print it and cut it to size. Amazon gift vouchers (when cut to size) fit nicely in pre-made DVD gift boxes, and I expect the others likely do to, so you still have a gift to put under the tree!

If you can’t find any of these boxes, you could use any shape gift box and fold the vouchers to fit, or put the vouchers in a beautiful Christmas card.

It’s not necessary to forward Amazon vouchers electronically as they contain a code to redeem the book, but it seems forwarding the email for Nook books and iBooks after you’ve presented your gift is likely to make life simpler for the recipient.

Got it wrong? If the recipient already owns the book, or doesn’t want it, they can easily exchange it on Amazon and B&N for a gift card to use as they choose. It’s less clear if this feature is available on iBooks and I haven’t been able to find confirmation from an Apple help topics.

Don’t forget me if you have a loved one who loves fantasy! 😉

Make an Elvis song into a book contest!

Elvis song
Today we welcome Mimi Barbour to the blog to talk about her new Elvis series and contest. 


**After I listened to an old Elvis Presley hit called She’s Not You, I couldn’t get the words out of my head. Finally, it came to me. The sentiments were so beautiful that the story they told should be written. So, I wrote the first chapter and the song stopped haunting me. I released book #1 of the Elvis Series late in Nov.  

When it came time to decide which of Elvis’s song should be chosen for Book #2, I decided who better than the readers themselves to make the choice.
 ~Mimi **




“Make an Elvis song into a book contest!”



Here it is live for the whole month of February.

Please let all your friends know about it!

Tell your mom and her pals who grew up with the King!

Share this link with your Facebook buddies and twitter followers.

It’ll be fun to see which of his songs will grace the cover of 

Book #2 in Mimi Barbour’s

Elvis series.


Here’s what the winner will receive:

  1. The winner will have his/her favorite song chosen as the title and theme for the next book in the Elvis series.
  2. It will be dedicated to the winner.
  3. And their name will be used for one of the characters.


Video of Elvis singing – Book #1 She’s Not You

  

Thanks, Mimi, for bringing this content to us! If you think you know the perfect Elvis song for a book, make sure you enter the competition.
 
If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter.

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Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us!

Bullying is Never OK

Bullying


I don’t think you need me to tell you the horrifying statistics on bullying – the proportion of the population that has been bullied, or that has seen someone bullied – not just as a child, but as adults. Bullying is rife in our schools and workplaces.

School children are committing suicide because of the pressure of bullying, which is no longer confined to the school yard, but follows them home via the internet.

Australia has just enacted specific workplace bullying legislation to combat the rising productivity costs of workplace bullying.

In 2012, in Australia, the lone survivor of a tragic boating accident that claimed the lives of his three friends committed suicide. Why? Because he had been attacked, bullied, and received hate mail to the effect that he ought to be ashamed of himself for surviving, or somehow failing to save his friends. As if the man wasn’t already grieving the loss and suffering survivor’s guilt. As if those people somehow had the right to make such cruel statements and make his life worse than it already was. That man was survived by a wife and small children.

More than likely, those who bullied him have washed their hands of responsibility – it wasn’t me, it’s not my fault, I didn’t make him do it. They either can’t believe, or don’t want to believe, that their acts added to a man’s already unbearable burden.

What kind of people commit these acts? Too often they are shielded by the anonymity of the internet.

Now, we have the era of the Goodreads trolls. I have seen them at work, attacking a friend of mine because she dared to ask a question. Insidiously, they take the high moral ground and behave as though they have somehow been wronged, while perpetrating the very behaviour of which they falsely accuse. My friend was accused of being judgmental and lecturing simply because she asked a question. The trolls proceeded to tell her she had no right to ask the question, and judged and lectured her, somehow ignorant of the irony. In fact, she of course could ask the question – she simply had no right to an answer, and did not assert one.

