Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for the 'ebooks' Category

Problem with KOBO edition of Oppie

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

Users of Kobo E Ink reading devices,something has gone wrong at the Kobo servers, and the master file of The Oppenheimer Alternative seems to have been corrupted. I’ve just uploaded a replacement version, and I’ll let you know when it goes live. It was fine on launch day, and I don’t know what happened at […]

Free eBook: The Maltese Falcon

Monday, May 25th, 2020

Forget all those (cough, cough) rave reviews of my novel The Oppenheimer Alternative, coming out in eight days. Here are the reviews one of my top-five favorite novels got when it was first published in 1930: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. It’s a great read for a hot summer day! “This department announces a […]

Pre-pub Oppie ebook special ends soon!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Just two weeks — a scant 14 days! — left to get my latest novel The Oppenheimer Alternative at the pre-publication special ebook price of an atomically small US$4.99 or local equivalent at Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, Kobo, etc., worldwide. After that, the price goes up, up, up like an Orion rocket! Worldwide ebook buying […]

Kindle editions!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Eight of my backlist titles are now available worldwide for Kindle: Aurora Award-winner Golden Fleece, Seiun Award-winner End of an Era, Hugo Award-finalists Starplex, Frameshift, and Factoring Humanity, plus my full “Quintaglio Ascension” trilogy of Far-Seer, Fossil Hunter, and Foreigner. Just put “SFWRITER.COM” into the Amazon to find them all, or use these links: Amazon […]

Eight backlist titles now available from Kobo

Monday, October 24th, 2016

KOBO USERS! Eight of my older titles are now available worldwide in new Kobo editions, each with a Kobo-exclusive bonus short story: all three volumes of the Quintaglio Ascension trilogy (starting with Far-Seer), plus Aurora Award winner Golden Fleece, Seiun Award winner End of an Era, and Hugo Award finalists Starplex, Frameshift, and Factoring Humanity. […]

eBooks of Quantum Night available worldwide

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

English-language eBook editions of my 23rd novel, Quantum Night, are available worldwide in Kindle and Kobo formats (plus additional formats in Canada and the United States). Find your country’s links here. Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email

Big-five publishers and lower ebook sales

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Publishers Weekly reported today:Lower e-book sales were a big factor in the weak financial performance at HarperCollins and limiting gains at Simon & Schuster in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2015.My own take on this is that the big-five publishers have convinced themselves so thoroughly that their product is worth a premium ebook price that […]

Will self-published authors be Amazon’s next hardball target?

Friday, May 23rd, 2014 is playing hardball with Hachette, one of the big-5 traditional publishers; it’s previously done such things with Macmillan (the big-5 publisher of which science-fiction giant Tor is part). Note the template, folks: when Amazon feels it’s got a de facto monopoly, it goes after its suppliers, big and small (what Bill Gates, at Microsoft, […]

Iterations ebook!

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

For the next 17 days, until February 28, for the first time ever, my first short-story collection Iterations and Other Stories is available as an ebook, along with five other great books by the likes of Kevin J. Anderson and Kristine Kathryn Rusch — all six books for just $2.99 from Iterations features an […]

Starplex ebook available for one month only

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

The first ebook bundle has gone on sale! The basic bundle includes my Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated Starplex, available for the first time ever as an ebook. Also included are five other books by major, award-winning writers. The bundle is on sale for one month only, until the end of November. Until then you […]

Lightwedge Flex Neck ebook light

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Just under a year ago, I reviewed the Lightwedge Verso ebook light. I thought it wasn’t bad, but could use some improvements. Now, Lightwedge has brought out a new ebook light called the Lightwedge Flex Neck Tech Light — and this one I don’t like at all. I’m unhappy for four reasons: (1) The clear […]

Ten years of reading ebooks

Friday, September 16th, 2011

This week marks my tenth anniversary as a reader of ebooks. I got in early because, as a science-fiction writer, I’d long been expecting this technology. After all, Captain Kirk read reports off a wedge-shaped device back in 1966, and the astronauts in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey used tablet computers for viewing […]

My Love Affair with Ebooks

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

That’s the title of my guest-blog posting at the official Kobo blog. You can read the whole thing there. Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Newsgroup • Email

New York Times to add ebook bestsellers’ list

Monday, November 15th, 2010

The New York Times will be adding an ebook bestsellers’ list to its prestigous weekly book-review section, according to this article. I think that’s wonderful. Services like BookScan (in the States) and BookNet (in Canada) have given us reliable pictures of paper book sales for several years now, but all we’ve had is hype about […]

Fleming estate publishes ebooks directly

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

As The Guardian reports, the estate of James Bond creator Ian Fleming has chosen to withhold ebook rights from Penguin, his UK publisher, and instead market the electronic editions directly themselves. I’m a proud Penguin author myself (in the US and Canada; my UK publisher is Orion), but I’m not surprised by this development. Back […]

