Q: I'm a writer and I'm looking to sell digital copies of my work. How should I get started?
A: The best tool to add to your tool belt for this job is Calibre. It converts files to PDF, ePub and other file types that work well on ereaders. Just save a copy of your book to TXT or ODT and then convert in Calibre. Upload to it a site like ePubBud or UploadNSell if you want to go it alone, or post it right to Amazon if you want that exposure. Be careful, though - Amazon takes a chunk of your sales. Set your price lower than you would a print copy - probably as low as half or less. People are more likely to take a risk on your book if the price isn't too high.
Q: I keep hearing that Facebook does really shady things as far as privacy is concerned. Are there any services that can replace it?
A: I like Glassboard because it's extra-private by default - the exact opposite of Facebook. Your posts are only shared with those you specify and the service doesn't sell any of your information to advertisers. ChatterTree is another private solution, but it's designed with families in mind. That doesn't mean you can't use it with friends, it just isn't as ideal. However, people don't love Facebook for its services; they love it because all their friends are on it. If you want a true social networking experience, make sure you share whichever site you move to with all of your friends.
Q: My son wants a handheld gaming gadget for his birthday. I can't decide whether to buy him a Kindle Fire or a Nintendo DS. Which do you think?
A: It really depends on what kind of games he plays. While tablets can play great iOS or Android games, these aren't the handheld gaming characters he's used to. You can find Sonic, but Mario, Pokemon and other favorites are DS-only. Your best bet is to ask him what games he wants. If he mentions a particular game by name, look for it in the app stores. If it's there, then feel free to buy him a tablet, since tablet games are usually cheaper or free. If the games he wants aren't on tablets, buy a Nintendo DS.
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