And this is the mild end of it. The Goodreads bullies have been known to bully to the point of making ill-wishes against those they dislike, to the extent of wishing rape and death on people. I can’t fathom the kind of crime that would need to be committed against me to wish such dreadful things on someone – certainly more than a mere difference of opinion.

As if that weren’t enough, a few weeks ago I saw something that appalled me. A writer was accused of plagiarism. She responded to the accusations, including by listing some of the bullying acts that had been perpetrated against her, acts which extended to some horrific comments made about her husband and her very young daughter.

I don’t know if the accusations of plagiarism are true. I don’t know if the accusations of bullying are true. It doesn’t matter. The point of this is that I saw some people say, in apparent bald-faced honesty, that she deserved everything she got if she is a plagiarist.

That there summed up for me what is perpetuating this bullying culture that we have stumbled into. Some people think it’s OK, including in some cases as some kind of misguided justice for wrongs.

Bullying is never OK. No matter what someone has done, they do not deserve to be bullied. If they have broken the law, then it is a matter for the justice system. If the justice system fails, as it sometimes does, then you must pray for divine justice if such is your beliefs. If you’re an atheist like me, then suck it up, sunshine – you get no justice, and that’s a consequence of your world view. I accept that justice may not always be possible in a world with no gods.

Bullying is never OK. If we say otherwise, we set a double standard and perpetuate our bullying culture.

A line once crossed is easier to cross again, and for less justification.

How To Gift a Kindle Ebook – A Christmas Guide

How To Gift a Kindle Ebook


Do you give books for Christmas? If you’re giving them to someone who has an e-reader, consider giving ebooks instead!

Many e-reader owners no longer want paperbacks, or only want select titles in paperback, due to:


  • Storage – paperbacks take up room, and avid readers will already have stacks of books (possibly literally);
  • Convenience – paperbacks are heavy to carry around, and inconvenient when about to finish a book, as you must carry two;
  • Ease of reading – E-readers are generally easier to hold and manoeuvre, particularly for readers of large books or readers with problems like arthritis or carpal tunnel.


Don’t like giving gift cards? No fear! You can gift a personalised selection of Kindle books on Amazon and here’s how.


  • Account – If you don’t have an Amazon account, set one up. Follow the link to Amazon – note that you can’t give Kindle books as gifts from some Amazon Kindle Stores;
  • Choose your books – In the search bar, use the drop down menu to select ‘Kindle Store’ and search for books you know the recipient will like;
  • Gift details – On the right of the book page, click ‘Give as a gift’, and select ‘Email the gift to me’.  Complete the recipient’s details, and your gift message. Change ‘Your Name’ to the names you want the gift to be from e.g. Mary, Bob, Matt and Lucy;
  • Place order – Select place order to have the gift voucher emailed to you;
  • Print voucher – Once you receive the emailed voucher, print it and cut it to size;
  • Gift Wrapping – Amazon gift vouchers (when cut to size) fit nicely in pre-made DVD gift boxes, so you even still have a gift to put under the tree! If you can’t find any of these boxes, put the vouchers in a beautiful Christmas card.
DVD gift boxes – perfect for Amazon gift vouchers


Got it wrong? If the recipient already owns the book, or doesn’t want it, they can easily exchange it on Amazon. 

So next time you’re considering buying a paperback for someone with an e-reader, think twice – I know people who no longer want paperbacks, and even have paperbacks that have been loaned to them lying around unread.

Christmas doesn’t mean you can’t give digital books!

In the New Year, I’ll be posting about what e-book preferences means for brick-and-mortar stores, and how bookshops need to adapt and evolve to survive.

A Quick Reference Guide to Cover Art and Copyright

Cover Art and Copyright


When it comes to cover art, you have four basic options:

  • Buy a stock cover from a cover designer;
  • Buy a stock image and have a cover designer use it to design a cover;
  • Buy an existing artwork and have a cover designer use it to design a cover; and
  • Commission a cover or artwork specifically for the purpose.

The choices you make could limit what you can do with your cover art. Here are some tips and tricks.

