Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

eBooks: Will you love them or leave them?

Although eBooks have been around for quite a while they are only just now starting to become part of the mainstream.  Things are still changing very rapidly for eBook retailers, publishers and readers.  Apple’s entry into the eBook market with the launch of iBooks and the iPad has indeed been a game changer.

If you are a bit of a skeptic, I’m here to tell you that eBooks do have some advantages.  Because they are electronic they can be loaded onto several devices.  You can carry hundreds of books with you and reference them whenever you want.  If you see a book you want you don’t have to wait.  You can download your book to your reader and have it in a few minutes.  eBooks can also provide some enhanced features like links, definitions, audio, videos and more.

If you decided to join the eBook world there are a number of readers to chose from based on price and features.  The two most famous right now are the Kindle and the iPad.

The Kindle is a pure reader and that is its only function.  The Kindle is easy to read.  Like all readers you can adjust the font size (so you don’t have to squint) and look words up in the built-in dictionary.  One thing that people really like about the Kindle is that you can get your book (from Amazon only, though) from any location where you can get access to the phone network (although a small fee applies for each use).  With WiFi, you can also mail books to your Kindle from other sources.  However, you will have to convert your books (via Amazon) if they were bought elsewhere unless they are a PDF.  Until recently the Kindle was quite expensive, but competition has caused Amazon to drop the price significantly.

I love the iPad.  The advantage is that it is multifunctional.  You can play games, read a newspaper, listen to music, read your email, watch a video, type notes and so on.  Oh yeah, you can read books too.  You can buy books from Apple but books bought at the Apple store, right now at least, can only run on an Apple device.  However, you can load books from other sources in ePub format or PDF format.  To read books on the “i” device, you simply download a free copy of iBooks and add your .epub or .PDF books to your library in iTunes.

There are other readers you might also want to consider, for example, the Kobo is a low cost reader which works well.

eBooks and Bridge Books

It is relatively hard to convert bridge books to ePub format, since the hand diagrams and auctions have to stay together and you need to incorporate special suit symbols.  It takes time and know-how.  If you buy a non-Master Point Press title, be warned, it may not be readable.  It’s a hard job to create good bridge eBooks (believe me, we know!).  PDF’s are much easier to work with and most books in that format should work well on most devices.

PDF’s are most suitable for use on a computer and ePub format (or equivalent) are best for readers, although both can be used with suitable software on either device.  Most vendors charge separately for each format.  But at Master Point Press we plan on providing purchasers with both formats at no extra cost, so you can enjoy your book effectively on your PC or your reader, whatever way you want.

At the moment most vendors will be very helpful.  If you have a problem, lose a book or get the wrong thing, they will provide a replacement.

If this all sounds a bit complicated, it really isn’t.  Even if you only have a computer you can download a PDF version of your book and read it, or download an ePub version and read it that way (you will also need to download a free ePub reader).

Printing: All Master Point Press PDF’s can be printed.  If you want a printed copy use your PDF version and print it from your PC (or just print out that critical page or two).  This is generally true of many PDF’s from other sources (although some may be locked to prevent printing).

Free Downloads: There are lots of free downloads around that you can read on your reader. has a number of books and other material.  If you look around you will find there are free books in all formats available, especially books that are no longer in copyright.  Robinson Crusoe anyone?

Pricing: eBooks almost always cost less than the comparable paperback.  After all, there is no printing cost so the publisher can charge a bit less.  But the cost of developing a book is the same and with a retailer, an author, an editor, a designer and more to pay, well-produced books will still cost more than a few cents.  At this point the business arrangements between the publishers and online retailers are in flux so not every book will be available from every source.  All Master Point Press eBooks (and some others) will be available at as well as other sources upon completion.

If you are interested in selling a bridge eBook contact us at  We have a program for publishing bridge books as eBooks with a high return to the author.  For more details refer to the Honors eBooks FAQs at


Dave Memphis MOJOAugust 20th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I could see that ebooks are here to stay, so I bought a Kindle. A few weeks later, they announced the new generation Kindle, so I returned mine and ordered the new one. I haven’t got it yet (there’s a backlog of orders), but I’m looking forward to it.

