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Looking for Beta Testers for Smartlinks for Smashwords Authors

Dec 13, 2014   [permalink]

Looking for some beta testers! If you publish through Smashwords, and want to include promotional links to your other titles, but can't because Apple doesn't allow non-Apple links—and you would, of course, want your links to point elsewhere outside of the Apple edition... Then I've got a solution for you to check out.

We developed a "smart link" at ReAnimus Press to solve this, and I've just put a public interface on it so any other Smashwords authors can use it. The smart links seem to work well (and Apple has been satisfied); I haven't found any bugs in the public interface, but I could use some help making sure the public interface to it is working correctly.

So if you publish multiple books with Smashwords (otherwise this wouldn't be of use to you), drop by here—

www.ReAnimus.com/smartlinks

—and enter the info for your Smashwords titles. Then you can put the actual smartlinks into your books and update them at Smashwords; that part works great and we've had them approved for Premium status. Let me know if you find any problems or confusing bits. Thanks!

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Looking for Volunteers Who Sell Books, for an Experiment

Jun 21, 2014   [permalink]

Y'all know I love experiments...

Sooo, I'm trying an experiment with a physical means of selling ebooks—and looking for volunteers... You get free ebooks (an All Access Pass to ReAnimus's entire ebook catalog), the fun of participating in an innovative experiment, and, of course, you get a share of the proceeds. :)

So, do any of you out there happen to sell print books in person? For example, at a dealer's table at cons, or if you work in a book store, or some other store that has books on a shelf, etc.

(This experiment doesn't apply to online sales or mail order, since it's already easy to sell ebooks online.)

This experiment would be selling ReAnimus's titles (Ben Bova, Robert Silverberg, etc.), but if it proves viable, it could be of use to all authors who want to sell ebooks of their work through bookstores, cons, and so on.

If you do work with physical book sales, let me know if you're interested in helping with the experiment! Should be quite interesting.

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ReAnimus's First Acquisition - Advent Publishers!

Jun 6, 2014   [permalink]

ReAnimus is pleased to announce we have acquired Advent Publishers! Advent is now a subsidiary of ReAnimus Press, and we will continue to publish Advent's titles under the Advent name. Advent was founded in 1956 by Earl Kemp and others, and has published wonderful books by the likes of James Blish, Hal Clement, Damon Knight, E.E. "Doc" Smith, and many others. Advent's high quality titles have won and been finalists for several Hugo Awards, such as The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy and Heinlein's Children. Watch this space for ebook and print editions of all of Advent's current titles!

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Random Thoughts on Apparently Silly Ways to Do Math

Mar 20, 2014   [permalink]

I just noticed on facebook another rant about wacky ways of doing math and parental frustration that kids get marked down for getting right answers but not "the right way" (whereas other kids get full credit for getting wrong answers but having tried "the right way").

I've no kids and never seen these wacky math methods before -- and, full disclosure, am a math/computer science Ph.D. / professor sort of person -- but I do understand why one could be graded on whether you understood the process and not just if you got the right answer.

In the real world, you get to decide which tools to use to solve a problem. But first, somebody has to teach all the different tools you can use.

A non-math example would be in real life, you get to choose between hammering nails to hold two boards together vs. using a screwdriver and screws vs. glue, etc. But someone has to first teach you the pros and cons of nails vs. screws vs. glue.

If someone is teaching you how to properly hammer a nail, and as "homework" says "nail these two boards together," and you come back having glued them, you may be failing to learn how to use the hammer correctly.

Or, another example might be, your car won't start. You can (a) realize it's not a blown engine but just a dead battery and get a jump start from a friendly passerby or (b) have your car towed to a dealership where you buy a new car because you ignorantly think yours is completely broken and let the nice car dealers talk you into a purchase. :) If you skipped the "lessons" in life about knowing when your battery is dead and what to do about it, you might make a very costly decision to buy a new car when you didn't need to. In that case, getting the "right answer" (i.e. driving home in a car) isn't the only thing that matters; understanding the method (how to jump start a car) does matter.

