Monday
Jan232012

Age of the Sigil Episode Four Out Today

If you're new to 711press.com, you are in for a treat with the latrest TV book series, Age of the Sigil! For those of you who love books by authors such as J.R.R Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Cinda Williams Chima, Terry Goodkind, R.A. Salvatore and Christopher Paolini, Age of the Sigil is your newest quest. Sigilis one hot, suspenseful YA Fantasy/TV series consisting of 13 books per season. Episode four: Paysley Dawn hits the Kindle stands today.

In this fourth installment of Sigil Season One, the bearers head north to the mountainside town of Paysley Dawn, where they soon learn that the town's water source is being polluted by a man-eating monster. Discovering that the monster has something to do with their next quest, the four bearers scour the town to learn the truth about the creature. However, before they can find the beast's hiding place, the bearers land in jail, putting their search and destroy mission on hold.

Get ready for the ride of your life that includes dragons, wizards, warriors, and magical weapons in the ultimate battle between good and evil. Learn more about Age of the Sigil and get your Kindle copy here.
__________________

This TV series is the brainchild of 711 Press co-founders Daniel Middleton and Jaime Vendera, but stalwarts Ronald Coleborn and Melvyn Riley helped to fashion the world you experience in this vast series. It is produced by Jaime Vendera and written by Melvyn Riley. Literary veteran Rich Dalglish is the editor.

Monday
Jan232012

Kill Factor 2

Some have been wondering what I have planned for the Kill Factor series going forward. Some of the elements I introduced will figure prominently in the series, while others will be scaled back for the sake of story development and continuity. I can't get into specifics, but the core mythos will be intact. Redrum is thriving and Hardrian and company are bent on taking it down at any cost, but there will be much more to the saga than meets the eye. 711 Press co-owner Daniel Middleton has taken over production of the series, and he has come to the table with a lot of great suggestions, so the next few books will be a slight departure from what has come before. But we will definitely be building on what came before for all you fans of the first book.

Stay tuned for more as the series develops. I've seen the design schemes for the next three covers and I am bowled over by the dynamic vision of the artists. They really get it.

- R. Vallon

Monday
Jan232012

Why We Rate our 711 Press Books

At 711 Press, we are dedicated to delivering what we promise: books that read just like action-packed movies and television shows. We understand that your time is valuable, so what better way to give you a great read than to write a book that is void of hundreds of pages of filler; how would you like to read books that put you right into the middle of the action and take you for a thrill ride in the same amount of time it takes you to watch a movie or your favorite television show? That's why our Movie Books can be easily read from beginning to end in less than three hours, and our TV Book episodes can be digested in thirty minutes or less. 

Building on our 711 Press formula, we not only list appromixate read times for each book, we also rate each book just like the movies and television shows you're used to. That way, you can decide if a title may be too racy for you. Still, we do try to keep our titles clean, and they are void of foul language, but we do understand that some book scenes may be to graphically violent or provocative for many of our fans. Therefore we've incorporated the following ratings system to aid you in choosing a book that's right for you. Our Movie and TV Books are based on the same rating system used by the film industry, and is as follows:

G (General Audiences): All ages can read. G-rated books by 711 Press currently do not exist. However, our first G-rated title, D.N.A: David Noble Alien by Jami Lynn Saunders will be released May of this year. 

PG (Parental Guidance Suggested): Our TV books Age of the Sigil and Order of 5ive both fall into the PG category. These YA adventures are good, clean fiction reads that are suitable for children, tweens, and adults alike. But they do have lightly textured battle scenes, therefore we felt they deserved a slightly more restricted rating than G. 

PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned): The Werecat Saga, featuring the Movie Books Feral, Rabid, and Nocturnal, as well as the Crisis Trilogy, which feature the Movie Books Crisis Artifact, Chaos Pendulum and Catastrophe Scroll would fall into this category. Both trilogies include graphic fight scenes that are not too gory, but we suggest these books be approved by a parent for children 13 and under.  

R (Restricted): Children under 17 should not read these titles without the permission of a parent or adult guardian (preferably one who is willing to guide them throughout the read). The Moment of Death trilogy, which includes Flight 666, Long Cold Winter, and Moment of Death from our horror line is definitely rated-R due to its strong graphic content. Movie Books in the Kill Factor seriesthough James Bond-esque in nature is still considered R-rated due to scenes of violence, as well as the occasional adult situation. TV Book series Mafiosi, similar to television shows like The Sopranos, Las Vegas,and Boardwalk Empire would not be suitable for children under 17 without parental permission (and/or guidance).

