Paginations

nook tablet

Why an iPad Mini would shake up more than just the tablet world. Look out e-readers…

It almost seems like a foregone conclusion. According to most reports, Apple is gearing up to launch a smaller form factor iPad in the fall, likely October, and likely at the same time they announce the iPhone 5.* And while Steve Jobs adamantly decried the smaller size, because of what’s occurred over the past year-plus in the e-reader and tablet market, Apple is doing the right thing.

* As a techie geek and Apple fan at heart, that keynote will be a must-watch-blogcast for me…seriously, these two products? Drool…

Google just announced what looks to be the 7″ tablet to beat, the Nexus 7, with Android ICS, strong processor, and perhaps most importantly, a Kindle Fire-like price point. So now, the same $199 can buy a full-fledged tablet that can easily have the Kindle app loaded for the full Kindle reading experience, plus a Nook app, a Kobo app, and so on. And while Google usually puts out the Nexus hardware as almost a test bed for manufacturers to see/copy, this one might stick.

So along comes Apple, the heavyweight in the room. No one has come close to matching the iPad success. Yes, some hardware compares well, and you can go on and on about mini USB ports, SD card slots, “open systems”, and all that, but it doesn’t change the fact that the iPad combined with iOS just works. And it sells. Even at a higher price point. An iPad Mini, and I’m going to guess it hits at $299 (because (a) Apple doesn’t want to play in the bargain bin pricing neighborhood, and (b) they know they can get it), would shake up the tablet world once again. But I believe it will do more than that, and that this is the first shot across the bow to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and even Kobo (who is becoming more aggressive ,and I feel is a very viable 4th distributor).

An iPad Mini will be a very comparable, and better alternative to the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet (again, like an Android tablet, the various e-reader apps can be loaded), and I think Apple is gearing up to throw some weight, effort, and money behind improving the iBookstore experience. By having their own 7″ (looks like 7.85″, but let’s not quibble…) form factor tablet, with the absurdly easy to use and reliable iOS, they have the perfect platform to distribute ebooks. And I have a feeling that will be part of the keynote in the fall. The iBookstore lags behind the Kindle store (and even behind the Nook store, which is saying something) in terms of ease of search, marketing, exposure, and the like. It’s just not easy to use, which goes against everything Steve Jobs, et al., pushed for.

With the technology, marketing savvy, and maybe most importantly over 100 million existing iTunes customers with credit cards on file, I feel Apple, if they wanted to, could come in and change the ebook game. And this might be the time. And I for one am looking forward to Apple getting off their butts and making iBooks more successful.

Questions: would you buy an iPad Mini? If you have an iPad, would this be a second purchase for the household?

P.S. Apple haters, you’ll never convince me…

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Winner winner, chicken dinner – the Gabriel: Zero Point grand prize winner announced

And the winner is…

A TIE! So I’ll be selling the Kindle Fire on eBay…

Kidding…I kid. Before the announcement, a huge thanks to all of my spread-the-word contest participants, all the commenters and voters, and most especially my readers. It’s been a fun two weeks, Gabriel: Zero Point is fully ‘launched’, and I’m outlining/drafting a new project as we speak. The enthusiasm and excitement about my current books tends to really push me to get more stories ‘on paper’, so away I go…with any luck, summer will bring a whole new work…sans Gabriel, though.

First announcement – the random commenter $10 Amazon Gift Card. I used random.org to choose a number between one and twenty-five (the number of comments on the voting page):

Winner is “Jaye“! (JWManus I believe?) Please contact me (sumstead AT gmail DOT com) or on Twitter and I’ll get the card out via email.

Now for the grand prize. It was a two man person race from the get-go between Shay Fabbro and Rob Pruneda. Both did a bang-up job spreading the word about the book launch, and a double bang-up job spreading the word about the voting. The past five days have been THE busiest at Paginations, like…EVAR. Friday alone saw nearly 900 page views.

It came down to the final hours…and the winner of the Kindle Fire/Nook Tablet:

ROB PRUNEDA by a measly 5% margin!

Congrats Rob, and great job by everyone. Perhaps in a few months, we’ll be doing this again for the next launch!

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Time to vote on the most creative/helpful Gabriel: Zero Point posts, winner receives Kindle Fire/Nook Tablet!

UPDATE: The poll has closed as of 11PM ET Friday the 27th. I have the official screenshot of the results and will post them on Saturday. Thanks everyone!

As Rafiki would say, it is time.

Last week, I asked all of my friends, followers, and fans (the three Fs, in social media parlance… okay, I made that up) to help me spread the word about the release of my new prequel novella, Gabriel: Zero Point. I had a huge outpouring of support, and gave away $50 in Amazon gift cards to five random winners last week. But now, it’s the big one – the Grand Prize.

The esteemed accounting firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers has compiled (I made that up again – my family and I) a group of nominees for everyone to vote on. These nominees were chosen for having the most creative, most comprehensive, most helpful posts or series of posts that spread the word about Gabriel: Zero Point. And while retweets and shares were very helpful, they don’t quite rise up to the grand prize level. I was looking for original social media posts, creative reviews, consistent campaigns, and so on.

I found SEVEN. And now I leave it in YOUR hands to choose ONE. That final winner, as of 11:00PM ET on Friday the 27th, will win their choice of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet!

