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Old 03-07-2009, 11:27 PM   #16
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2. The site is pretty.. but just a little nit. All the links are yellow. Fine. But, there is alot of yellow text that are not links. Very frustrating! Also, things that look like buttons aren't buttons.

BOb
It's less pretty, but also less confusing if you disable CSS. That's what I do on a lot of sites to make them more accessible.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Just go to http://www.stevejordanbooks.com/ and you can download it from there.


I'm about half way through and enjoying it so far.
Yep, I figured that out. I am amazed that there was no link on the eBook week site to it. If other authors are offering free books for this too, they should be linked to from the Ebook WEek site.

BOb
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:23 AM   #18
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Yep, I figured that out. I am amazed that there was no link on the eBook week site to it. If other authors are offering free books for this too, they should be linked to from the Ebook WEek site.
Found this out the hard way like everyone else. The link labelled "E-book Store" leads you to a page selling readers not ebooks, the link labelled "E-book Reading Material" is just a basic link farm.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by cerement View Post
Found this out the hard way like everyone else. The link labelled "E-book Store" leads you to a page selling readers not ebooks, the link labelled "E-book Reading Material" is just a basic link farm.
It is a pretty site. But, I must say not very usable or useful. At least the way I see it.

BOb
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:56 AM   #20
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If you look in the partners section you'll find links to Steve and others giving away free books, mixed in with other links.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
It is a pretty site. But, I must say not very usable or useful. At least the way I see it.
You were expecting C|Net? Sorry to disappoint... but the site was never intended to be a monolithic "links to all the free stuff" site... if it was, we'd only need one page (and probably one link, to Pirate Bay).

It does, however, promote e-book reading and highlight the companies and individuals that do, and was created on the side by people who have day jobs and depend on the generous donations of others to maintain the site. Those who participate in REBW, and who offer the site as reference to those who are seeking information on e-books, maintain that it is a fantastic place to go to find out about e-books in general, and some individual sources of material in particular. The site has won a marketing award in that vein, and has been highlighted by major news outlets, award-winning writers and e-book sellers.

Anyway, it's not just about Free Stuff.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:30 AM   #22
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I for one shall read an eBook during Read an eBook Week. In fact, I won't read any pBooks during this week.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:41 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
You were expecting C|Net? Sorry to disappoint... but the site was never intended to be a monolithic "links to all the free stuff" site... if it was, we'd only need one page (and probably one link, to Pirate Bay).
Gee Steve, that's not what I said at all. I'm sorry if you felt it was an attack. I was just trying to give a bit of constructive feedback.

Quote:
Anyway, it's not just about Free Stuff.
I understand. I thought it was to promote ebooks. I was just surprised that if there were an author or two that were offering a free book due to this, as you were, there might be an article which would introduce the authors and make the offers known.

BOb
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:55 AM   #24
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No offense taken. Maybe in the future we'll have articles and bios on the various participants. But this year, most of the material for the site was collected at the veritable last minute. The recent Kindle developments have driven a lot of people in this direction in a short amount of time, and as I said, Rita and I have other responsibilities that preclude devoting huge hours of time to the project on short notice. Rita has been continually surprised at how fast this idea has grown, outstripping her expectations again and again (which is a good portend for e-books, after all!).

As popularity for the idea grows, Rita hopes to see enough year-round activity that preparing that material will be a lot easier, and the site will be much more comprehensive when REBW10 rolls around.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:42 PM   #25
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No offense taken. Maybe in the future we'll have articles and bios on the various participants. But this year, most of the material for the site was collected at the veritable last minute.
We're not complaining about the lack of "FR33 STUFF NOWZ!!11" link. We're commenting on the lack of organization (and a marketing award is absolutely no indication of quality of design or navigation or content). [On the other hand, when you and several participants have been promoting the event with free ebooks and there's no DIRECT way to get viewers to click through to the participants' sites ...]