Unfortunately, 711 Press has no way to enforce these guidelines. However, we still want to inform our readers so that wise reading choices can be made. Refer to ourCurrent Titles page often for the latest releases in Movie and TV books. As always, each book will be listed with approximate read times and suggested ratings.
Happy Reading!
Monday
Jan232012

Rerun Mondays: Order of 5ive Episode Three

Rerun Mondays continues with the release of Order of 5ive Episode 3. Order was the first TV Book series by 711 Press, the brainchild of both 711 producers Daniel Middleton and Jaime Vendera. In this episode, an old enemy of King's finally reveals himself, forcing the teens to band together to stop the villain's new super alliance from laying waste to New York City. But in the end, many may wonder if he's a villain at all.

For those of you who love shows like The X-Files and cartoons and movies like X-MenOrder of 5ive is the perfect combination. We're sure you'll enjoy this action-packed series and we're happy to deliver free copies to our Kindle fans to prepare you for Order of 5ive season 2, due June 2012. To learn more about Order of 5ive and to get your FREE kindle copy of Episode Three, click here. To receive this week's free copy, simply click on the Kindle link for Episode Three to claim your free copy. Or just click here to be taken to the Amazon Kindle page.

Monday
Jan162012

iPad 2 vs Kindle Fire: An Author/Reader/Musician's Review

As an author, book producer, avid reader, and recording musician, I decided it was my duty to do a review of the iPad and Kindle Fire for those of you who are on the fence as to whether to go team Apple or team Amazon. Ironically, I own the original iPad, a Kindle 3 with an e-ink screen, and most recently received the Kindle Fire as a present (not to mention my iPhone). Yes, I know that it seems like tablet overload, but I'm not complaining. I actually use every device I own, especially since I produce fiction books for 711 Press and write books for Vendera Publishing. So, if you're on the fence about which to buy, this review is a simple breakdown of my thoughts on each tablet, which I hope will help you decide the best choice for you. Let's start with the tablet screen:

VIDEO
 If you prefer a larger screen, especially for watching movies on Netflix, the 9.7-inch screen on the iPad does offer easier viewing over the 7-inch screen on the Kindle Fire. At 132 pixels per inch via iPad versus 169 pixels per inch via Kindle Fire, I haven't noticed much difference in quality. So, if screen size doesn't matter, this isn't a deal breaker. Viewing movies on either screen is enjoyable. The quality is crisp and clean on both tablets. Speaking of movies, if watching streaming videos is your thing, Amazon Prime ($79.00 per year) does offer free movie streaming similar to Netflix, which is just one of the perks for Amazon Prime. (I'll discuss more perks shortly). 


STORAGE
If hard drive storage is a concern, you have the choice between 32-gigs and 64-gigs of internal storage on the iPad versus only 8-gigs on the Kindle Fire. However, this doesn't seem to be much of a problem with Amazon Cloud, Amazon's virtual hard drive that allows storage of your books, apps and the mp3 cloud player for all your music. The downside is that if you're a real gamer, some of the apps are pretty hefty in size, and they must be installed on the Kindle Fire in order to play. In other words, you won't be able to store nearly as many games on the Kindle Fire as you can with the iPad. Still, Amazon keeps track of ALL your purchases so any app can easily be added, deleted, and re-downloaded on the spot (as long as you have wifi). 

PROCESSING SPEED
If you are a gamer or an avid app user, both the iPad and Kindle Fire have 1GHz dual-core chips so gaming and app usage should be seamless. I must admit that Amazon hasn't caught up to the amount of apps available through the iTunes app store as of yet, so you may be searching for the perfect game for a while.  Since I write books and record music, I do prefer my iPad for those type of apps, especially since the apps I use are only available for the iPad as of now. But that is only one of the reasons I prefer the iPad for writing and recording. The battery charge port as well as the headphone jack on the iPad allows me to attach microphones like the Blue Mikey from Blue Microphones, as well as the iRig mic from IK Multimedia. I haven't seen any developments in this department for the Kindle Fire. But again, the Kindle Fire just came out of the gate. Also, for writing, it's much easier to use the on-screen keyboard with the bigger screen or an external keyboard via bluetooth for the iPad for all my typing needs.

