This book tells the author’s experience in selecting, buying and using a Bookeen Cybook Opus ebook reading device. It is a sort of diary of a technically savvy user new to ebooks who learns about the Opus and digital reading. The book covers some features of the device hardware and operation, as well as personal impressions, insights, frustrations and usage tips.
The book includes three parts and a series of appendices. The first part provides an overview of the publishing industry and discusses why to self publish. The second covers how to prepare, format, distribute, price and promote ebooks. The last part includes testimonials of self-published authors. The appendices discuss selling short stories, international markets, business issues and a resource list.
There are several things I like about the book. It has a good balance between general discussion and specific advice. The book covers material rarely found elsewhere, such as international markets and perspectives, which the author, who is not American, has considerable experience with, and some practical business issues.
The third part offers a wide selection of successful indie author testimonials. These writers, however, are not the usual superstars or edge cases (e.g. Amanda Hocking, John Locke, J.A. Konrath), which is particularly interesting because some of them may be less known, and hence more representative of the backgrounds and opportunities of average aspiring writers.
I also like the attention to detail, and the book is well formatted. The author practices what he preaches, and it shows.
I think that the publishing industry overview of part one, while well done, may be redundant. As this book hits the market, self publishing is already mainstream and growing fast. The motivational aspect of the industry analysis may become obsolete in a matter of months as remaining objections and doubts get dropped, and more authors embrace self publishing.
The author tells in a simple to understand, humorous way an impressive amount of scientific errors, misconceptions, superstitions, and frauds spread throughout history and across many disciplines. I am an astronomy educator and found a few in my field I was not aware of. However, I'd classify some of the reported episodes (e.g. the initial optical manufacturing errors and inadequate testing of the Hubble Space Telescope) more as scientific blunders than bad science, but this may be a minor classification issue.