Hollywood Remains to Be Seen
The E-book Series

Why e-books? But first, what are e-books?

An e-book is an electronic, digital version of a "real" printed book which can be read on a computer or a wide variety of electronic devices. E-books are usually read on specially designed e-book readers, like the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook, which are usually about the same size and weight as a printed book. E-books can also be read on personal computers and some mobile phones. And if you really have an uncontrollable desire to hold paper in your hands, e-books can also be printed. But that would sort of defeat the purpose of an e-book, and would be sort of ridiculous.

There are a few advantages to an e-book. First, since there's no cost for paper, printing, delivery or bookstores, e-books are usually a lot cheaper than printed books. (We'll discuss the whole bookstore issue a little later.) You can have them delivered instantly to your e-book reader. They don't take up as much space as printed books, and you can store literally thousands of books on an e-book reader that you can easily carry with you.

And they're updatable, at no additional cost -- an extremely important feature for my particular type of e-books.

If you're going to tour a cemetery, these e-book guides are handy, helpful -- and safe. Most cemeteries officially frown on tourists and grave-hunters, to varying degrees. Some will follow and eject anyone they think might not be there to visit a loved one. Most are a little more forgiving and will look the other way, as long as you're discreet and respectful.

A good way to announce yourself as a tourist or a grave-hunter is to be carrying around a giant camera -- many cemeteries officially ban photography -- or a cemetery guide book. If you're just there to visit your dear Uncle Henry, you probably don't need a guide book to tell you where he's buried. And Uncle Henry probably isn't in the guidebook anyway.

With an e-book, you can have all the information you need at your fingertips, and you won't draw unwanted attention.

Plus, with e-books, I'll be able to quickly update information, and include new names, new stories and whatever else I want to add -- and, heaven forbid, correct mistakes -- whenever it's necessary. And you won't have to wait for the next version of the book to be published. Whenever someone famous drops dead, they'll be included before the dirt settles. How cool is that?

If you buy the e-book once, you get all the future updates, additions and new stuff for free. (You just have to download the new version. Is that too much to ask?) What a deal!

Even so, you might be thinking, "Sure, this is a fabulous idea, and these are fascinating, well-written and informative books. And the price is certainly reasonable. But I'm still not sure. Buying a book, even an e-book, is a very serious decision. How do I know if I'll like it? What if I don't understand it? What if it's too complicated for me? What if there are too many big words? What if it's boring? If I buy it, I want to be able to read it and enjoy it, and not have it just gathering e-dust inside my e-book reader."

Your worries are over! Before you make the purchase, you can look through the book first, to see it you want to make the financial committment. Just go to my page at Smashwords, and you can browse through the first 10 percent for free, before you get the message that you'll have to buy it if you want to see the rest. (It's the electronic version of the bookstore owner coming over to you and saying, "Hey, pal, this isn't a library.")

And these aren't little pamphlets or brochures. Most of my e-book guides are about 25,000 to 30,000 words, including a cemetery history, detailed directions to find each grave location, and personal and professional biographies. (To compare, the page you're reading now is about 900 words.) So, you'll get your money's worth.

Thanks in advance. And, if you feel like it, please lemme know what you think.

In the meantime, I'm still trying to find a new publisher for the old-fashioned paper version of the second edition of the entire book -- "Son of Hollywood Remains to Be Seen," or "Revenge of Hollywood Remains to Be Seen," or something like that, for those of us who still like a real, physical book.

Yes, I love books. And I really love bookstores. The countless thousands of hours I've spent browsing through bookstores are among the happiest times of my life. My shelves at home are jam-packed and sagging under the weight of hundreds of my most prized possessions -- books.

My idea of heaven is to spend a few hours at Larry Edmunds Bookshop in Hollywood, or Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard, or Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. To me, the joy of browsing through a bookstore is finding exactly what you didn't know you were looking for -- "Wait! What? Someone wrote a book about that? I had no idea such a thing existed. I can't believe it! I need to have it!"

Unfortunately, bookstores don't sell e-books. (Yet.) Plus, it's really hard to schedule a book-signing event for an e-book. So, please, please continue to patronize your local bookstore (and if it's a locally owned bookstore, even better)

But if need a compact, portable, easy-to-conceal guide to a Hollywood-area cemetery, think about the e-book thing.


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