For those of us trying to find ebooks (paid OR free):
  1. The link labelled "E-Books" leads to ebook readers, but no ebooks
  2. The link labelled "E-Book Reading Material" leads to a short link farm with no details
  3. The ebook content of the site is hidden under the unfamiliar "Partners"
  4. "Partners" is a giant mish-mash, completely unorganized, shoving Donors and Participants together into one jumbled mess

Just from looking at other websites (including ones that win DESIGN awards), these simple changes would stop a lot of the confusion you're hearing on here:
  1. "Partners" should be just a link farm, at minimum ordered by importance of contribution or donation, with short details explaining WHAT they've provided (who's your webhost for instance? what have they done to help?)
  2. The content under partners that relates to ebooks (paid OR free) should be under "E-Book Reading Material" and should be AT LEAST alphabetized
  3. "E-Books" link should be changed to read "E-Book Readers"
  4. Don't color any of the text the same color as your links

Last edited by cerement; 03-08-2009 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:13 PM   #26
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What cerement said! It would really help the usability of the page.

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Old 03-09-2009, 02:52 PM   #27
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Read An E-Book Week

Okay, okay .... I'll weigh in here since I'm responsible.

As Steve said - this blossomed at the last minute and I was really scrambling.

Here's some feedback from your comments.

Number 1: I'm responsible for the cost of the site and it gives me nothing...nada...zip. I was too shy to ask participants to help pay for the costs since this was an effort I had undertaken myself, so I tried ways to earn enough to cover the cost of the site without putting up ads. One way was with a Kindle e-book store. I have no control over the set-up of the store - and it doesn't just sell e-book readers. I've noticed it's confusing so I even put a line above the store saying: "For the Kindle store below, use the "Browse by Category" menu on the right to view more genres." So the lesson there is to read instructions. So far the store has earned $10.20. Not enough by far to help with the costs of the site.

Number 2: Some participants were kind enough to actually OFFER to help with the site. Those participants contributed in many different ways. (encouragement, contacts, press releases that I didn't have to pay for, actual funds for web traffic upgrade) I didn't want to just up and say so-and-so paid such-and-such, or so-and-so contributed in "this way". That can make others feel lessened, or belittled. (you'll always offend someone unless you're doing nothing). Not everyone is in a position to help - they do what they can voluntarily. So... I listed those who helped in some way with a small banner ad and placed them at the top.

Number 3: How do you choose to put someone at the top of a list or at the bottom. First come first served seemed the best idea and I went with that. As the items came in I listed them in that order. It seemed fair to me without making anyone feel less important. Some would say they should be alphabetical, others would argue "no! by genre!"

Number 4: 'the link labeled "E-Books" leads to ebook readers, but no ebooks" Hmmm.... the link from the front page says "readers" and it goes to e-book readers.

Number 5: 'the link labeled "E-Book Reading Material" leads to a short link farm with no details.' Hmmmm.... it links to two paragraphs of text explaining where you can get reading material, then shows links to various places to find reading material, then recommendations from e-book readers.....

Some changes I would like to see when I can come up for air were mentioned:

1. I would like to have links in one colour (not a spelling error - I'm Canadian) and titles in another colour.

2. Change the link now labeled "Readers" to read "E-Readers"

3. Figure out another way to say "partners". Again this posses a problem because all are partners in the event but some contributed books and others services. Where do you put Kovid Goyal? Stanza? They aren't contributing books but they are doing other things that are important to the event.

There's so many ways of looking at organization, guys. The brain just boggles.

Thanks for your comments, though. I'll certainly work on the site. It's received so much traffic that I don't think it's going to bear up under the load - over 1,000 hits today.

As I write this I've received three more requests by publisers to come on board --- do I put them at the top of the list or the bottom of the list (oops, that wasn't nice)

Rita Toews
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #28
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Okay, okay .... I'll weigh in here since I'm responsible.
Please don't take my comments as negative. I think it is a great idea and a great service that you are doing. I was just relating my thoughts and feelings I had as I navigated the site.

BOb
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:05 PM   #29
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I'm not offended - just overwhelmed. But it's a good overwhelmed.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:16 PM   #30
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I also accept a lot of responsibility, as I worked on the site design and did most of the preliminary production. But while we were concentrating on attractiveness, everything else rolled in right over Rita, and neither of us had time to do a substantial redesign to take into account all of the new elements.

Most of the issues mentioned above weren't even there last year... the site has grown a lot in a short amount of time. The good news is, all of this constructive criticism can guide future efforts, making the site more attractive and more useful next time around.
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