Janet Spavlik's The Next Chapter

Here in Philadelphia, I'm settling back into office life after nearly a week in New York City at the annual Publishing Business Conference & Expo (PBC). And while of course I'm going to sound biased, considering I'm one of the event's conference program editors, PBC is my favorite industry event. I always come home with a notebook full of inspiration and new ideas, and I always have the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the most brilliant minds in publishing.

Hello, my name is Janet. And I am addicted to Twitter contests.

I swear I haven't always been this way. Sure, I'd entered a contest here and there if the prize was particularly enticing (I really wanted that all-expenses-paid trip to the Super Bowl that one year), but I always was the stereotypical “I never win anything” type. I equated entry forms with lost causes, and therefore, generally avoided them. Why waste my time?

Shortly after I became the proud owner of a Barnes & Noble Nook, rumors started intensifying that Apple was on the verge of releasing a tablet computer that quite possibly could make my e-reader (and all the others like it) seem as antiquated as the Brother word processor I used back in college. I was disheartened. I had invested a significant amount of time researching e-reading devices before deciding on the Nook. Now, I had barely opened the packaging on my new toy, and something even newer and better and more colorful—and with apps!—was already stepping up to take its place.

It seems every week I receive a press release or read a news article about a new e-book exclusivity agreement an author has struck with Amazon. This week, it was best-selling science fiction author F. Paul Wilson.

According to the press release I received from Amazon, Wilson has made five of his books available in the Kindle Store exclusively for one year using Amazon's e-book self-publishing tool, Digital Text Platform.

I just returned from an incredible vacation to Colorado. It was the first time I traveled with my Nook, which, of course, is one of the great benefits of an e-reader—it’s portability. I tend to be a, shall we say, slightly heavy packer (OK, I’ll admit it, my suitcase was just shy of 50 lbs., but I still contend that every one of those pairs of shoes was essential), so it was a relief not to have to lug one or two cumbersome print books along, too. And from my admittedly limited, unscientific perspective (that is, seat 18D on the plane ride out to Denver), it appears e-reader use is indeed increasingly—in addition to my Nook, I spotted two Kindles in my direct vicinity.

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