Pros and cons of e-book versus printed version – the final chapter

We’ve been posting, over the last four days, what each of us wrote as we sat for our 30 minute prompt writing session using the prompt shown above. This is the fourth and final installment of the series:

“Thomas! Have you seen my glasses?” Dorothy called to her husband.

“Have you looked on the top of your head?” came the reply from the living room.

“Of course!” Dorothy answered running her fingers through her graying hair to see if they were indeed shoved on the top of her skull.

“Are they hanging around your neck?” Thomas’ rough voice told of his annoyance with being interrupted.

Dorothy looked at her blouse to see if she had stuck her glasses in one of her buttonholes or on the chain of her necklace.

“Not there either,” she called from the kitchen.

“Well, I give up,” he said.

“Come here then and tell me what this recipe says,” Dorothy requested.

“Can’t,” he said. “Busy. Use a cookbook on your Kindle. You can make the font large.”

“Good idea,” Dorothy said. She scanned the kitchen counters and table.

“Thomas?” she called. “Do you know where my Kindle is?”

“Is it on the counter?” he called loudly.

“Nope.”

“Book shelf?”

“Nope,” Dorothy answered, her voice coming from the study.

“Bedside table?”

Dorothy turned and headed down the hall to the master suite. “It’s not here,” she yelled. “Are you sure it is not by your chair?”

“I haven’t seen it,” he replied.

Dorothy visited the bathroom, the laundry room and the screened-in back porch.

“Well, it’s nowhere,” she stated standing right next to her husband’s chair.

“Did you find your glasses on your search?” he asked, slightly lifting his eyes from the book he was reading.

“Huh. That would have been a nice reminder if you had said that while I was running hither and yon.”

“Go look in your car,” was his next suggestion.

“Good one!” Dorothy headed to the garage bouncing her head from left to right as if watching a ping pong match scanning surfaces as she passed through each room.

“No glasses, no Kindle,” she announced upon her return to the living room. “You don’t look extremely busy to me. Come read this recipe for me. One half teaspoon versus One half cup is going to make a major difference in the outcome.”

Continue reading

Pros and Cons of E-Book vs Printed – a third take

So, you’ve written a book. And now you have the audacity to want it published.  In this new information age there are many possibilities—all of them require some form of research, discipline and fortitude. How to choose? My advice would be to do the old ”here’s a list of pros and cons” exercise.

Here, in no logical or strategic order are my pros and cons for Print VS E-Book.

                                    The End.

Just kidding. There really are some valid strengths and weaknesses in the publishing process. Here, off the top of my head are a few.

Publishing – Have to write a query letter. If you have never written a query letter consider yourself one of the world’s lucky people. They are agony. Like root canal only worse.

E-Book – No query letter just go to Kindle and print away.

Publishing – Need an agent. This is actually much harder than it sounds. You send your first three chapters to an anonymous literary figure somewhere (probably New York) and six months later they write back and say your book was so awful they used your first 3 chapters to start the fire in their fireplace on Christmas Eve. They would have notified your sooner, but they were still laughing at the absurd idea that you consider yourself a writer.

E-Book- No agent is necessary.

Published – You will need a synopsis of your book for the agent (should you find one—and the publisher should your agent be any good and find one for you.) The synopsis is a one or two page summary of story, character, plot and ending. I always wonder why bother to write the whole book if you can summarize it in two pages? But that’s a question for another time.

E-Book – You won’t need a synopsis.

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

If your  book is published, the publisher chooses the cover and has control of the title.

With E-Book, you design your own cover and write your own title.

Published books do appear in bookstores, but in this day and age the author has a heavy responsibility to market it.

E-Books are totally the responsibility of the author and marketing is his/her job.

Published books are smooth to the touch—smell good like a book should and have that satisfying spine snap the first time you open them.

E-Books are basically on little machines that need recharging and don’t make those pleasing page turning sounds.

Published books can be heavy and can be used to press flowers from your son’s prom or, if big enough, can be stood on to reach a dish on the top shelf.

E-Books fit in your purse and can’t press flowers.