APP/MUSIC ACCESSIBILITY
If 32-gig or 64-gig isn't enough room for the iPad, iTunes keeps track of all your app and iBook purchases as well, so you can easily retrieve apps you've deleted. However, I'm a little perturbed by the music side of iTunes. From my understanding, as long as you sync your music to your computer, you always have a backup of the music you've purchased. But if you don't sync, but remove music from your iPad, you’ll haver to re-purchase, meaning you’re out $9.99 for that album. I've never been able to gel with the iTunes software. I truly think Apple should set the music side up exactly like the apps side. It's a pain to have to sync and load music and worse, to add music to my iPad/iPhone, in my opinion. I'd love to be able to delete whole albums to make room for more music and then simply re-download an album directly from the iTunes music store when I feel the need. That's why I've recently been dabbling in music purchases from Amazon. The cloud player is amazing and my music is easily accessible. I can delete and re-add to my Kindle Fire as needed. 

BATTERY LIFE
No comparison in this department. The iPad wins by a longshot. I find I have to shut down my Kindle Fire just to keep from draining the battery. My iPad can easily outlast the Kindle Fire by hours. 

CAMERA
Sadly, there's no camera on the Kindle Fire. Like my iPad, I wish I would've waited for the second generation of the Kindle Fire to see if it came with a camera.  With the release of the iPad 2, you now have a front and rear camera, which makes it nice for Apple's Facetalk as well as apps like Skype. This allows you to use one camera for taking pictures, while the other allows you to have a two-way video chat with friends so you can see them and they can see you. 

PRICE
At $200, the Kindle Fire is the best tablet for your buck. I believe they sell it so cheap because it's not their main money maker. Each Kindle is a tool to get you in the door. Once you're in, you're hooked; you’ll buy apps, books, music and videos. You’ll be even more hooked if you sign up for Amazon Prime, which not only gives you unlimited streaming video of select movies and TV shows, but also free 2-day shipping on all products purchased through amazon, as well as the option to borrow a free book per month from participating books in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (to which all 711 Press books belong). Even at $79.00 per year, in the long run, Prime pays for itself. And if you have more Kindle users in the house, one Prime subscription covers up to four users in the household for even more savings. When you buy a Kindle Fire, you automatically receive Amazon Prime free for one month to test drive. No such service exists through iTunes for the iPad 2. Speaking of which, you’ll be forking over a minimum of $500 to own an iPad.

WEB BROWSING 
The Kindle Fire uses the Amazon Silk web browser which is far better than the Safari browser for the iPad. Silk integrates with Amazon’s servers to accelerate page loading times, and should make browsing even quicker than it already would be with the dual-core processor. Now I do all my net surfing with my Kindle Fire.


FREEBIES I LOVE 
Amazon for offering their free 'App of the Day' through the Amazon apps store. You can get apps ranging from $0.99 to $9.99 for free every single day. All you have to do is fire up your tablet, go to the app store and check out the daily offer. With recent changes on Amazon, which allow authors and publishing companies more control over their products, you can now get tons of free books as well. I've become an avid searcher of the free Kindle book list to find all the daily specials from authors giving their books away for free for a limited time. I've downloaded several hundred dollars in free apps and books in less than a month of owning a Kindle Fire. The books and apps are mine to keep forever. The free downoads alone have moved me over to the Amazon platform.

So to sum up this looooong review, I have to say that as a reader, I would totally choose the Kindle Fire over the iPad. Even watching movies and listening to music is just as nice. The free apps and books I discover daily will keep me firing up my Kindle Fire every morning. That alone can pay for the $200.00 price-tag within a few months. And if you think you can sneak in to get these freebies or use Amazon Prime through some iTunes Kindle app, think again. You MUST own a Kindle to enjoy the freebies and bonuses such as borrowing the books through Prime. The only thing I miss is the e-ink screen, which allows me to read Kindle books out in the sun. Plus, it looks like real pages. No matter, I still have my Kindle 3. 

On the other hand, as a writer or musician, iPad wins hands down. It is easier to type in Word or Google Docs using the iPad. Recording with an 8-track recorder via an app like IK Multimedia's VocaLive is much easier too. Gaming is a little easier as well, considering the bigger screen allows for easier usage of the gaming controls.

So, you need to decide whether you a reader, music listener, gamer, writer, or musician. Choose wisely, because your answers will determine your choice. If you are all of the above, well, you may want to double dip and get both…I'm just glad I did :)