A virtual visit to a bookstore via Google maps

I’m a follower of Ebook friendly, a blog about eBooks and related subjects. Piotr Kowalczyk, who writes it, keeps his pulse on the eBook world and always has something interesting to say, but his latest post caught be by surprise, since it was about visiting a bookstore via Google maps and Google Street View. It’s the way of the future, folks.

I’ll leave Piotr to explain it to you:

Fascinating: visiting a bookstore using Google Street View

Looking at places via Google Maps and Google Street View from a god’s perspective is nothing new and many people got used to it. But the magic comes when we go inside. And it gets absolutely mesmerizing when the interiors we enter are full of books.

O’Reilly Tools of Change shared a post on Facebook which invited to have a virtual walk through the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver (here is link to bookstore’s website). I became extremely interested, as I love to find and explore technology that helps people read again. I came to Tattered Cover  – and it was a totally striking experience.

tattered coiver

The pictures are surprisingly sharp. They are so detailed that you can read book titles. There are shadows of people on the move, giving a feeling of human presence. Once you learn how to use Google Street navigation and zooming function, you can fully enjoy being,well, in a real bookstore. (Click on the photo above to reach the Google map page, then rotate the circle in the top right-hand corner GC.)

I was looking for an opened book, to check whether it’s possible to read it in Google Street View. I didn’t find it in Tattered, but there is one in Capitol Hill Books (check this Google Street View link and pan down a bit).

Bookstores make much more sense than any other kind read on here

via eBook Friendly: Want to give someone an eBook? Here’s how

I was pointed in the direction of this extremely useful video by eBook Friendly, a blog about e-books that I’ve been following for a while. It always has interesting and helpful posts, but I particularly liked this one because it answers a question I’ve been puzzling over: How to give someone an eBook?

Now I know how to give all my friends with Kindles a copy of Tangerine Tango ($2.99) for Christmas… just a thought 🙂

Margaret Atwood leads the digital media pack

There’s a new short fiction app called Wattpad and the website that invented it has 9 million followers. Surprised? I was, because I’d never heard of it. So I signed up to take a look. Readers describe themselves as an eBook community, but the interesting thing is that many of them are writers too. You can upload your own work for others to read. And you can do it chapter by chapter, if you like. The reason this is appealing is that it enables a writer to get feedback as they go along, rather than waiting until it’s a ‘finished’ book and then finding out that readers hate it. And readers may even suggest new plot developments or request more characterization.

Margaret Atwood

The reason Wattpad came to my attention is that among their new members is prize-winning Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Atwood’s novels include The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin and the Year of the Flood, as well as children’s books, non-fiction and poetry. She has published two new poems on the site, and is planning to share a piece of fiction this Fall. The poems are: Update on Werewolves, in which she explores the world of the female werewolf and Thriller Suite . (I hope these links work for people who aren’t signed up for Wattpad…)

She will also be the final judge of a poetry contest to be held on the site this month. She already has 280 fans, one of whom is me, of course. And once people discover her whereabouts, that number will just keep going up.

Readers comment on her work, as they do for any other writer on the site. Ms. Atwood says she’ll be reading the feedback on her work, but won’t be commenting on other writers’ stuff, though she promises to read some. She feels any comment she might make would carry too much weight for its recipient – good or bad.

Making yourself visible on Wattpad isn’t easy. Even Margaret Atwood has stiff competition. There are currently five million stories in 25 languages, and more than half a million more are added every month. So if you add something, you’ll be competing for readers’ attention, too. But then, that’s a real author’s life, isn’t it? Name a genre and they have it. Presumably, there’s writing which doesn’t fit neatly into a genre, but so what?

I think it’s time to get some writing on there and see what happens.

P.S. This isn’t the only way in which Margaret Atwood is reaching readers old and new; I’ll be doing a follow up post on her remarkable new ideas soon.