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Do Writers Love Reading How-To Books on Their Mobile Devices? August 19, 2015

Posted by shannonmuir in Things Readers and Writers Love.

DISCLAIMER: This piece was written using an e-book copy of THE FINE PRINT OF SELF-PUBLISHING, FIFTH EDITION by Mark Levine as provided by NetGalley. No other form of compensation, other than a free e-book, has been received. This information provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

It’s a busy world, and everyone wants to maximize their time. Thinking of the budding writer with a full job while moonlighting for the first big break, or even a successful writer constantly on the go, I wondered about strategies for dealing with self-improvement. As someone who doesn’t drive and relies on public transit, I wondered what it might be like to read a book about the craft or the business of writing on the go from a mobile device.

To try this experiment, I looked to find a book on NetGalley that might match my needs. I found THE FINE PRINT OF SELF-PUBLISHING, FIFTH EDITION, by Mark Levine. After getting approval to dowload it to my device. I set about reading it.

The book itself covers mainly print self-publishing, in the truest sense of completely going on one’s own and buying your own ISBNs, contracting printers directly, etc. versus relying on printers such as CreateSpace, Lulu etc. (though this is certainly covered and compared to). E-books have their own chapter, which doesn’t appear until Chapter 7, but this evolution makes sense in a book originally focused to be solely about the print industry. It admittedly, though, felt strange to get to it so late in the book given the e-book prevalence in today’s market. That said, I found the words to be an insightful and engaging refresher. Most of it I knew, but I did glean a few new insights from the text. It is a worthwhile read for anyone with a serious interest in self-publishing, as long as the expectations of the book are managed accordingly.

The earliest chapters I read on a commuter bus. Once I could adjust the text size on my phone, it was comfortable reading for the duration of the commute, and I loved the convenience of being able to read on the bus without lugging extra weight around. The remainder of the text I read as time permitted in my home, in a setting where I do prefer holding paper books when I can. In that respect, it didn’t feel quite as convenient but still remained comfortable to read. If I’d been on the bus more often in the time it took me to read it, I think I would have appreciated it more.

Writers? Do you like being able to read up on improving the art, craft, or business of writing by reading books on your phone or tablet? Tell me what you think using hashtag #readerswriterslove on Twitter!



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