Books written by Ray Sullivan

Saturday, 26 November 2011

WH Smith/Kobo Alliance Steals Lead Over Amazon Fire

In an audatious move, WH Smith, UK distributers of Kobo devices, has launched the Kobo Vox mini tablet on the UK market ahead of any hint of a release by Amazon of its recently released (in the US) Kindle Fire.

Like the Fire, the Vox is a seven inch touchscreen tablet, built on the Android Gingerbread operating system.  to quote Kobo, it features a 'vivid multimedia screen optimised for reading outdoors.'  It has 8 GB of internal memory, but has a micro SD slot that will take up to 32 GB of removable storage, which will certainly sort out any book storage issues.  However, like the Fire, its also designed to do much more than act as an e-reader (although it is being billed as one).  It can be used to access the internet using its WiFi, play music and video, email and is touted to be a portal for the social networking sites.  Being Android, it has access to the Android marketplace and first impressions from the press releases are that it is less restrictive than the Fire appears to be.

Oh yes, and there's the price.  At £170 (including VAT, you'll be pleased to hear) it is competing directly with the Amazon Fire in terms of price - but more importantly it is available over here now, exactly one month before Christmas Day.  It will appeal to anyone looking for an upmarket e-reader as well as those looking for a cut down iPad.  OK, it's almost certainly not as fully formed as the Apple outing, but then again, the price is a lot less.

As I've said before in earlier blogs - this looks like being an interesting Christmas for e-readers.

Now, changing tack a little.  I hope most of you managed to read the 'deleted' chapter in Da Dan Brown Code - achieved by writing on a white background with a white font.  I do realise that some readers have been reading the blog using smartphones and looking at the blog on my HTC yesterday I realised that the trick of revealing the secret writing by dragging a mouse over the text doesn't work on those devices, so just for you, here's the bomus chapter:


'There must be more to being a lead character than this,' sighed Bradford. 'I've a good mind to complain to my agent,' he said.

'Characters in a book don't have agents,' reminded Lady Bartholomew huffily. 'We have to jerk ourselves about on our own. At least we don't have pay fifteen percent for the privilege of not picking up our own phone.'

'It's alright for you,' interrupted Lucas, 'at least you're in your home country, M Lady.'

'I'm not,' objected Bradford.

‘But you’re from the States, you’re bound to get a job that takes you over there sooner or later,’ replied Lucas. ‘Me, I’m stuck over here in this God forsaken country, with its piss poor beer, crap weather, lousy beaches, frigid women and useless economy. It could be worse; I could be like the whinging Poms back in Oz.’

‘True,’ said Belsen.

‘Are you thinking aloud?’ asked Bradford. Belsen looked around shiftily; he was sure Ryder was still around.

‘Might be,’ he said, cagily, gripping the bars.

‘At last,’ said Lucas, ‘I’ve been looking for the bar all chapter.’

‘Drinkies?’ asked Lady Bartholomew.

‘Don’t mind if I do,’ said Morse. The room looked at the veteran character, then so did the occupants.

‘Do you have permission to be in a parody?’ asked Bradford, feeling the pressure of a real lead. Morse weighed up the situation, then weighed in the lead.

‘Are you ebook people fully metric now, or can I stick to Imperial units?’ he asked.

‘You’ve never been in an ebook?’ asked an incredulous Bradford.

‘Sure I have, in reprint. But first edition....?’ Morse walked around the chapter, pulling at the odd sentence here, tugging a paragraph there. He found an infinitive lying around and bravely attempted to split it. ‘But there seems to be so much more room than I’m used to,’ he added, before his face lit up.

‘Sorry,’ said Lady Bartholomew, putting the lighter back into the props store.

‘I get it,’ announced Morse. ‘It’s a blog, isn’t it? No wonder there’s so much space, you’ve got the whole of the Internet to spread out in. What’s the profit like in blogs?’ he asked. Bradford looked at Lady Bartholomew before they both burst out laughing.

‘LEWIS!’ shouted Morse, storming off out of the chapter, taking the bar with him.


If you're following the story (and the above will make even less sense than normal) then make sure you log on on Christmas Day when a Da Dan Brown Code Christmas Special will be posted!

Missed the beginning? Click here to go to Chapter One

'Da Dan Brown Code' will be published in early January as 'The Last Simple'. Anyone who is registered as following either my blog or Twitter account will receive instructions on how to obtain a free e-copy of 'The Last Simple' shortly after it is published.

If you've enjoyed this chapter of 'Da Dan Brown Code' then check out the earlier chapters in my blog and, if you haven't done so already, why not follow the blog. 'Da Dan Brown Code' is being serialised three times a week on Sundays,Wednesdays and Fridays until the final chapter!

If you know someone who has a warped sense of humour please pass them the link to my blog so that they can enjoy 'Da Dan Brown Code'.

I can be followed on Twitter too - @RayASullivan

Visit my books on Amazon (for Kindle owners) and Smashwords (for access to all other formats and access to Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Sony, WH Smith, Kobo and many other good ebookstores

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