Personalizing the eBook Experience

Kindlegraph | Aleweb Social Marketing

One of the greatest thrills of a reader’s experience is when they can have a favorite author autograph one of their books. As a collector of signed, first editions, that’s always been one of my biggest hesitations in adopting the eBook experience.

What if I fall in love with a book and have a chance to get an author’s autograph? If I read it in eBook form, I’d have to spend the money twice on it; once for the eBook, then to buy a hardcopy to have the author sign. Bummer!

And from the author’s standpoint, what does that do to good old-fashioned book signings. Half of your readership probably purchased your book on an eReader, so what’s the point of a book signing? Or how do you recapture the thrill of attending one?

Or perhaps for financial, distribution or speed-to-market reasons, you opted to for an eBook-only version of your latest book. So, you don’t even have a print copy to sign! Does that mean you have to miss out on the relationship-building experience of sharing your autograph with adoring fans?

Not anymore! Last summer, Kindlegraph appeared on the scene, and it could just be an answer to your prayers. Currently, there are over 3,500 authors currently registered with the site, and over 15,000 books listed. So, you’d be in good company.

But what exactly is a Kindlegraph? It’s a personalized, autographed page for your eBook, of course! The Kindlegraph service enables authors to sign eBooks for their readers for free, and not just for those with Kindles. Kindlegraphs are available as a PDF or an AZW version.

Start by signing in with Twitter and then entering your AISN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) at http://www.kindlegraph.com/books/new. (The AISN is right after the ‘dp’ in the URL of your book on Amazon.com. For example, in the URLhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/0061977969, the ASIN is0061977969.)

Next, provide the e-mail address where you want to be notified of pending autograph requests. It’s that simple! Within minutes, your book is added to the Kindlegraph library. (Note: Since books are added via an Amazon designator, your eBook needs to be available on Amazon.)

When a fan spots your book listed, they request a Kindlegraph from you. Once a day, you are sent an e-mail with the list of pending requests. You go into the system, type a personalized message, and then “sign” the eBook. This can be done by actually signing your name using a mousepad (or using your finger on a tablet), or you can use a stylized script instead.

Personally, until other signing options are available (like uploading your signature), I’d consider signing your John Hancock with an “X” or using the stylized script. Signing with the mousepad is like drawing something in MS Paint on the freehand setting; very unforgiving unless you’re highly skilled at it. Perhaps using your finger on a tablet is easier, but I didn’t get a chance to test that out.

When you’re done, your signature is added to the cover page of your eBook, and the Kindlegraph is then sent to the reader (to their Kindle, if they have an e-mail address on file for it, or e-mail address).

Once you’re done processing that request, move on to the next one in the list. You can write a different message with each request you receive (and practice signing your name again – perhaps you’ll master the technique with time!).

Another thing to note is that you should add your own books to the Kindlegraph library. Since you sign in with Twitter, when you add a book it’s automatically associated with your account. Your name is listed as the author, etc. So, when you add a book for someone else, the author name that’s displayed is yours, not theirs! Avoid the confusion, and add your own books! Don’t delegate this to anyone else unless they also have the authority to sign in using your Twitter profile.

With the first book you add to the site, an author’s page is made for you where fans can see all the eBooks you have available for autographing. There is also a customized widget that you can load onto your website that will take visitors directly to your Kindlegraph author page.

I love how innovative people, like Kindlegraph’s creator Evan Jacobs, find ways to retain what’s best about “the old days” and bring them into the 21st century. Don’t you?

 

Are you going to add your eBook to the Kindlegraph library? If you do, post a link to your Kindlegraph listing below!

8 Leadership Myths Dispelled | SmartBlogs

I had the pleasure of being invited recently to write a guest blog post on leadership for SmartBrief’s SmartBlog on Leadership.

I decided to share a bit about a recent experience I had, and to answer the question “what happens when you get 21 leaders together to work on a project?”

I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing just such a scenario over the past year, and the insights I’ve come away with defy certain myths about leaders.

Want to learn what they are? Check out the rest of the blog at 8 leadership myths dispelled | SmartBlogs.

What’s the Big Deal about Valentine’s Day?

Here we are, and another February 14th has rolled around the calendar. This time last year, I’d been contentedly single for 12 years, raising my two kids, and growing my business.

A few short months later, my world turned upside down when “I met someone.” Ah, the drama of those words… I can still recall how sweet it was the first time I called Frank “my boyfriend,” and how giddy and silly I felt using that phrase again at my age. It was so totally unexpected, yet something I yearned for deeply, to have that connection with someone that was more than just a superficial sharing of lives.

While I’d been alone for 12 years, he’d been on his own for 10. Both of us spent that time reflecting on what was important to us in relationships, what we needed out of them, what had gone wrong in past relationships, and the priorities future relationships had to have in order to succeed.

Each, on our own, had come to the conclusion that our faith needed to be the primary focal point of a solid relationship. As I’d put it, as two people draw nearer to Christ, they’re automatically drawn closer to each other as well. This concept had been shared with me years earlier as “the triangle theory,” where Christ and two people represent the three points of the triangle. It sounded good in theory, at least.

When I met Frank, I had the chance to test that theory, and found that it was 100% accurate. The first time we prayed together, and I heard his voice thanking God for bringing me into his life, is something that I will never forget. Talk about the power of a praying partner! There is no greater sense of being loved when your loved one tells God what a blessing you are to them, and how deeply and truly thankful they are for you.

Due to our habit of prayer and the openness of our conversation with each other, I never doubted Frank’s love for me. I read a tweet this morning that said “If we truly love someone, every day should be Valentine’s Day.” That’s the way it was with us; not with the candy, cards and flowers, but with the openness of our feelings for one another.

When Frank died unexpectedly in October, the one solace I had was that I had always told him how I felt about him. There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t know he was loved. And I still have the poems and e-mails he wrote to me, as well as many of the voicemail messages he left that reflect his heart and his humor.

So, what’s the big deal about Valentine’s Day? For those of you who have forgotten, it’s a day that reminds us to tell those we love how we feel. But if you want to live a life with no regrets for the past, don’t let Valentine’s Day end at midnight tonight. We never know how long we’ll have on this Earth.

Be sure to tell those you love most how you feel every day, and find new and different ways to communicate those feelings each time you share them. That’s better than any box of candy you can buy!

Little things count, like a special e-mail message, a single flower, a note in a lunchbox or briefcase, or a phone call to see if there’s anything you can pick up on the way home; anything that says “I’m thinking of you.”

So don’t fear that you have to come up with a big, grand gesture every time, or that it has to be costly to do. The best ways to show you love someone aren’t paid for with cash. They’re paid for with time, thought and energy.

Who do you love, and how are you going to show them you care? Share your ideas and inspire each other in the comments below.