Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.

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It’s Totally Tuesday at Rainbow eBooks

I love Tuesdays because that means that Rainbow eBooks has a sale on all of their new releases, which mine happens to be, new that is and on sale at 15% off.  It’s regularly $6.99, but you can buy it today for only $5.94.

Diary of a Gay Nerd by Michel McDonald – Totally Tuesdays at Rainbow eBooks

If you have a Nook just download the epub file, if you have a Kindle, download the mobi file.  If you don’t have an ebook reader then you can download any file, mobi, epub or pdf.  They all work with PC if you have a PC ebook reader.

My book is almost ready to publish, only one tiny issue left…

My book files came back to me a couple of days ago (two beta readers as I like to call them) with highlights of things for me to fix.  I have read my book at least 30 times and I was just getting so sick of reading it and they wanted to read it so I figured they could read it early, but I’d love to have bug reports.

So I went through the highlights which weren’t all that major.  I missed a few capitalizations and punctuation issues.  There were also a few words where I forgot to add a letter, like instead of writing the word “from” I wrote “for”, don’t ask why lol.

As I was getting the paper book put together with all of my corrections made, I noticed a little issue which turned out to be a major issue.  There were grey boxes where spaces were supposed to go.  It wasn’t everywhere, but it was annoying that there were so many.  I was able to delete them as I went, but that didn’t help because it was still messed up.

The paper book got put together and turned in to check for errors, which I’m happy to report weren’t any.  I converted the .odt file to epub and was going to publish to Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook.  It looked great on the Nook, but the Kindle wasn’t doing so good.  Here is what I was seeing…

You see the top paragraph?  It’s not exactly a paragraph is it?  That was what happened because of the square boxes.  Also look at the other paragraphs, they weren’t indented, except for the last one.  I went into Sigil to look at the html code of the chapters and this is what I saw.

That is supposed to be a little paragraph.  Those <.span.> things were out of control.  That is what was causing the text to move down.  So the only way for this to work is to cut all that crap out.  I tried to do find and replace, but unfortunately each one of those lines has its own number so it’s not like I can replace all of them throughout the entire document, they have to be deleted one at a time.  ANNOYING!

I worked for 8 hours to get rid of them and then discovered that if I converted the file to .html, it got rid of all that.  So that was a waste of time, but it was a learning experience.

I fixed all of the capitalization and punctuation issues, but I have a feeling I am still missing something so I’m going to have to read the whole thing again.  It sucks but I don’t want to publish a book that isn’t right.

I said I would get it published by January 1st and here we are nearing February and it still isn’t ready to publish.  I don’t know how long it will take but I will get it out there eventually.

Final Edit Of My Book

My book is nearly completed.  I have finally finished editing it but I have to read it one last time to make absolutely sure that it is right before I publish it.  While I was editing chapter 40, it occurred to me that I may have left something out of chapter 20.  I went back and as I was reading a few paragraphs to find where I needed to add, I found 4 errors.  That means that I am not completely finished.

It only took me 2 months to write it, but it has taken me 4 more months to edit it.  I never knew that writing a book was so difficult.  It really makes me appreciate the hard work that writers and editors do.  I am constantly remembering things that I want to add, discovering discrepancies, spelling, grammar errors and redundancy.  Writing is hard ya’ll!  LOL.

I had a good laugh today because when I finished editing the book, I had lost 15 pages from the ODT (OpenOffice) file.  It was originally 182 pages and now it’s 167.  The epub file on my Book had 289 pages, but edited it has 302.  It doesn’t make any sense to me that I lost 15 pages in the ODT file, but gained 13 in the epub file.

What happened to all of those page numbers is that I had too many paragraphs because I split too many thoughts up.  I combined the paragraphs which made me lose pages.  I also deleted a ton of things, but then I also added some things which gave me 5000 more words.  I think that was why I gained 13 pages in the epub file.

My cover is finished and I have shared it with a few people to get some opinions.  So far I haven’t had too many complaints.  It was my 4th or 5th cover design job.  I liked the first couple of covers, but none of them really stood out as much as the final cover does.  I am really happy with it and that is all that matters.

I uploaded the epub file so that I could read it one last time on my Nook.  I hope I don’t find any errors, but if I do, I can jump on the computer and find where they are and fix them.  I have never read one book so many times on a white screen until now and it’s killing my eyes.

I have spent a lot of time on this book and have started feeling bad for my family because of how I talk about them.  But then I look at a picture of my step-dad and realize, I’m writing this because of him.  He never cared enough about me to stop beating me, or enough to not hurt my feelings with his words every day my whole life, so why should I give a rats ass about his feelings?  The arrogant nasty look on his face in all of his pictures is all the motivation I need to keep going.

