Hilda asked a question in a prior comment thread, and I thought I would answer it because it also allows me to talk a bit about availability of ebooks on different platforms.
Concern and question: For my birthday in August, I requested my sons and daughter to give me an easy to use e‑reader, (I have way over 1,000 books at home) Your paper books are showing my intense use. I’m in no way an expert in anything electronic. Previous discussions in this forum seem to indicate difficulties in obtaining your books or some of them in Kindle. No discussions of the Nook. 3 days ago, I went to compare Kindle and Nook. I found lots of your books in the Nook (Barnes and Noble) under Sagara and West, maybe all of them; they were very easy to read. I also went to a Kindle vendor, but could not compare them, except for looking at the screen size, the 9″ Kindle, vs. the 7″: Nook.. Will all your books, currently published and in the future, be easily available in Nook? A friend also suggested that I could use an I Pad. Would I be able to access all your books there? If I sound ignorant, I am. My law degree is not good here.
The reason people have difficulty finding some of my books on the Kindle is because some of my print novels don’t exist as ebooks at all. Those would be the first eight of my DAW novels — the two Sacred Hunt books, and the Six Sun Sword novels — which were published before ebooks were part of Penguin Putnam’s production process.
Any one of my novels that’s available on the Kindle is also available for the Nook.
I personally have an iPad, which I adore — but I don’t yet use it for reading. If you have an iPad, you can access the Kindle store (through the Kindle app) and the Nook books (through the Nook app). There’s also a Kobo app. No, wait, you can access the Nook books if you live in the US. If you don’t, you can’t. (I don’t, and can’t). My father uses an iPad for reading because the screen is large and bright, and he reads indoors; if he’s outdoors, he’s walking.
The down side to the iPad as an ereader is that compared to a Kindle or a Nook (not the colour variety), it eats batteries. It has to be recharged pretty much once a day (depending on how often you use it). A kindle doesn’t.
A Kindle/Nook/Kobo/dedicated ebook reader is better for reading in bright daylight. I will use my iPad in bright daylight, but I have to crank up the brightness when I’m outside. You won’t have to do that on a Kindle/Nook/Kobo/etc. Conversely, it’s much easier to read on the iPad in any other lighting condition, although I believe many ereaders now come with a backlight (which will eat battery life as well).
I’ve received word that my DAW novels are now in the physical queue for conversion in the production department (which involves OCR scanning and clean-up, before anything else can be done) — but I have no idea how long that will take. What this does mean is that they will be made available, and when they are, they’ll be available on any platform you choose.
Unless, again, you live in Canada.
Amazon‘s Kindle store doesn’t list the DAW novels that currently are available (Hidden City, City of Night, House Name) if I am surfing from Canada, unless I really dig (I have to click on the various side-links; a direct search fails to show them to me at all). There are no DAW or Roc titles that I can see in the iBooks Canada store, either. Since DAW has North American rights to the novels, I have no idea why no one in Canada can currently buy them, but will do some digging on my end on Friday, which is when I have access to the Penguin Canada distribution team.
They seem to be available in Canada on the Kobo. Since Indigo, our single bookstore chain, has gone with the Kobo as an ebook reading/delivery system, maybe the lack of presence on Amazon.com and the iBooks store for Canadian readers is deliberate.
That was a minor digression. When the books have been converted, they’ll be available for purchase at almost all of the on-line venues, so make your choice based on what you think you’d like best in terms of the reader itself.
Ebook availability upon publication
Which leads us to: It took Amazon.com 36 hours to make Echoes available for purchase. I started the only process available to me — Canadian! — to get Echoes to Barnes & Noble, but at the moment, there’s a fourteen day lag time (estimated; it could be fourteen days to be approved for distribution, and then an unknown number of days to actually be distributed). I’m considering my options now, because at the moment there’s no way to make certain the book is available to all outlets at the same time (Americans shouldn’t have this problem for any of the primary ebook distributors). If I could upload directly to B&N, I think it would be available in the same time frame as it is on Amazon, but I can’t. Because I’m Canadian (trying not to sound bitter here >.>). I have no idea what Apple’s lead time is because the initial approval to be a vendor at all takes weeks, and I haven’t been approved yet.
In order for Canadians to get the ebook to Barnes & Noble‘s Nook store, it has to be published at Smashwords.com first, which means it has to be on sale there first. There’s no other way to have it in the “pending” queue for release to other ebook outlets. If I wait to upload to Amazon, there’s a better chance that the Amazon and B&N releases would hit at the same time — but the book would still be available for sale on Smashwords weeks earlier.
I know that publishers can set strict on-sale dates for their ebook titles, but those publishers aren’t relying on Smashwords for the bulk of their distribution. So, it’s very likely that any of my ebooks will be available at staggered times outside of my control.
I don’t want to penalize anyone who prefers one reading platform over the other, so I’m still considering options here. Smashwords does sell the books in pretty much any format — .epub, .mobi, .pdf, .lrf and .pdb. All of these can be sideloaded onto an ereading device you choose and…
Smashwords is also available to iPad users through the Stanza app.
Actually, that is one advantage to the iPad — and, if you like the idea of tablets, to the Android (which I don’t have). The bookstores are reached through apps that run on the tablets. So if you own an iPad, you can go to Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. Android has a separate bookstore, but all of the big ones are also available.
But the downside to that is that your library can be fragmented across these various readers.