Q: Argh ... I didn't find an Amazon Kindle under my Christmas tree this year, so how can I read your book "Saving My Knees"?
Another made-up question ... but I wanted to do three blog posts, addressing three important matters. One: Why is the book electronic only? Two: How can I read it then? Three: What if I still don't have any way to read it?
Today's installment: "How can I read it then?"
Amazon should be processing the book in the next 24 hours, at which point I'll add a link here to where the book can be found online. If you own a Kindle or Kindle DX, you can download "Saving My Knees" and you're off to the races ... you'll be virtual-paging through almost 55,000 words that will get you thinking about your knees in new ways and challenge some of your beliefs about how to heal.
But what if you don't have a Kindle? Here are some solutions, all of them absolutely free.
If you own an iPad, you can download "Kindle for iPad," which should enable you to read any of Amazon's electronic books on your iPad.
If you own an iPhone, you can download "Kindle for iPhone."
If you own a BlackBerry or Mac, or a device that uses either the Android or Windows Phone 7 operating systems, go here for your solution.
I saved the best for last, because most of us own ordinary ol' PCs and not any of this other fancy gadgetry. That's no problem at all, as "Kindle for PC" will set you up nicely to peruse e-books all day long.
I've been using Kindle for PC for a few weeks now (partly to preview "Saving My Knees," to see how it will look as an e-book). I usually refrain from being a software cheerleader, but Kindle for PC is very, very neat, even if, like my good friend Molly, you hate technology and belong to the Lead Pencil Club.
First, the feature set: If you've just finished the Evelyn Wood speedreading course, you can display the book in newspaper-like columns, to whiz through the content faster. If you like your book to fill the computer screen, that's an option. If you want to change font size, font display, or how many words are crammed onto a line, you can tweak any of that, easily. And it goes without saying that you can quickly jump anywhere you want to in the book.
Kindle for PC does other things too, but here's what I think is coolest: it opens up a whole new world of free books. Access to free, quality content always elevates a good piece of software to great. For example, old books in the public domain (whose copyright protection has expired) can be downloaded from Amazon ... at no cost (I'm a huge Lewis Carroll fan so my first selection was "Alice in Wonderland"). Also there are some modern books that cost absolutely nothing too, such as a rather good thriller I downloaded for kicks.
Okay, you may be thinking: I've got a device to read the book on. But I live abroad. What about payment? (You'll pay $9.99 at most for "Saving My Knees", depending on the size of Amazon's discount.)
As I understand, Amazon's U.S. e-books are available through the U.K. site (with the payment automatically converted to pounds). My guess is that Amazon will expand this option this year to other countries ... we'll see.
So what about the rest of you, who don't live in the U.S. or the U.K.?
I'll admit I haven't done a lot of research into this yet. But I did find a Web page that shows how to buy a Kindle book from Amazon.com without a U.S. billing address, by using a gift certificate purchased with an international credit card.
Note: I can't vouch for this method, as the site is not Amazon-sanctioned, but anyone who gives this option a try, share your experience in the comments section and I'll be sure to update this post.
So there you have it! If this still doesn't help you, the last of these three posts will throw the floor open to the truly hard-luck cases to describe their problems, and we'll figure out solutions.
I want this book to be distributed as widely as possible because I think the message is very important and this kind of inspiring, fact-based story isn't available anywhere (and, amazingly, I've yet to find the scientific studies that I cite in "Saving My Knees" in any other "heal your knees" books). My hobby is troubleshooting and thinking around corners (that was part of the secret to my success in recovering), so I'm sure we'll find a way for everyone who wants to read this book to have that opportunity.