I didn’t just write this because of him, I wrote it because I want to show what life was/is like for gay people.  What bullying does to gay children, whether it’s the parents doing the bullying, or the children in school or both at the same time.  I want to share my first hand experiences and give a message to the gay teens that it gets better.  I hope that it opens eyes and helps someone who may need advice on how to cope with it.

Anyway, the book will be published after Christmas this year so stay tuned for the blog post announcing it.

Thank you for reading.

Shopping for an eBook Reader

Someone I follow on tweeted this link today. Engadget’s back to school guide: E-readers. Naturally I had to look because I too want to buy an e-book reader. I have wanted one ever since they first came out but never could afford one because they were in the $400 – $600 range (around 2006).

In November 2009 I started blogging for pay (via PayPerPost and Blogsvertise) with the intention of saving money for buying an e-book reader, Kindle or Nook. Preferably a Nook because of the color screen at the bottom but it didn’t really make any difference. They were both around $265 or so back then.

I had a lot of trouble saving the money for one because my monthly income is so low that when I run out of grocery money I ended up taking the blogging money from PayPal to buy food. Since I have a PayPal debit card it makes it so much easier to spend the money.

9 months has gone by since I made the commitment to save the money and I still don’t have an e-book reader. However, the thing that I wanted the most out of an e-book reader was a lower price to justify my purchase.

eBook readers such as the Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and Sony Reader have all gone dramatically down in price, down to a price that I can finally afford.

Unfortunately, they still don’t fit my needs. What I want is an e-book reader that will accept a lot of formats like .lit, .prc, .pdf, .mobi and .epub. What I want is for an e-book reader that would allow me to read those formats and still be able to use their dictionary. I don’t know if they all let you to use the dictionary with just a .pdf file which is what makes my decision so difficult.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6″ Display, Graphite – Latest Generation:

Pros: The new Amazon Kindle is stylish. I love the graphite color. I like the keypad on the bottom, it’s small enough that I’m ok with it considering I would probably be typing on it occasionally when searching for keywords, making notes and searching for books in the Kindle store. They have games on it, which I don’t really care about, I just want it to read but it is good to know. The price dropped down to $139 and has free 2-day free shipping which is awesome. The battery works for a full month without charging with the wi-fi turned off which is great.

Cons: It does allow me to view my .pdf books but that’s it and I can’t use the dictionary for definitions which is a big negative for me. I mean sure I can’t do that with a paper book but this is electronic and I want that ability. Also, it does not have an SD card for adding more books.

NOOK Wi-Fi, eReader, eBook Reader – Barnes & Noble:

Pros: The B&N Nook is also very stylish with its cool color touchscreen at the bottom which also has a keyboard. The screen goes black while you are reading to keep you from being distracted. It does allow me to add a .pdf, .epub and .pdb file and has a MicroSD slot. The cool thing about the Nook is that you can lend books to your friends and if I had any that had a Nook then we could lend each other books. If you are in the B&N store you can browse through a book for free for 1 hour per day. The price dropped down to $149 and although it’s $10 more than Amazon it is still a good price.

Cons: The Nooks battery is only 10 days unlike the Kindle which is 30 days. The color touchscreen on the bottom is too slow for impatient people like me. Although as I said it allows .pdf, .epub and .pdb files it doesn’t allow the others. All my ebooks are in all the other formats I mentioned above.

Sony Digital Reader Pocket Edition – Dark Blue:

The price of this is different at the Sony site as opposed to the Amazon site. Amazon charges $136.99 with free shipping but according to the Sony site it’s $149.99. I would buy it from Amazon.

Pros: Although it is a little bit stylish in the dark blue color, it isn’t as stylish as the Kindle or Nook. The Sony Pocket Edition does allow multiple formats such as .pdf, .epub, MS Word, BBeB Book (?) and other text file formats. It doesn’t say the others. The ebook store Sony uses is the Reader store which I assume is from Sony, check out books from public libraries and access over one million free public domain titles from Google Books, sharing sites and other online stores and publishers websites.

I don’t know if that means I can access the Rainbow eBooks website or not, I hope it does because that is what I want.

Cons: One of the things I don’t like about this is that it doesn’t have a keyboard for typing and I don’t know how you type anything when looking up a book to buy.

I don’t know if this should go in pro or con, it’s charge only lasts 2 weeks but I mean seriously, I can charge it every 2 weeks.

This is a tough and huge decision, one that I can think about until the first week of September when I will finally have the money saved up to buy one. I’m leaning more toward the Sony reader though but I would like it if people would leave a comment telling me what they think of each of these readers to give me more to think about. Keeping in mind that I buy a lot of books from Rainbow eBooks and ebooks.com.