Published authors are called by the Today show and they want to interview you on air.

E-Books authors are called by their grandma who is frustrated because she can’t figure out how to order a printed copy of your book to show to her bridge club.

But the bottom line is this:

Published—you are an author.

E-Book—you are an author.

Bev

Prompt: Pros and Cons of E-book vs. Printed Books

The printed book is a historical icon. Since German monks sat down in drafty stone monasteries and painstakingly recorded each word with quill and ink, books have been the most used medium of communicating thought. Books are substantial, both in heft and financial investment.  There is also the feelings holding a book convey, the smell of ink, the crackle of paper, smoothing ones hands over the cover and turning pages to devour a story all heighten the realization that one is holding someone’s life work in hand. Books have substance, as if the printed word has value and meaning. Books are easily recognizable as individual works of art.

The same things, which are heft and financial investment, create drawbacks for purchasing only printed books. It is neither cost effective nor healthy to carry ten or more books, unless one happens to be traveling by super deluxe RV and the cost of gas is insignificant. In order to read a book one needs a source of light.  Without daylight of artificial illumination, books are trapped in darkness and may as well contain blank pages.

E-books are a newer technology and require an e-reading device or an application to read them on a tablet, phone or computer.  With the dawn of the e-book, and in particular, Amazon Kindle, the door has been blown wide open for never-before published authors to be published. While that is wonderful, it also has its drawbacks.  With the ease of publication it is also clear that some writers having chosen e-book publication should have instead taken up crochet.  Purchasing an e-book is also a crap shoot.  At times reading a small sample or reading the reviews, as on Amazon, is not always helpful in determining if an e-book should be purchased.  Samples are sometimes painfully short and reviews are nothing more than opinions. Prices of e-books does not necessarily mean good value nor does low cost mean poor quality. E-books need a consistent source to renew power and some power source using a separate power cord. When the device honks twice and flashes a warning, one had better have his or her power cord and a viable plug-in or reading is cancelled until the device is recharged.

On the other hand e-books have great advantages as well.  An e-reading device is small, lightweight, portable and can hold dozens of books and have access to an unlimited amount via the cloud network.  As long as one has access to a wireless network the potential for buying books, magazines, games and surfing the internet is unlimited.  E-book pricing is usually one half or less of a printed book price. Even traditionally printed authors have taken to publishing e-books as well, so there is no need to miss out on the latest offering of a favorite author. E-book readers, for the most part, include a light source, therefore there is no limit to reading in the darkness of a car, bedroom or under the moonlight.

Printed books are mankind’s history and e-books are the future.  One should not replace the other as the only way to communicate thought. There is room for both just as there are advantages and disadvantages for both mediums.

Susan

Now you’ve met us !

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Hopefully you have had a moment to read our introductions. That is who we are. What we do is write. And laugh. And drink tea. And other stuff. But we write a lot and laugh even more.

This past Saturday was an outing day for Paddle Creek Writers. We weren’t five minutes from our meeting place when laughter was ringing out in the car. Oh my we laugh. If laughter is truly good medicine, we should be extremely healthy women.

We also write. And we continue to pursue our craft. We read, we share what we read (especially Michelle), we discuss, we challenge each other, and we write.

Over the years we have discovered the incredible benefit of using writing prompts to encourage our creative flow. Writing prompts force creativity. It’s kind of like when you have absolutely no money for groceries, payday isn’t for three days, so you have to get creative with what you have on hand. Suddenly you are a creative meal planner! It’s like that. It forces you.

When you are sitting around a table with three other people, tea cups filled, and the timer set; you have very few choices. Especially when everyone else’s pens are scribbling away. So you write. Sometimes it flows. Sometimes it does not. Sometimes it is awesome. And then there are the other times.

Regardless, you write. You discover creativity you would not have discovered otherwise. And sometimes it is just plain fun.

Recently we used our 30 minute time block to write on the following prompt: Pros and cons e-book vs printed version. The next four days we will post each of our ramblings. You will see for yourself how different four women’s response to a prompt can be.

Enjoy!

Pat Meyers