Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Phone home: remind people they can read ebooks on their smartphones


I’ve been getting this lately, when I tell people I have an ebook I hope they’ll buy and read: “An ebook? Oh, shoot. I don’t have a Kindle. Or a Nook. Or whatever.”

It hit me in the middle of the night Christmas Eve. All I need to do is ask them, “Well, do you have a smartphone?”

Nine times out of ten they’ll say yes. Then all I need to do is remind them — just trying to help! — that they can read ebooks on their smartphone.

They will be boggled at first, because what they were really trying to say is that they have no intention of paying $2.99 for — what, a book? Aren’t those free now? This is crass and shameless, and they should be made to feel uncomfortable for a few seconds when you come back with your smartphone advice. They’ll probably then say, “I’ll have to look for it,” then walk away sheepishly.

Young folk, particularly, seem to have no difficulty reading a book on a tiny phone screen. Apparently they’re not hooked on the Nook, since they prefer the all-in-one convenience of their iPhones — plus they like to take selfies of everything they do, including reading, I assume. They’re ripe for this strategy.

So, there’s literally no excuse for not purchasing the ebooks of friends, neighbors, loved ones, or favorite bloggers. You can get the free reading apps for Kindle here and the ones for Nook here. (Kobo as well…)

Oh, and if someone is blithe enough to tell you he doesn’t have a smartphone? Well, he can read an ebook on his computer (as a goddamn favor to you!) if he absolutely has to, and there’ a free app for that too.

4 comments on “Phone home: remind people they can read ebooks on their smartphones

  1. sknicholls
    January 3, 2014

    My girlfriend, who is an airline attendant, recently purchased a larger screen phone brand for the sole purpose of being able to read books in flight without having to carry a separate reader. She loves it.

    I have to laugh at the number of people who bought my book for supporting me, but never read it. I asked them about it and got the typical excuses…haven’t had time, being the primary one. Those who have since read the book haven’t bothered to post reviews…even though they, “REALLY liked it.” And then there are those who have told me that they will wait until they can find it for free. I want to slap them.

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 3, 2014

      It’s tricky business for sure. If someone buys the book, you want to know what they think about it. If they never bother to buy it, you think they’re crummy. Classic no-win situation!

  2. weibblog
    January 4, 2014

    I totally advocate reminding potential readers that ebooks can be read on their smartphones. I’m a cartoonist who plans to self-publish my first graphic novel soon and making sure it’s readable on a smart phone is very vital to me. I’m designing every page with that in mind. As a writer/artist I believe that it’s advantageous to accommodate smartphone & tablet readers as much as I can because both devices look to be mainstays for eBook reading.

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 5, 2014

      Thanks for this sensible comment. It’s a very good idea to make our work available to any and all gizmos that might be out there!

      Glad you stopped by!

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2014 by in Et alia, Publishing and tagged , , , , , .
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