Lightwedge Verso ebook light

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

E-ink devices are not backlit, so if you want to read in the dark, you need a light source. Lightwedge’s Verso ebook light is one option. The “technical specifications” for this light, as listed on the Amazon catalog page, include: “Flexible neck adjusts to eliminate reflection or glare.” So it’s ironic that the flexible neck […]

New ebook reader comes bundled with Sawyer short stories

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

The new jetBook mini ebook reader from ECTACO comes bundled with my short-story collection Iterations and Other Stories for free. Included are 22 stories and my notes on each one. Here’s the table of contents. For more on the jetBook mini, see here, here, and the ECTACO site here. Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook […]

Are the days of the full-time novelist numbered?

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

I was the only author invited to give a solo talk at this year’s Canadian Book Summit, which had the theme of “Hot New Models” — the implicit assumption being that new technologies and ways of doing business, such as ebooks and print-on-demand, were going to be the salvation of traditional publishing. My talk was […]

Fingering your nook

Monday, March 1st, 2010

A suggestion for Barnes and Noble re the nook ebook-reading device: The very first Palm Pilot going back all the way to 1996 and the original Rocket eBook from 1998 allowed you to do handwriting recognition (on Palms, using the Graffiti or Graffiti 2 system, the former of which used simplified characters, the latter of […]

B&N nook: There’s no justification for this!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

It’s bad enough that the Barnes & Noble nook forces text to be fully justified left and right, whether the user wants that or not, but it does an atrocious job of producing that justification — among the worst I’ve ever seen on any e-reading device (and I’ve been using such devices for nine years […]

YouTube video of my ebook reader collection

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

My first-ever YouTube video, recorded Saturday, February 20, 2010: a survey of nine different devices I’ve used over the years to read ebooks. “You’re looking at in aggregate at about $3,000 worth of ebook-reading hardware here, and my own personal use almost nine years now of using devices to read ebooks. I’m an absolute convert […]

Foxit eSlick: poor line justification

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I’m getting tired of high-priced ebook readers that are brought to market without anyone who knows anything about book layout and design having vetted the software they use. Have a look at this photo, which shows a Foxit eSlick ebook-reading device displaying a .PDB eReader book from Barnes and Noble’s under the new 2.0.1 […]

The scandalous state of ebooks

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

An email I received this morning from my colleague Jamie Todd Rubin: I ran into the same problem with the Kindle that you reported with the Nook regarding hyphenation. They implement full justification without adherence to any hyphenation rules and that makes some lines look awkward (4 words, widely spaced). The other thing I’ve noticed, […]

nook suggestion: swap page buttons

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

I sent this suggestion to Barnes and Noble tech support today, and posted it on the nook discussion forum: To my way of thinking, the page-forward and page-backward buttons are in the reverse of where they should be, given the weight and design of the nook. If you hold the nook with your thumbs over […]

Why the aesthetics of ebooks suck

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

A perfect example of why ebook readers are so crappy at formatting these days: the people who make them don’t even have a rudimentary familiarity with typography. As I observed in my review of the Barnes & Noble nook, the algorithms used to justify text there are atrocious, making for awful-looking pages. The Foxit eSlick […]

A nook of the north!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Last weekend, in Chicago, I bought a Barnes & Noble nook ebook reader. Since they’re not for sale in Canada, I probably have one of the very few units in all of Canada now — a nook of the north! (Yes, it was worth the US$259, just to get to make that pun.) My initial […]

Letter in The Mail on Sunday

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Britain’s The Mail on Sunday (which has a circulation of 2.2 million copies) solicited a Letter to the Editor from me about the forthcoming Apple iPad and its science-fictional precursors. Here’s what I had to say in full; a shorter version appears in today’s (14 February 2010) print edition of the newspaper: Once again, science […]

Amazon reinstates sales of Macmillan titles

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

After six days of being unavailable for purchase there, paper editions of Macmillan books — including Tor Books such as my novels FlashForward, Hominids, and Rollback — are now back on sale at Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Newsgroup • Email

Hey, Fictionwise! Use this book for your in-house testing!

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Although eReader is a very robust application on Palm OS devices, and the Windows implementation isn’t bad (although the B&N Reader version has lots of bugs, and many features stripped out), other recent implementations have left much to be desired, especially when dealing with complexly formatted ebooks. The Foxit eSlick, as I observed before, can’t […]

Amazon has not backed down; Times and Post are wrong

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

First The New York Times and now The Washington Post have reported that Amazon gave into Macmillan’s demands, and it’s been flashing all over the web that this is the case for four days now. But check the source. The only reference is to this unsigned anonymous post buried deep on the site; that’s […]