Stock cover from a cover designer[1]


  • What you can do – Use it on your book
  • What you probably can’t do – Use it on your website (unless your cover designer also designed the webpage).
  • What you can’t do – give it to other people to use, including other bloggers to use on your guest posts on their sites, and on merchandise (whether for sale or to give away).

TIP Make sure you get an agreement. Ideally you should own the copyright in the cover design (but not the stock photo) or at the very least have an exclusive, royalty-free licence in perpetuity to use the design, otherwise you might see another book with the exact same cover.

TRAP The cover designer (and not you) holds the licence to use the stock photo. There are circumstances in which the stock website can revoke that licence, which means you would no longer have a right to use your own cover art!

Stock image you purchase[2]


  • What you can do – Use it on your book, your website, merchandise for giveaways, and pretty much anywhere else the royalty-free licence permits.
  • What you probably can’t do – Give it to other bloggers to use on your guest posts on their site as this may involve granting a licence (which you can’t do).
  • What you can’t do – Use it on merchandise for sale (but it’s OK on merchandise to give away).

TIP Make sure you get an agreement. In this case, you really should own the copyright in the design free and clear because you are commissioning a design using an image you have supplied.

TRAP If you don’t own the copyright in the design, and you have to change cover artists mid-series, you may not be able to have another cover designer mimic the style and format of the cover art. 

Artwork you purchase[3]


  • What you can do – Use it on your book, your website, merchandise for giveaways, and pretty much anywhere else.
  • What you probably can’t do – Licence others to use the artwork for their own purposes (i.e. to use in ways unconnected to your book).
  • What you can’t do – represent that you (or anyone other than the artist) created the image. 

TIP Make sure you get an agreement with the artist and the cover designer. Ideally you should own the copyright in the cover design. You may not be able to purchase the copyright in the artwork, but you should at least have a royalty-free licence in perpetuity to use the design. This may be exclusive or non-exclusive depending on what you negotiate. Transferable would be useful so you can licence others to use it.

TRAP Make sure you negotiate a wide enough licence with the artist to allow you to use the image in the ways you anticipate using it.

Commissioned illustrated cover


  • What you can do – Use it basically anywhere you like.
  • What you probably can’t do – nothing really. 
  • What you can’t do – represent that you (or anyone other than the artist) created the image. 

TIP Make sure you get an agreement with the artist. Because you have commissioned this artwork specifically and exclusively for your book, you should own the copyright, free and clear. The artist will retain their moral rights (the right to have the work attributed to them and a few others).  

TRAP The artist may want to retain some rights in the artwork. Generally this should be limited only to the ability to use the artwork as part of the artist’s showcase. You should not allow the artist the right to use the artwork commercially. 


Agreement, agreement, agreement

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an agreement when it comes to artwork (and other copyright issues). Unlike a physical object, where the fact you have it in your possession may go part way to proving you have some right to it, an image is intangible property. That is, what you own isn’t a physical item, it is the right to use it. 

How you can use it depends on what rights you have, and ranges from owning the copyright (an unfettered ability to use, sell, licence or redistribute the image) to various licences with more limited rights. If you have no agreement, you have no evidence of what rights you have, and the default presumption is that the creator owns the copyright. This means you may well have paid and have nothing to show for it at the end.

If you get this wrong, the worst case scenario is that you could be sued for using someone else’s image. The best case scenario is you may be required to change all your book covers. 



The information in this article is factual information only and is not legal advice, nor is it intended to replace legal advice. You should use this information as a guide only, and should seek individual legal advice from a qualified legal practitioner on your particular circumstances where necessary.
 



[1]Based on the Shutterstock terms and conditions for the standard royalty free licence

[2] Based on the Shutterstock terms and conditions for the standard royalty free licence


[3]This will depend on the terms you negotiate with the artist. For the purposes of this analysis, we have assumed an exclusive, royalty-free, unlimited licence in perpetuity for purposes connected to the book.