Introducing Pocket F1 Handbook: Grand Prix Almanac 2013

Every Formula One season tells a story. A continuing saga, a sporting soap opera, it dates back to the inauguration of the World Championship in 1950 and even before that. At the same time, each and every year, the slate is wiped clean and both drivers and teams are given the chance to impress all over again.

This book will guide you through the 2013 season, visiting each event in turn to see how the year unfolded, and how events wound their way towards the season-closing race in Brazil. From the early anticipation of brand new rookie drivers, to the closing stages with familiar faces on the podium, you’ll revisit the highs and lows of another page added to F1’s illustrious and often controversial history.

Each year holds something new, and for 2013 it was the potential for a four-times world champion, the youngest ever, in Sebastian Vettel. Or it was the prospect of finding out who could beat him. This was something of a transitional year. The regulations were set for a significant overhaul in 2014, the engines being drastically changed, and the subsequent impact across the rest of the car.

With a compromise to be made between living in the now and forward thinking, the 2013 season was never going to go down in history as one of the classics. The championship fight also didn’t lend itself to a cracking season’s end. But the year still had plenty of drama, enough on-track incidents to go round and plenty of off-track shenanigans to keep the column inches filled. Relive it all in this Pocket F1 Handbook.

Available now on Amazon for Kindle and coming soon to iBookstore.

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Guide to the 2013 F1 Season – Get your updates now!

I love it when a plan comes together. This time last year, getting an update through onto the Pocket F1 Handbook owned by loyal and marvellous customers was not an easy feat. Fast forward twelve months, and a significant period of chopping and changing within Formula One, and we now have two sections significantly updated and ready for you to read!

No matter which version of the book you bought, iBookstore or Amazon Kindle, you should be able to get your hands on an updated copy – with a little less Razia and a little more Sutil. Just a couple of days after the season got going too!

If you went the iBookstore route, it should be a simple matter of deleting the book and downloading it again. For Amazon customers, you may or may not get an email suggesting there is an update to be done. There’s a setting for Automatic Updates which, if switched on, means you don’t have to do anything. If you’re more cautious by nature and have that turned off, you simply need to go into the Manage My Kindle settings, locate the book, and use the little drop down on the right to Update the title.

We’ve been eagerly anticipating a seamless way to update books in this way, and although there are still a few niggles to be worked out, and the system could still be a little faster, it’s such a step forward from where we were in 2012. It’s almost worth the endless rewrites I had to do just to experience the satisfaction of getting to this point!

Of course, if you haven’t bought the book yet, then the new and improved versions are just waiting for your purchase! Snap up a copy, available on Amazon or iBookstore now!

Pocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2013 F1 Season now available on the iBookstore

This year, the Pocket F1 Handbook is spreading its wings and launching on more than just Amazon reading apps and devices. The Guide to the 2013 F1 Season is now available on the Apple iBookstore, making it available to an iDevice near you. If you prefer your books to have a more standard viewing experience, and the ability to update faster, the iBookstore option may be the one for you.

Portrait - AlonsoPocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2013 F1 Season

Formula One begins a brand new season, with a lot to live up to. The action in 2012 surprised, delighted and thrilled fans with a host of different winners, a successful return to the United States and a championship fight that went right down to the wire.

With Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel securing their third driver and constructor championships in a row, the challenge of trying to beat them is ever-present. Lewis Hamilton’s high-profile move to Mercedes will be a key factor in that team’s fortunes, as they attempt to move forward and join the intense battle at the front. Look out also for Ferrari and McLaren who will both be keen to halt Red Bull’s run of success.

There is one less constructor on the grid for 2013, with HRT unable to secure a buyer in time to pay their entry fee. Eleven passionate teams remain, along with 22 drivers ready to compete on 19 unique circuits around the world over the course of nine months.

This book provides a guide to the drivers, teams, important regulation changes and each stop on the 2013 calendar, so that wherever you are, you will always have a useful guide to the entire F1 season.

Available on Amazon or iBookstore now!

Introducing Pocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2013 F1 Season

Formula One begins a brand new season, with a lot to live up to. The action in 2012 surprised, delighted and thrilled fans with a host of different winners, a successful return to the United States and a championship fight that went right down to the wire.

With Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel securing their third driver and constructor championships in a row, the challenge of trying to beat them is ever-present. Lewis Hamilton’s high-profile move to Mercedes will be a key factor in that team’s fortunes, as they attempt to move forward and join the intense battle at the front. Look out also for Ferrari and McLaren who will both be keen to halt Red Bull’s run of success.

There is one less constructor on the grid for 2013, with HRT unable to secure a buyer in time to pay their entry fee. Eleven passionate teams remain, along with 22 drivers ready to compete on 19 unique circuits around the world over the course of nine months.

