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The Tip Jar

Many Outlaw Galaxy stories are free to download, read and share with friends. If you like what you read, there are other Outlaw Galaxy novels and ebooks for sale, but you can also toss some spare change into the Tip Jar.

Any contribution is greatly appreciated. Your support goes directly to this author (instead of some big, faceless corporation) and it enables me to keep on writing and publishing Outlaw Galaxy stories.Thank you!

To contribute to the Tip Jar, just go to www.PayPal.com or Amazon Payments and send money to: bill@billsmithbooks.com.

The amount you contribute is up to you -- dimes and quarters, or a dollar or two or even more -- whatever you send, it all helps! Just as a guide, I sell my stories based on word count: 25 cents or so for a solo short story, $1 for 15,000-word collections and $3 for 45,000+ word novels and collections.

You can also contribute by snail mail:

Bill Smith Books
PO Box 124
Malone, NY 12953

Thank you for supporting an independent author!

Which Ebook Format Should I Pick?

Outlaw Galaxy ebooks are offered in a variety of formats and without any DRM (Digital Rights Management) so you can make backup copies, print, and reformat without any hassles.

If you already have an ebook reader, you can buy directly from your favorite retailer: -- Amazon uses the "Kindle format" (.mobi or .azw format), while the Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo and Apple ebook stores all sell the Epub format.

My retailer of choice is Smashwords because they allow you to just buy and download your ebooks. Smashwords sells worldwide, too. Smashwords has an excellent guide on how to get your ebook onto your reading device.

Smashwords offers direct downloads in Epub (the main ebook format), Mobi (for Kindle), PDF (for your computer), plain text, RTF (readable on any word processor), Palm Doc PDB (Palm pilot devices) and LRF (the old "Sony Reader" format). Plus, when you buy from Smashwords, you have access to that book in all formats.

Finally, you can read ebooks directly on the Smashwords website using almost any web browser, even older browsers. The online reading options for Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble require specific browsers and operating systems, so many readers can't read online. Smashwords' online reader works with just about everything.

I also sell ebooks directly through Gumroad -- just go my Gumroad profile page to see each book. I offer Epub, Mobi, PDF, txt, and a zipped file with all formats. Just use the Smashwords instructions above to load your book onto your device.

Notes and comments on the different ebook formats:

* Epub. One of the most popular ebook formats, Epub can be read by many ebook reader programs including Calibre, Stanza, Sigil, and FB Reader.

You can also read Epub files in many web browsers just like they were web pages. Use Epub Reader in Firefox, or the Epub Reader App in Chrome and Internet Explorer. You can also use Magic Scroll or Readium in Chrome.

Epub is used on the Apple devices (IPod touch, IPhone, IPad), the Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, the Kobo ebook reader and many other generic ebook readers. You can also read Epub books with the various reader apps offered by Barnes & Noble, Apple's Ibooks, Kobo and Adobe Digital Editions.

I personally use Calibre, FB Reader, and Epub Reader in Firefox.

* Mobi. Mobi is the "Kindle" format used on the various Amazon Kindle and Kindle Fire devices and apps. FBReader and Calibre can also read non-DRM'd .mobi files.

* PDF. PDF is primarily used on desktop and laptop computers. Adobe Acrobat Reader is the most popular PDF reader, but almost any computer and operating system (Windows, Linux and Apple) comes equipped with a PDF reader. The downside is that most PDFs are formatted to fit the printed page, 8-1/2 inches wide x 11 inches tall, so they tend not to be very readable on a small screen like an ebook reader or phone.

* txt. Plain text (.txt) is a common, very simple "universal" format that almost any device can read. Plain text is just words with no formatting, so you lose chapter heads, different fonts, and italics and bold, but the text itself is perfectly readable. Any computer and almost every ebook reader (except the Nook) can read plain text.

One very affordable option are the MP3 players that have plain text reader software. Just go to Ebay and search for MP3 or MP4 players -- be sure to pick one with at least a 2.8-inch screen and look for someting like "ebook reader" or "text reader" in the description. (This software has become pretty standard with most MP3/MP4 players but doublecheck to be sure.) I have found the three- and four-inch screens to provide a really comfortable reading experience. The great thing about these readers is that you can often buy them for just $25-30.

* RTF. RTF is a common word processor format that can be read by Word, Open Office, Google Docs and almost any other word processor. The advantage of RTF over plain text is that it shows chapter heads, fonts, and other formatting, including italic and bold formatting.

* HTML. Ebooks packaged just like a regular web page, either in a zip folder containing the actual HTML page and any images, or a single, stand-alone HTML page without images. Honestly, I expected HTML to become the main ebook format -- after all, Epub is just a zipped HTML file with a couple of added files for navigation -- but HTML ebooks never caught on.

The advantage of HTML files is that they can be read in any web browser -- Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Safari or any other web browser, on almost any device, including PCs, any web-enabled cell-phone, or any Android or Apple iOS device that can surf the web.

At this time, I do not offer my ebooks in HTML format, but if there is any demand for them, I would be glad to offer this format.

File Conversions. Because Outlaw Galaxy ebooks are not encrypted with DRM (Digital Rights Management), you can make backup copies to your other computers or devices, print, and reformat with no hassles. You can reformat using Calibre or online services like Online-Convert, 2Epub and others.

Newsletter (FREE!)

Get the latest news from Bill Smith and the Outlaw Galaxy universe, including story excerpts and previews: Newsletter.

To subscribe to Bill's FREE email newsletter, just email bill@billsmithbooks.com and type "Subscribe."

Contact Bill Smith

I love to hear from my readers, so please feel free to drop me a line:

Email comments & questions:
bill@billsmithbooks.com

Or send a snail mail to:

Bill Smith Books
PO Box 124
Malone, NY 12953

Author's Note

Bill Smith is proud to be an independent author and publisher. Rather than depending on a large publishing company, I do it all myself. It's more work, but it's also a lot more rewarding. Being indie gives me the freedom to write the stories I want to write and the ability to share them with readers around the world.

As a small, independent author, every single reader and every single sale really matters. Thank you for your support!

If you like my stories, please tell your friends and have them look up the Outlaw Galaxy series at Smashwords.com, their favorite ebook retailer, or at my sites, BillSmithBooks.com and OutlawGalaxy.com

Outlaw Galaxy ebooks are published DRM Free (No Digital Rights Management). That means you can make backup copies, change formats and read these ebooks on any of your devices. I believe that DRM only harms honest customers while slowing pirates hardly a bit (if at all).

I believe that being DRM-free is more important than the risk of "piracy." I've found that most readers are honest, decent folks who understand the importance of supporting and paying the authors they like. Readers know that authors need to be paid so they can write more stories for readers to enjoy -- authors have families to feed, too.

I also understand the importance of word-of-mouth -- I discovered most of my favorite authors through libraries or by borrowing copies of books from friends -- so I offer substantial samples of Outlaw Galaxy books at all ebook vendors and at my websites, BillSmithBooks.com and OutlawGalaxy.com.

You can also show your support by making a contribution to the Tip Jar.

Copyright Notice: BillSmithBooks, Outlaw Galaxy, Outlaw Galaxy Tales and Imagination Forge are trademarks of Bill Smith. Copyright 1998-2013 by Bill Smith. Please respect my copyright. Please don't copy, post on torrents or otherwise duplicate my stories without my express permission. Copyright infringement makes me sad.