Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Review: 250 Tips, Techniques, and Trade Secrets for Potters

Sorry about the terrible resolution on the cover photo of this beautiful book! It was the best that I could do. Anyway, I just had to say a few words about "250 Tips, Techniques, and Trade Secrets for Potters." I already gave it a FIVE-star review on amazon.com for several good reasons, but what really excites me about this book is how terrific it works as an eBook for the iPad.
I purchase a lot of kindle eBooks to read on my iPad (and sometimes my iPhone; novels, for instance). When it comes to art and craft eBooks, it's hit or miss. Some art/craft eBooks formatted for kindles, nooks, iPads, and other eReaders are pretty good. The text is easy to read on virtually all of them, they're laid out well, there usually is a navigable table of contents, and there are usually enough full-color photos to follow the instructions. Some have very, very few photos and I have pointed this out on some of the book reviews I've posted online. But most are adequate. A few eBooks generously supply hundreds of full-color photos to accompany the step-by-step text, and I think that this is very important.
This is why, when I first started publishing my own series of jewelry-making eBooks last year (the Arty Jewelry series), I insisted on providing hundreds of full-color photos in each one. It's expensive, though. Because I work with a professional book editing and conversion company, they charge a lot to format my digital eBooks (about $1,000 per book), and on top of that, amazon.com and bn.com etc. charge me quite a bit of money to download each of my eBooks to customers. When you pay $9.99 for one of my eBooks, I am receiving a royalty payment that comes out to slightly less than half of that. This is why you'll never see my eBooks on sale for a ridiculous price like $3.99 or $1.99 as you often see novels and short-story collections. Because my eBooks have so many photos, it simply isn't possible to make them available at such a low price.
So, what does this have to do with 250 Tips, Techniques, and Trade Secrets for Potters? Well, the download price on amazon.com currently is $15.67, a lot to pay for an eBook. But I suspect the reason is that this eBook must have been terribly expensive for the publishers to produce, and the download fee charged by amazon.com must be pretty steep. So, as a consumer, is it worth paying for? YES. Oh, yes!
If you're interested in learning more about ceramics and pottery, as I am (thanks to a student who attended my last Wild Wire Women retreat, who shared her gorgeous ceramic beads with me!), you will find this go-to resource very helpful and informative. And this book is by far the best art/craft eBook I've ever seen or purchased. The quality of the photography, text, layout, and easy navigation throughout the book is unmatched. And this book looks GORGEOUS on my iPad! The photos are big and bold, the text easily readable, and thanks to the way the publishers laid everything out, it's super easy to swipe through the contents to find different sections of interest to you.
The text covers the basics of the subject very well, with a generous number of photos and some diagrams, too. It does not cover the topic of ceramic beads at all, but this is OK for me because I'm such a novice in this field, and I really need to know about the different clays and glazes, firing times, etc. that are covered in this book. If you're a jewelry artist interested in dipping your toe into this fascinating art form, I can confidently recommend 250 Tips, Techniques, and Trade Secrets for Potters to you. And if you are hesitant to pay $15.67 for an eBook (as I was), let me assure you, this one is worth it.
Happy reading,
Sharilyn

2 comments:

Blogger said...

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Blogger said...

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