Friday, November 11, 2011

Of Net Galley, NaNo and Nerves

I joined Net Galley today.  I've had it in mind for a few months but planned on waiting until after the holidays. But my hand was forced.  One of the five review offers I've committed to in the last two weeks directed me to Net Galley when I asked for a digital copy so I could control font size.

On Net Galley I might be found by those looking for reviewers but I can also peruse the selection of titles and request those that interest me.  Those are exciting new concepts for me--to make the overture myself instead of waiting for something to show up in my inbox and to be able to choose titles that especially appeal to me.

I was enboldened to request an ebook format because since my download of the Kindle for PC (also in response to a review offer) I've rediscovered the joy in reading again. Over the last few years reading regular print books, though still possible with magnification, has become ever more difficult and fraught with frustrations--eyestrain limiting amount of time I can tolerate reading being just one.

While reading on the Kindle for PC I began to realize that it wasn't entirely lack of discipline that had me spending so much time reading blogs and news online and hanging out at various social sites instead of making time for the reading of the books so necessary for my various WIP as well as for participating in the book blog challenges and getting reviews posted.  I was gravitating to the screen because it was a reading environment I could control and which I could read comfortably on for many hours at a time.

I already confessed here how I spent hours that first week with my Kindle for PC exploring the free Kindle editions on Amazon and filling my Kindle library.  Soon that wasn't enough for I couldn't always find the public domain title I wanted on Amazon and I knew of several sites where I could but some of those sites gave only the option of reading online or downloading an ebub file which my computer could not open.

So I explored the whys and wherefores about opening epub documents on Windows and found I needed an epub reader.  Thus I found Calibre.  And have been filling its library as well.  But Calibre is much more than an epub file reading.  It can also convert files from one reader to another.  So ostensibly I could convert epub files into Kindle files.  Calibre is also a digital library organizer.  It can also download news from the web from hundreds of news sources world wide.

I might never have found Calibre if I'd gotten the email sending me to Net Galley one day sooner as once I was signed up there and had downloaded my review copy I learned I had to have Adobe Digital Reader to open the file.   Adobe Digital Reader reads epub as well as pdf and possibly others but I've not explored it very deeply yet as the need to get this post prepared was pressing.

I'm not always happy with pdf as I can't always control line width as well as font size and often to get the font big enough I am forced to scroll sideways which is nearly as irritating as reading regular print with a magnifying glass as both make it hard to track the lines.

I don't know where the nerve came from but somehow I've ended up committing to five reviews in the next two months.  For many months I got no offers and suddenly five inside of ten days.  How I'm going to read and write reviews for five books and still get my NaNo win again this year mystifies me at the moment but I'm not about to throw NaNo over for the reviews either.  Many NaNo participants have full time jobs or school or a houseful of small children and manage. I ought to be able to manage NaNo plus the reviews plus the fiber art Xmas gifts WIP.

Speaking of NaNo.  I essentially just took two days off from even pretending to work on A Trick of Light.  One day was lost to a six hour search for the lost crochet hook and the other to ebook collecting.  Maybe though that will turn out to be a good thing as I can feel a sort of lessening of the anxiety that had been building while my sole focus was on my NaNo novel and how much I wasn't writing.

1 tell me a story:

Deb 11/12/2011 6:57 PM  

Hi, Joy! I'm a new follower of yours. I can't even remember how I found you...serendipidy, I guess. :] I use netgalley, as well, and love it. At first, I was hesitant because what's not to love about ARCs coming in the mail and nice hardback copies? But, I've found we do get an easy jump on books way before they're released and I've come to appreciate that. You write so well. I'll be back! Please come see me, too, if time permits. I have a new entry I'd be interested in your seeing and commenting on about the trend in YA fiction...
Best wishes! Deborah/TheBookishDame

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