This book provides a guide to the drivers, teams, important regulation changes and each stop on the 2013 calendar, so that wherever you are, you will always have a useful guide to the entire F1 season.

Available now on Amazon for Kindle and coming soon to iBookstore.

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Research (and distraction) has always been at your finger tips

The amazing thing about the internet is that you can research almost anything and get an answer within a few seconds. There is plenty of questionable information out there, but if you use a sensible head and double check your sources and facts, you’re likely to do well.

The difficult thing about the internet is that you can do almost anything when you’re trying to research something. News, video, music, games, social, it’s all there at the tips of your fingers and when procrastination comes easily to you, the internet can be a goldmine.

Where traditionalists would say doing your research physically, in a library, helps with that problem, I tend to disagree. I haven’t been in a library for several years now, but when I did used to visit, I wouldn’t just stick to the books I was supposed to be looking at. For every on topic tome there would be a stack of others that were just as or more interesting. Perhaps distractions aren’t so easily come by, but then neither is the resulting information you are after.

Ultimately I’d say the time saved using the world wide web for its intended purpose of shared knowledge is used up by the time spent navigating all the other fun stuff that gets in the way. Time spent in a library may be less efficient but more to the point. So, we are likely net zero when it comes to which research method is more effective, and therefore, as with most things, it’s simply a matter of personal preference.

Apple vs Amazon in the fight for updating rights

One of the appeals of writing books exclusively in a digital format is that if you need to update your book, it should be simple. Whether it be for a mistake, or additional information, or simply a bigger and better second edition, ebooks are perfect for updating. Rather than printing a huge batch of paperback or hard copy books then realising you’ve made an error, it should be easy to fix and avoid that heart-sinking moment of discovery.

Round in circles

It should work that way, but up until this point, it really hasn’t. When I published the 2012 Season Preview earlier this year, there were a few tweaks that needed to be made almost immediately. Nothing major, just a couple of typos and a table that wasn’t looking right. I published the book via Amazon’s Kindle store and Apple’s iBookstore, and both processes were completely hideous.

The first problem came because Apple take so long to approve the book that we were ready to do an update before they had published the Preview to the store. It takes an age to get things approved for the iBookstore, and when it did finally appear, I ended up in a circular email conversation with a friendly but ultimately unhelpful helpdesk representative. It was a frustrating experience that led to the conclusion that the lower number of sales via the iBookstore was not worth the hassle of trying to deal with the admin.

Amazon won the battle, then, but only slightly. It was much easier to submit an update to the book (which had been published almost immediately), and there were only a dozen or so people who managed to get their hands on the first edition. Trying to get an update pushed out to those existing owners wasn’t easy, despite giving all the information across to Amazon as requested. They said it should appear in the Manage my Kindle section for those that want to update – but it didn’t.

So updating should be easy, and it isn’t. Or, at least, it hasn’t been up until now.

Forward motion

Apple’s recent announcement has stirred enthusiasm for the iBookstore again, with the ability to push updates to customers without any hassle at all. It still takes an age to get the book approved in the first place, but once it is there, you can replace it with updated versions as often and as seamlessly as you would like. The updates show up just as any app update would – with an alert to let you know a download is available.

The only question mark over it is what happens to all your bookmarks. The reason Amazon are so circumspect in updating books is that they require express permission from the user to go in and download a new version, wiping all their highlights and notes. Apple say they will migrate the highlights and extras forward where possible, but this is probably one of those “mileage may vary” things.

So, from far behind, from frustrations that saw me call an end to my books on the iBookstore, Apple have jumped ahead again with this new ability to update. The competition for ebook domination is pushing innovation and improvements from both parties, and that can only be a good thing!

New Kindle update gives you more book for your buck

When the Kindle Fire initially came out, we saw ebooks the way they should be – nice layouts, gorgeous pictures, crisper graphics. The fact-filled and informative Pocket F1 book made use of the new table designs and looked all the better for it.

Sadly, the Kindle desktop apps and the original devices were left behind with less snazzy tables, but that has all changed thanks to Amazon’s latest Kindle update. The new version (4.1.0) should be rolling out to customers gradually, or you can head to that link and update manually if you’re tricksy like that.

The upgraded features include:

  • Improved reading font that is higher contrast and crisper
  • Parental Controls that allow you to restrict access
  • Dictionaries grouped into a collection in Home and Archived Items
And the one that is most important to us:
  • Support for books with complex layouts and formats with Kindle Format 8.

Granted, I wouldn’t call a table a particularly complex layout, but nevertheless, the new version allows it to look ever so pretty. To get the most out of your Pocket F1 Handbook, you’ll need to remove it from the device and re-download from the archive, but what wonders will await you once you do.

It’s not every day your book can disappear and return in seconds, all spruced up and fancy for no cost at all!