Thursday, February 3, 2011

"But I LIKE Holding a Book" and Other Myths-Kris Tualla

Okay - I confess it right now.

Uninformed or misguided e-reader comments and complaints make me want to knock heads together. Seriously, if you have not TRIED one, please don't say you don't like them! Give one an honest try. I expect you’ll be surprised.

Because the medium is NOT the delivery method. The medium is the WORD. Words are combined into sentences, paragraphs. Dialog. Setting. The crafting of plot and character.

Let me demonstrate. Read this word: bereft

You understand it. You associate those 6 letters with profound loss, sadness and loneliness. You know how it feels. You can empathize with a person who is bereft.

And you read it off a computer screen.

If you read a string of words like, “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm…” you get a picture of a manipulative woman who knows how to work her assets to catch men. Because of the words. Not the delivery method. Well-crafted stories catch us with their charms.

So, let's say you agree to be open-minded; what are your options? It's a matter of preference, because just about all eBooks are available on all readers.

What all e-reading devices have in common:

· eBooks are generally much less expensive than paper books.

· You OWN the books you buy. They are backed-up online.

· Carry your entire library in your briefcase or your purse.

· eBooks can be borrowed and lent in varying ways.

· Libraries DO lend e-books.

· The size of the font is easily adjustable.

· eBooks are purchased online.

· eBooks are delivered wirelessly directly to the device (except Sony).

· Finish that Twilight book and need the next one at 1:15am? No problem.

· You can bookmark, highlight and type in notes in your e-reader.

How e-reading devices differ - there are two e-reader technologies: E-ink, and LED-backlit.


· Looks like an Etch-A-Sketch. Charcoal-colored words appear on a pale gray background. No color.

· You CAN read e-ink in the sunshine.

· E-ink is not backlit so it does NOT cause eye-strain, nor does it disrupt sleep patterns.

· Kindle, one version of Nook, Sony, and Kobo all use E-ink technology.

· They only weigh about 8 ounces.

· CHOOSE E-INK IF: you like to read outside, in the car or before bed.

· PRICE: $129 - $189


· Full color, brightness can be adjusted.

· IS backlit and can cause eyestrain similar to a computer screen.

· Nook Color, iPad/iPhone and Android phone screens all use LED technology.

· CHOOSE NOOK COLOR IF: you read indoors in a lighted room, subscribe to eMagazines, read illustrated books.

· PRICE: $249

· CHOOSE iPad IF: you read indoors in a lighted room, subscribe to eMagazines, read illustrated books and want a mini-computer.

· PRICE: $499 - $699

· Shop in Amazon's Kindle Store. Download the FREE Kindle App on your phone, laptop or desktop computer and read on a device you already own.

· PRICE: $0

The book and print industry have gone largely unchanged since Johannes Guttenberg first pressed for profit back in 1450. While his invention inarguably changed the world, we are probably due for another change. Jump in - the reading's fine!

Speaking of change, is it time you found a new brand of hero? Please allow me to help.

For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.


In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:

1. Go to and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.

2. Send an email to with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.

3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at

A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at - and they are only $3.49 each as an eBook!

A Woman of Choice - Missouri Territory, 1819

A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.

A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820

American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?

A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821

Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.


Michelle Gregory said...

when i'm reading an author who's new to me, i like the Kindle/e-book option just because there's less money to lose if it's not a story i enjoy. on the other hand, if it's a book by a favorite author, i prefer the actual book. something about holding it...

Chicks of Characterization said...

Great post Kris! I see your tour is just rolling along!!! I would love to have an E-reader, my birthday is coming up in March, maybe I should start dropping hints now!!!

Thanks for the helpful information!


Anonymous said...

Full disclosure: I'm young, love my iPhone, I tweet... but I'm a bit of a neo-luddite.

I think there are a few aspects of the ink and paper book vs. e-book debate that were overlooked here. The first has to do with legacy. When I walk into a used bookstore and see a 150-year-old Dickens, or even a 40-year-old Vonnegut, I feel a connection to the past that I don't feel could ever be replicated by e-books. As the world is more and more digitalized, what we gain in the areas convenience and expediency, we sacrifice in the areas of permanence and history. I find the idea of a digital archive far less compelling that that of a museum full of old books.

Another issue in this debate is the idea that the medium is not in fact just the text. As in the days of illuminated manuscripts, it's enjoying a resurgence in this post-modern era since its retreat at the advent of the printing press. As authors take more and more liberties in terms of form and not just content, the medium begins to extend far beyond the words on the page. Books like House of Leaves, People of Paper, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close come to mind, not to mention virtually everything published by McSweeney's.