Yes, this is now a popularity contest. Those of you nominated, spread the word to your friends and followers to vote for you. Friends and followers of those nominated, vote and continue to spread the word. Vote early, vote often (though only one entry is counted, sorry). And those of you who see a post or campaign that catches your eye that you thought was the most creative and helpful, throw a vote their way.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: I will award one last Amazon $10 gift card to ONE random commenter on this post, so even if you’re not nominated and have never heard of any of these people (who are awesome, by the way – you should get to know them), you can still leave a comment and qualify for the gift card.

Contest closes at 11PM ET Friday, and the winner will be announced Saturday. So without further ado, here are the nominees (in alphabetical order), a link to what they’ve done, and the voting box:

  • Shay Fabbro for her blog review (If you like military scifi or just scifi in general, or if you like tough guys running around kicking the crap out of bad guys, then you will DIG Steve’s Evan Gabriel trilogy!)
  • W. E. Linde for his blog review (this prequel installment of the Gabriel story is filled with Umstead’s signature elements that bring his characters and his universe alive.)
  • Debra L. Martin for her blog post announcing the debut, which she spread throughout her Triberr contacts
  • Rob Pruneda for a consistent Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus campaign throughout the week
  • Twisted SciFi for spreading the word in the context of marketing techniques used by scifi authors online
  • Tom Stronach for his blog review (A good read and good value for the money and, I am sure,  a good addition to the first three books.)
  • Eric Swett for his blog review (The pace is quick and the action is heavy, but the reader learns more about Commander Gabriel and why he is the man he is in the rest of the books.)

There they are folks. Now tell me who’s the best…and who gets the Fire or Tablet!

POLL CLOSED!

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Win a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet by helping me spread the word about Gabriel: Zero Point

UPDATES:
Thursday’s winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card is Mike Crate
Wednesday’s winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card is Rob Pruneda
Tuesday’s winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card is Richard Guadagno
Monday’s winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card is Misti Bryant Swartz

It’s contest time! To celebrate the launch of Gabriel: Zero Point (prequel to the Gabriel scifi trilogy), and to help spread the word about the book, I’m having a two-week giveaway with some very cool prizes (at least I think they’re cool – and if my wife doesn’t think they’re cool, that means they’re definitely cool…)

As Jeff Probst would ask, “Wanna know what you’re playing for?”

Daily from Monday through Friday of this week (April 16-20), I’ll be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly selected word-spreader. All you have to do is share a tweet or post through your social media outlets. But two requirements – your post/share must link to a specific page, and I have to be able to track it.

LINKS
If you’re retweeting or sharing one of my posts, there will be a link already incorporated, so you’re golden. If you’re creating your own, it has to have a link to either the Kindle or Nook version of Zero Point, OR my blog page with my books listed. Here are the links (already shortened for you):

Zero Point for Kindle: http://amzn.to/ZeroPoint
Zero Point for Nook: http://bit.ly/ZeroPointNook
My Books at SteveUmstead.com: http://bit.ly/StevesBooks

TRACKING
Muy importante! If I don’t know you shared or tweeted, I can’t count you for the contest! There are four outlets I will be tracking – feel free to use others (I’d appreciate any word-spreading!) but these will be the only four I see, so if you post elsewhere, make sure to mention it using one of these methods. Each one has a way to “tag” you for the contest, and they’re easy:

Twitter: Use the hashtag #GZP (retweeting any of mine this week will have this already)
Facebook: Tag my personal Facebook account OR my author page in your post (sharing my post will do this automatically)
Google+: Tag my Google+ account (again sharing my G+ posts will do this)
Blog: If you’re using WordPress, my linking to my www.SteveUmstead.com WP blog within the text of your post, I’ll get a ping back and count it. If you don’t have a link, or use non-Wordpress, make sure to use Twitter/Facebook/Google+ methods to promote your blog with the appropriate tag so I see it.

Every day this week, Monday through Friday, I’ll select a random “share” as the Gift Card winner. Without a link and tracking method, you won’t qualify!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

No, you’re not going through all of that for a $10 gift card. There’s a GRAND PRIZE based on your creativity! At the end of the week, my esteemed panel of judges (okay, me and my family) will choose the MOST CREATIVE word-spreaders and the following week, your social media contacts and mine will VOTE on who they think was the BEST word-spreading. (Hint: Just retweeting my tweets won’t get you into the finals…)

The weekend of April 28-29, the voting will be closed, and the person with the most votes will win:

A KINDLE FIRE or NOOK TABLET
plus e-copies of all my titles!

You don’t have to be one of the gift card winners to be in the final vote; you just need to be creative. Write a blog post, run some trivia, dress up in a tutu and…wait, skip that.

So look for my tweets and posts and share them through your social media outlets, or create your own, to help me spread the word about Gabriel: Zero Point. You could win a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet!


Disclaimer: Maximum of one gift card per person; if repeat card winner is drawn at random, card prize will be redrawn. Grand prize winner chooses Fire or Tablet, or a $100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card if neither is preferred or possible. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited by law. Random card winner will be chosen daily by importing that day’s mentions/shares/retweets into a spreadsheet, and using random.org to choose a cell within that spreadsheet.

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