“The Kindle is a pure reader and that is its only function.”

I believe the Kindle has a rudimentary browser.

MichaelAugust 22nd, 2010 at 1:16 am

The Kindle does have a rudimentary browser and also has some games on it now.

Also the Kindle doesn’t charge for downloads in the US (assuming you have a US account linked to the Kindle).

The Kindle is awesome. I travel for work a few times for a week at a time and also travel to NABC for the week and half and being able to take just a Kindle instead of a dozen books is a huge savings. Also, I like that if I finish a book in a series in less than a minute I’m reading the next book.

I’m not a huge gadget person (no mobile phone!), but the Kindle has been a great purchase. It would be great to see some Master Point Print Ebooks in the Kindle store (for free would be terrific, for money would be ok too).

LuiseAugust 23rd, 2010 at 11:59 am

I have to confess that I’m with Linda, I LOVE the iPad… The only problem that I have with the iPad is that it has this strange property that once you pick it up, it becomes glued to your fingers and it is impossible to pry the iPad away from anyone who touches it.

The iPad that lives in my house is technically the property of my husband and he almost never puts it down. I may have to buy a second one just so that I can get some time using it once in a while.

Howard Bigot-JohnsonAugust 23rd, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Dear Linda, I think e-Books is just a fabulous alternative way of publishing one’s material. Yet I find the experience of reading material on a computer screen very unsatisfying. At least with a paper bound book, you have some tangible thing in your hands. A 3-D object, which you take around with you anywhere, to delve into at a moment’s notice, something to truly treasure, never having to purchase and rely upon expensive technological gadgets prone to viruses and breakdowns. But there again I’m a techno-phobic, philistine and dinosaur all rolled into one. Yours HBG

LindaAugust 23rd, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I still love real books but I am gradually getting used to reading on my ipad. I don’t think I would like to read a book on a tiny screen like a smart phone.

I would be happy with a Kindle for reading but I love many other things about the ipad so it is kind of nice to have one device. I am currently planning to take my ipad with me to England rather than a computer. It can really do almost everything, email, news and magazine, banking, internet, books and games.

Whatever your poison I do think an ebook reader is pretty cool. I am taking about 50 books with me in digital form so I am sure not to get bored. (Also about 500 songs and a couple of TV shows … well Daly and Colbert).

LindaAugust 24th, 2010 at 9:57 am


There are a few Master Point Press books now available for Kindle in the US. You can also get free downloads of PDF’s from our store There are quite a few and you can easily read them on any but the oldest Kindle. May I particularly recommend the issue of Canadian Master Point which has lots for everybody and of course if you like squeezes there is my practice squeeze hands. I give special mention and usually a bit of a reward to anybody who finds any significant errors in those deals.

AndrewAugust 25th, 2010 at 9:52 am

I recommend getting a dedicated ebook reader. Besides its appropriate size and reduced weight, the screens are typically not back-lit and much much easier on the eyes for longer reading as a result. Look for one that feels comfortable holding like you would a book.

LuiseAugust 25th, 2010 at 10:29 am


I believe that your above statement about the earliest Kindle is actually incorrect. From what I have heard from some of our customers own a 1st Generation Kindle, they were able to get the PDF books loaded to a readable format. I believe the customer I specifically spoke to had the PDF sent to Amazon for a conversion, but she said it worked quite well for her.

To my knowledge, this conversion process is only available to customers in the US, but hopefully that will change soon. (If it already has changed and I am mis-informed, please do leave a comment and let me know!)

I get tired eyes sometimes from reading things on my back-lit computer monitor. But, for some reason, I never seem to have the same problems with using my iPod touch or the iPad… Anyway, if I JUST wanted to read books, then I would get a dedicated eBook reader. But there are SOOO many things I can do with the iPad. I can lay in bed at the end of the day and relax and catch up on my email, or play a mindless game like Angry Birds or Plants vs. Zombies, or read the news, or check the weather report for tomorrow, or look up something on google that just came to my head, or watch a video on youtube, play a quick game of Heads-Up Holdem, read a book, or a combination of all of the above. The possibilities are endless!

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