The purpose of a given math homework problem might be to understand a certain way of doing something, so that later in life you can decide to use that tool (or a different one).

I do think getting the right answer is also extremely important, and that needs to be stressed too. My hunch is teachers and kids don't necessarily understand that learning how to use a certain tool is sometimes the point of certain homework. (And sometimes getting the right answer using any tool is the goal of the homework.) I never learned this "number line" thing that this facebook post was about, part of something called the "common core", which I know nothing about. (No kids, remember?) :)

In analyzing this "number line" thingie, I can see how it works, and it turns out it's one way I've done math in my head for years. I use various methods in my head to do math, depending which I think will get me the answer the easiest. (I'm still slow at simple math. I probably should have tried harder in school to learn the methods.) :)

Maybe the homework/etc. needs to say, "The purpose of this question is to practice and understand the XYZ method" or "The purpose of this question is to get the right answer, use any method you want." Then both kid and parent would understand the motivation behind the question.

(There may also be a third purpose: Learning how to think. Learning the whole process of analyzing a problem, analyzing what tools you have to use, figuring out which approach best alone or in combination, etc.)

Getting the right answer is usually what matters in real life, but if you don't understand all the different tools at your disposal, and know how to reason things out, you may go through life trying to hit everything with a hammer. :)

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System Changes I Hope You'll Like

Mar 17, 2014   [permalink]

I've been busy with the minions... I hope you like these upgrades:

Faster Network Connection

The old network connection from the world to the servers was getting saturated, so I've upgraded the connection. It was already at the max from the old provider, so I've switched to a Comcast Business connection. Lots faster! I hope you notice and enjoy the faster response time!

Let me know of any problems you notice.

New Comment System Added

Not the most exciting thing to announce, but I installed a new comment system on the blog here. It uses the Facebook comment system. Check it out and let me know if it's working okay for you!

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What if Google Knew Who You Were Talking About... and Told Them?

Mar 17, 2014   [permalink]

Random musing of the day: Google knows a huge amount about what web sites you visit, when, and what you looked at. Would it be okay with you if Google also told the owner of those web sites who you are and each time you visited and what you did there?

Apparently LinkedIn does this.

Is it just me who thinks that's creepy? Would it be okay if Google did this?

It strikes me as very P.K.Dick-ian, and not in a pleasant way: "Hey, Pat, Google Mind Reader here, wanted to let you know that Sandy Smith was just thinking about you. Click here to see what they were thinking."

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On Signing SFWA's Founder, and Other Goings on at Chez Aburt

Feb 26, 2014   [permalink]

W00t! Just signed! DAMON KNIGHT, founder of SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.), original "Futurian" with Asimov, Pohl, et al., co-founder of the Clarion writers workshop, namesake of SFWA's "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award" — and author of scores of books and a gazillion short stories. We'll be publishing (almost) everything he wrote, and, hopefully, the anthologies he edited, such as the famous ORBIT series. Stay tuned!

Special Deal just for me bloggy friends!

Just for listening to me babble on—and in honor of Jerry Sohl getting named on the Writers Guild of America's list for 101 Best Written TV Series(!)—get his science fiction horror mystery thriller NIGHT SLAVES ebook for just 99 cents! Good now through Feb. 28th. Use coupon code "blog214" in the ReAnimus Press store. (Enter the code before clicking Add to Cart.) Enjoy!

Jerry Sohl wrote over two dozen books (from major publishers) and a slew of episodes of Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He's less known today (having passed away), but his books are still fun to read, and I'm glad ReAnimus gets to bring them all back.

Congrats to the Nebula Award Critterfolk!

I haven't tallied up how many, but I see a whole bunch of Critterfolk among the list of Nebula Award finalists. Congratulations!!!

Preditors & Editors

As you may recall, I've taken the reins of the Preditors & Editors site, after the death of P&E's founder, Dave Kuzminski. I've been working to update the site, in terms of content (lots of new warnings and such), features (improved on a system to help authors promote their new books that Dave was working on), communications (added a couple email lists to send out updates), and look (not that this new look is the best ever, but I hope you'll agree it's an improvement over the old look). :) I hope you find it all useful!