In the end, I don't think I'm against e-books as such - they are very convenient and more people are reading because of them. I just think they indicate changing cultural values I can't say I'm nuts about. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on what I've mentioned.

I appreciate someone defending e-books by saying something other than, "Print is dead; e-books are cool." Thanks for the post.

-Ryan Lind

Kris Tualla said...

Ryan - you do bring up some great points.

There will ALWAYS be print books available, because ART (illuminated manuscripts)cannot be best experienced on an e-reader. And finding a prized antique in ANY form connects us with the past (Dickens & Vonnegut). Used book stores are going to thrive.

Print on demand will fill the print slot more and more - it's green and economical. It just makes sense. My books are all available in both e and print this way.

But Michelle hit the issue on the head: read books on an e-reader for price and convenience, then buy a print copy of your favorite to be signed or to hold.

The point of this post was to explain away the ASSUMPTIONS so many people make about e-readers. And to clear up the differences in what's out there.

So many people ask me "Kindle vs. iPad" that I know they don't understand either device!

Thanks for the discussion!
Kris :)

Suzanne said...

Great post, Kris! I was one of the "I love my paper books" people till a stubborn friend who doesn't listen to me got me a Kindle for Christmas. Can you say "changed my tune fast?" Not only can I carry my library with me, but I can send copies of my own manuscripts to my Kindle (I'm sure this is true of other ereaders as well), and proof it, make notes, etc., without having to sit at a computer. Since it's formatted like a downloaded book, I catch things I don't see on the computer screen.

Bobbye Terry said...

I've had three e-book readers. It was a long time between e-book reader number two and three. Why? My first one, which I loved was too heavy and gave me arm strain after awhile. My second one wasn't very dependable and was difficult to trnasfer books onto. Of course back then there were fewer to chooce from. So, I finally took the leap to Kindle. Now I read faster than in paper and boy am I loving it!

Rachel Firasek said...

I agree Kris! Hubby gave me my first e-reader for Christmas and I'm reading twice as fast. No more aching hands holding a book open. Love it!!!!

Rachel Firasek

Regencyresearcher said...

I have a Sony eReader 600. I only have old books from Google books on it. The OCR isn't great for the ePub books . The reader is supposed to read .pdf, but it is very slow and eats battery life.
I am supposed to be able to write notes on it but haven't learned how to do that yet . I really want something for easy reading of old stuff in .pdf.

Dana said...

I also got a Kindle for Christmas, and I love it! I won't give up my print books or audio books, but this gives me one more medium. I love the portability! No more weighing down my suitcase when I travel. My kindle fits easily in my purse and I got a gret little green leather cover with a built in reading light. It's cute!
Dana M.

Michelle Gregory said...

i appreciate what Ryan said about legacy. i hadn't thought about that but it's true. and there was something cool about holding the very first copy of my novel in paperback form. yes, it's cool to see it in all kinds of e-formats, but there was something about holding it that made me feel like i'd accomplished something important. that's not to say that publishing a book in e-format alone isn't an accomplishment. maybe i needed a physical copy to prove to myself that i could finish a project of novel proportions.

Di said...

I have been thinking about trying an e-reader to see if I like it. I just check our library's website to see if they have any to be borrowed but it doesn't say. I will ask the next time I go in (after the ice melts - hopefully soon). I don't know anyone who has one yet.

Julie Robinson said...

Kris, I've already one your book--several times---but I had bought it already before. So I don't need to win again. I did want to comment on your post though. Yes, I really like my Sony eREader, but I love print books. My DH now LOVES me having an eReader since it cuts down on the fire hazard here at home with so many print books. LOL

Julie Robinson said...

Oh, and he has gotten an IPad, which has become an extension to his arm. He likes it even better than the Sony, and I must admit, I read a novel on it and it was fantastic.

Audrey said...

Since I'm not sure what time it is in the US, I'll still try commenting.
I really like paper books myself. I like the feel of turning pages and the smell of aging paper. I've downloaded some (free) e-books and enjoyed them, but I still need to have paper books. I'm more comfortable with them.


Julie Robinson said...

Audrey,I agree with you.
There's nothing so satisfying as the whisper of a page turned, the paper texture beneath your fingertips, and the new book smell wafting up to tantalize the mind.

But then my DH does call me "quaint."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by Kris. I haven't bought my e-reader yet so thanks for al the wonderful information when I finally do. :) I know, I'm a hold out. I do love to hold a book in my hands.

Kris Tualla said...

RegencyResearcher: You can email PDF files to a Kindle and read them there.

And - like Suzanne - I find the Kindle great for proofing my manuscripts and for the same reasons!

Kim - There are enough comments to draw 2 names for the free e-copy of "A Woman of Choice"!

Great exchange!