Four More Ben Bova books published!

Four more Ben Bova ebooks you'll want to read because he writes such good stuff. All are $3.99:

FORWARD IN TIME by Ben Bova Future shocks from the award-winning Ben Bova! Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

MAXWELL'S DEMONS by Ben Bova Science fiction and science fact, humor and adventure, all await when you enter the unpredictable world of... MAXWELL'S DEMONS Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

TWICE SEVEN by Ben Bova Ben Bova's universe is always more than the sum of its parts... Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

THE ASTRAL MIRROR by Ben Bova A dozen and a half views of the world, past present and future, as seen through the Astral Mirror.... Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

This brings us up to a whopping 20 books from Ben!

The Science of Middle Earth

THE SCIENCE OF MIDDLE EARTH - Just released in paperback!

You won't be able to put this one down—it's a must read if you're a Tolkien fan. By Nature editor Dr. Henry Gee, a wonderful book explaining things like, how did Frodo's mithril coat ward off the fatal blow of an orc? How was Legolas able to count the number of riders crossing the plains of Rohan from five leagues away? Could Balrogs fly?

Grab it from... Amazon

The Gilded Basilisk

You should definitely read THE GILDED BASILISK, because basilisks and dragons are cool. :) Chet is also a SFWA pro author, so he's proven to the galactic elite that he can string words together in a most pleasing way. And he's a nice guy. Mainly, you should read it because it's a good book. Lots of Amazon reviewers agree with that. I know you'll enjoy it. :) Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

Chet was also interviewed in the newspaper. Go Chet!

Edward Bryant

We've just finished releasing all of (multiple Nebula Award winner) Ed Bryant's books. If you've been waiting, the wait is over!

Because of Ed's financial needs, almost all the profits from this book go directly to Ed. Donations to help with Ed's medical and other financial needs are also most appreciated via www.FriendsOfEd.org. Thank you!

The final batch includes:

PREDATORS AND OTHER STORIES by Edward Bryant - $3.99 Troubling tales as only Ed Bryant can tell.

Ed Bryant's stories from the anthology Night Visions 4: Hardshell featuring all original stories by Dean R. Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, and Edward Bryant.

The "Author Introductions" before each story are themselves a work of art and not to be missed.

Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

FETISH by Edward Bryant - $3.99 Modern day witch Angela Black faces some strange goings on with an old flame. Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

TRILOBYTE by Edward Bryant - $2.99 A trio of twisted little tales from the master of twistedness. With an introduction by Tim Powers. Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

And LOTS more

Read about all our other cool new releases, because we've got a whole bunch of stuff you'll enjoy reading. (Plus you'll find another coupon code there for another book!) :)

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How Many Spaces After the Period, Take Two

Mar 17, 2014   [permalink]

So, I blogged before about switching to one space after the period. I'd read an article (noted therein) that said, in essence, "it's the eeeevil typewriter that switched everyone to two spaces after the period, because of its dastardly monospaced font; so we should all be using the One True Space after the period now that we're not using typewriters. Everybody who's anybody in typesetting knows it should be one. And you look like a moron if you use one." (Okay, that's not a quote, but it's pretty much the sentiment expressed.)

It sounded persuasive to me. I switched. Took me a couple months, but I broke the two space habit.

Two problems:

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Yay! Amazon KDP Adds Payments and Foreign Exchange Report

Feb 3, 2014   [permalink]

I just got email and see on the site: Amazon's KDP system added a payments report. Yay! I'd asked them for this a couple months ago. I have no idea if it was my request or if I was a drop in a downpour, but I'm very glad for it.

It's been a real pain to manually figure out the exchange rate for foreign sales, and to match up bank deposits in dollars to email notices in Euros or Pounds.

Now, if they can figure out where some missing sales went, we'll be all good. (A small deposit in dollars was so far off the amount listed on the sales report that there had to be an error--but there is no report showing returns or other explanations. I asked, and they're [slooooowly] looking into it, they say.)

But, hey, the new report is a step in the right direction.

As my father-in-law used to say, "You don't get anything unless you ask for it!"

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Enter to Win a FREE KINDLE!

Dec 18, 2013   [permalink]

ReAnimus Press is having a drawing for a **free Kindle**! Just visit www.ReAnimus.com to enter the drawing. Odds are waaaay better than Powerball, and free to enter! :)

Also, Ebooks of Henry Gee's amazing SIGIL TRILOGY are on sale for the Solstice! Book one is FREE, Books 2-3 are 50% off - www.ReAnimus.com/sigil .

Happy holidays everyone!

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Henry Gee's amazing SIGIL TRILOGY is on sale for the Solstice! Book One is FREE!

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Micro-rant: Irritations of Paperless Billing

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25% OFF Cybermonday and LOTS OF NEW RELEASES at ReAnimus Press!

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Nook Sales Fall Off Cliff and Other Irregularities - Big Problems at Barnes&Noble

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Bestseller BAD KARMA: A True Story of Obsession and Murder by Deborah Blum, just released in paperback from ReAnimus Press

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22 Norman Spinrad titles back in print from ReAnimus Press — including a first print release of MEXICA!

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MEXICA, by Norman Spinrad - Hot off the presses!

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Nano-rant... Argh! Why can't web browsers save your form posts if you accidentally close your window???

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The Demise of our Car Culture? Not.

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Critters Server Dying Replaced

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Random Musing of the Day: Annoyed at Target

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FREE Weekend Special! - Download SIEGE OF STARS, Book 1 of THE SIGIL TRILOGY for Free

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Harlan Ellison Helps Ed Bryant! Get their PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES and you can too!

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THE SIGIL TRILOGY has been nominated for Best Novel in the British Science Fiction Association awards

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Why I Voted For Obama, and Think It's Better If He Wins

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Hey, Target, What's With Selling So Much Expired and Nearly Expired Food? Ick.

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Hey, Credit Card Companies etc. - Quit Bugging Me To "Go Paperless"

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Survey time! How do you like your trilogies?

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RAGE OF STARS - Michael Moorcock, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nancy Kress all love it!

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Books at a steal for Talk Like A Pirate Day!

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New Comment System - Beta Testers Wanted

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UNDERHANDED CHESS - A hilarious handbook of devious diversions and stratagems for winning at chess

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One of the Best Books I've Ever Read

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Tired of the Doublespeak of "Cutting the Deficit"

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W00T! Henry "Nature Futures" Gee's SIEGE OF STARS, Book 1 of The Sigil Trilogy, is now in ARC!

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Fans of Print Remain Hopeful vs. Ebooks, Despite the Cold Equations

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Olympics coverage in prime time: Booooooooringgggg.

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THE MARS MONOPOLY - an original Ace Double by Star Trek master Jerry Sohl

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Ben Bova's TEST OF FIRE from ReAnimus Press

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Thoughts on Smashwords Finding That Higher Ebook Prices Are Better

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Libraries and Ebooks - An Interesting Question

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Something Wicked This Way Came

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Survey!

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99 cent special on I, ALEPPO from Star Trek master writer Jerry Sohl

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Beta Testers Needed

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Ben Bova's ESCAPE!

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I forgot - today is International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day again! Free book!

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When Two is Not, Apparently, Better than One

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Like a Newly Found Heinlein Book - POINT ULTIMATE by Jerry Sohl

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A fun poem for writers - what a language we have!

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DOJ Ebook / Apple / Publisher Lawsuit First Thoughts - Arrghhhhh!!!

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Useful New Features from the Post Office - and More They Could Do

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Staying Alive - New Ebook on the Business of Writing from Norman Spinrad

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Special 99 cent Deal on Ben Bova's EXILES TRILOGY

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How To Improve Your Speculative Fiction Openings - Amazing Research

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ReAnimus Press Updates: 30+ New Books from Ben Bova, Norman Spinrad, Jerry Sohl, Wil McCarthy!

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Solved! How to keep your facebook sorted by "Recent Stories First"

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Ben Bova's THE CRAFT OF WRITING SCIENCE FICTION THAT SELLS is out from ReAnimus Press

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What could B&N, Smashwords, etc. do better? Share your ideas...

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Five review copies of A Private Mutiny and Side Effects available - email me if you're interested

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A Private Mutiny, Ben Bova's Latest Ebook, and Amazon

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Meet Biff America

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20% off Bova, Silverberg, Spinrad - everything in the ReAnimus Store

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Are We Beginning to Enter a Post-Capitalism Era?

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Eek! Heads up: Facebook Hides Messages You May Not Know About

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How the 1% Could Set a Good Example

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99 cent Special on Ben Bova's THE WEATHERMAKERS on Amazon from ReAnimus Press

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A GUIDE TO BARSOOM from ReAnimus Press - Just went live!

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Analyzing the Amazon Lending Library

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Recycle Your Money

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New tool for Smashwords authors

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What Greedy CEOs Need to Understand (it's not that difficult)

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So, Where do you buy your ebooks, and Why?

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Ebooks and Bridging the Digital Divide

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Survey Says: People Really Like Ebook Readers

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If Amazon is Clogged With Spam Ebooks, Who is Buying Them?

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Eternity is a Loooong Time

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Caveat Emptor - Aburt and the $5 Epic Fail Site

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It's Freebie Friday in the Critter Members' Bookstore! http://critique.org/c/store

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I'm still here, but the Rapture took my cable modem

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It's Freebie Friday in the Critters Members Store!

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A paper-like screen you can roll up and crumple...

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Fascinating characterization article about the science of Good and Evil

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A mischievous thought on HarperCollins' limiting libraries to 26 loans of an ebook...

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Musings on the State of Space and Time and Travel therein

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Nooks now got Apps

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Nooks for under $75!

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New eBookstore - http://critique.org/c/store

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Milestone: AAP reports ebooks are now the #1 book format

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The Evolution of the Golden Ratio

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The end of Rejection Dejection?

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Bill & Ted's new movie title, my suggestion

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Kindle - What price for ads would you pay?

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Dear American Idol: About those critiques...

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Ebook Sales Continue Massive Growth, Numbers as Projected

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Nearing the breakeven point selling your own ebooks

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Free ebook: Use coupon code NZ24U to read "A Sailor on the Sea of Humanity" at http://bit.ly/hfuAlL

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Publisher to limit number of ebook library checkouts

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We're living in a Simulated Universe? Are you sure?

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B&N eliminates their dividend, Stock falls 16%

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Making an Ebook for Kindles and iPads and Nooks, Oh My!

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Email Blog Alerts

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Ebook Sales Cannibalizing Print

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Survey on book earnings

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If you made a movie out of the worst book ever written, would it be the worst movie ever made?

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Borders Declares Bankruptcy -- While Amazon Sells More Ebooks than Paper

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Tip of the Day: A Quick Way to Minimize Pain

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Displaying What You Read With Ebooks?

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What Do Ereaders Need To Improve?

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Signs, Portents, Omens; and the Future of Selling "Physical" Ebooks

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Saving Moolah with Media Mail for Manuscripts

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2011 - The Year of the Ebook?

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Ebook sales -- Comparing Apples to Apples, and Besides, it's Not the 10% Today, it's the "If This Goes On..." Tomorrow

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Evidence Found of First Internet, Early 1900s

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What's the best price for an ebook? -- A Survey

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What Can Publishers Do For Authors in a Mostly-ebook World?

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How to Sign an Ebook

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Refinancing -- How to tell what's good: http://tech-soft.com/loancompare

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Digital paper demonstrated — cool!

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The TSA Has Gone Too Far

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Why DRM is bad, reason #732

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Critters is 15 today!

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New Feature -- Credit Sharing Among Workshops

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Unveiling — Workshops for Everyone!

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First impressions: Pandigital Novel ebook reader review

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Tweaking the site

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Are you prepared for The Big One?

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Stephen King now reads half digitally

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.epub and .mobi Files for Manuscripts

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Better Late than Never

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